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The Goose Steps Out

The Goose Steps Out is a British comedy film released in 1942. This film starred, and was co-directed by, the British comedian Will Hay. He shared directorial credit with Basil Dearden whose first film as a director this was. The film was a big box office hit in Britain, but not in the U.S., where audiences failed to respond to the humour of Hay's pathetic, bumbling persona. The Goose Steps Out is also noted as the film debut of a young Peter Ustinov.[2]

The Goose Steps Out
"The Goose Steps Out" (1942).jpg
UK poster by Dudley Pout
Directed byWill Hay
Basil Dearden
Produced byMichael Balcon
Written byAngus MacPhail
John Dighton
StarringWill Hay
Frank Pettingell
Julien Mitchell
Charles Hawtrey
Peter Ustinov
Music byBretton Byrd
CinematographyErnest Palmer
Edited byRay Pitt
Distributed byEaling Studios
Release date
August 1942
Running time
84 minutes[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom

The film's title refers to the Nazis' vigorous ceremonial marching, called "goose-stepping". It was the last appearance for Charles Hawtrey in a Will Hay films as Hay dropped him for wanting a bigger role, it was also Hay's last film on the subject of the Second World War.


Plot summaryEdit

Set during the Second World War, The Goose Steps Out recounts the adventures of William Potts (Will Hay) after it is discovered that he is an exact double of a German spy who the British have just captured. Potts is flown into Nazi Germany to impersonate the spy and instructed to seek out and bring back details of a new German secret weapon.

On arrival, however, Potts is placed in charge of a group of apparently rabidly-fascist young students who are being trained to work as spies in Britain. Potts attempts to undermine this by convincing the youngsters that the proper British way of saluting a great leader is to apply the V-sign, which they therefore do repeatedly and enthusiastically in the direction of a portrait of the Führer. At a function where he hopes to gather information about the weapon (a gasfire bomb), Potts succeeds only in getting blind drunk and admitting that he is a British agent. Luckily, some members of his class of Nazi youths turn out to be sympathetic Austrians and they help him obtain the secret he seeks. Potts and his new friends eventually commandeer a plane and fly back to Britain, crashing in a tree outside the War Office in London.



  • A current reviewer for TV Guide calls this film, "a funny programmer."[3]
  • In Forever Ealing, George Perry wrote, " In the climate of 1942, when British morale was at its lowest, what may now seem jingoistic acted as an innocent safety valve, and the film was popularly received."[4]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "The Goose Steps Out (1942) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast". AllMovie. Retrieved 2014-02-22.
  3. ^ "The Goose Steps Out Review". Retrieved 2014-02-22.
  4. ^ "The Goose Steps Out 1942 | Britmovie | Home of British Films". Britmovie. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014.

External linksEdit