Hey! Hey! USA


Will Hay plays Dr. Benjamin Twist, a man whose ambitions outstrip his abilities. Twist is a porter on an ocean liner bound for America who, through convoluted plot twists, finds himself masquerading as a professor. Teaming up with a gangster stowaway (Edgar Kennedy), Twist finds himself embroiled in a kidnap plot on the far side of the pond that is complicated by the fact that two sets of gangsters are attempting to get their hands on the ransom money.

Hey! Hey! USA is a 1938 British comedy film starring comedian Will Hay, Edgar Kennedy and Eddie Ryan.<></> Hay appears as Benjamin Twist, a porter who accidentally finds himself on a ship bound for the United States. The film features an early appearance by child actor Roddy McDowell, before he went to live in America.< name="autogenerated2002"></>

Plot outline

Dr Benjamin Twist, a teacher working during school holidays as a ship's porter ends up on a ship bound for America and impersonating a professor, Phineas Tavistock. Along with American gangster and stowaway Bugs Leary (Edgar Kennedy), Twist finds himself entangled in a plot to kidnap the son of a millionaire whom 'Professor' Tavistock is teaching. Things are further complicated by the fact that two sets of gangsters are attempting to get their hands on the ransom money, which Twist is given to hand over.


  • Will Hay - Dr Benjamin Twist/Professor Phineas Tavistock
  • Edgar Kennedy - Bugs Leary
  • David Burns (actor) - Tony Ricardo
  • Eddie Ryan - Ace Marco
  • Fred Duprez - Cyrus Schultz
  • Paddy Reynolds - Mrs Schultz
  • Tommy Bupp - Bertie Schultz
  • Arthur Goullet - Glove Johnson
  • Gibb McLaughlin - Steward
  • Eddie Pola - Broadcast Announcer
  • Roddy McDowall - Boy
  • Peter Gawthorne - Ship's Captain
  • Charlie Hall (actor) - Leary's Pal
  • Charles Oliver (actor) - Curly
  • Danny Green (actor) - McGuire, the Chicago cop

Critical reception

Sky Movies wrote, "incomparable Will Hay reprises his splendidly shifty Dr Benjamin Twist character (the incompetent headmaster of St Michael's) in this breezy British comedy set in a quaintly observed America full of gun-toting gangsters. Comic stalwart Edgar Kennedy provides slow-burning support under the direction of Marcel Varnel, the dapper Frenchman who made most of Hay's biggest successes. " < name="autogenerated2002"/>


  • Slide, Anthony. 'Banned in the USA': British Films in the United States and their Censorship, 1933-1960. I.B. Tauris & Co, 1998.

  • Category:British films
    Category:British comedy films
    Category:1938 films
    Category:Black-and-white films
    Category:1930s comedy films
    Category:Films directed by Marcel Varnel
    Category:Compositions by Charles Williams

    Edward Black

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