Star Archive

Moore Marriott (1885 - 1949)

When someone says the name Moore Marriott a picture instantly forms in the mind of a shrill, toothless, old loon popping out of a ticket booth to say "The next train's gone!" to Will Hay. But Moore Marriott was more than just his Harbottle character. He was the one of the busiest and most versatile actors in British cinema.

He was born into a theatrical family and was treading the boards at an early age. By 1906 he was appearing in short films such as Dick Turpin's Ride to York. Through the 20s he became a fixture of British cinema, graduating to leads. Few of these films are memorable (like so much 20s British film making) but The Gold Cure is notable for first introducing Harbottle to the screen.

When sound came Marriott, with his strong stage background, made the transition effortlessly. His versatility kept him busy. It was said that he had four sets of false teeth which helped him change his appearance so he could take on any role. Check out his appearances in The Flying Scotsman (as a retiring train driver), Turn of the Tide (as a dour fisherman), Green for Danger (as the grumpy first murder victim), or The Root of All Evil (as an embittered arsonist).

However, it's as support to some of the best comedians of the period that Marriott will be best remembered. The first Will Hay film he appeared in was Dandy Dick, but it was with Windbag the Sailor that the great comic trio of Hay, Marriott and Moffatt first came together. The team clicked instantly. With Hay ostensibly in charge, but being shamelessly manipulated by Harbottle and Albert, the set-up was capable of being adapted to a variety of situations, from running a railway station to administrating the Empire. 

Sadly Hay didn't like being part of "a three legged stool" and, after a couple of relatively unsuccessful attempts to make films without Moffat and Marriott, left Gainsborough Studios for Ealing leaving Marriott behind. This did nothing to slow down Marriott's career and he was soon supporting Arthur Askey, Tommy Hanley and even holding his own against The Crazy Gang. He also kept up the dramatic roles.

Moore Marriott's name may have appeared halfway down the cast list in most of his films, but when the majority of the pretty stars of his films have been forgotten, Marriott's image is still indelible.       

Still from Oh, Mr Porter!Moore Marriott in Owd Bob

Filmography (features only)

1912 A Maid of the Alps
1914 His Sister's Honour
1915 By the Shortest of Heads
1920 The Grip of Iron
1920 Mary Latimer, Nun
1920 The Winding Road
1921 Four Men in a Van
1922 The Head of the Family
1922 The Skipper's Wedding
1923 The Monkey's Paw
1924 The Affair at the Novelty Theatre
1924 The Conspirators
1924 The Mating of Marcus
1924 Not for Sale
1924 Ordeal by Golf
1924 The Long Hole
1924 The Clicking of Cuthbert
1925 There's Many a Slip
1925 King of the Castle
1925 The Qualified Adventurer
1925 The Gold Cure
1925 Every Mother's Son
1925 Afraid of Love
1926 London Love
1926 The Conspirators
1927 Passion Island
1927 The Silver Lining
1927 Huntingtower
1927 Carry On!
1928 Victory
1928 Widdecombe Fair
1928 Toni
1928 Kitty
1928 Sweeney Todd
1929 The Flying Scotsman
1929 Lady from the Sea
1930 Kissing Cup's Race
1930 Peace on the Western Front
1931 The Lyons Mail
1931 Up for the Cup
1932 Dance Pretty Lady
1932 The Water Gypsies
1932 Mr Bill the Conqueror
1932 The Crooked Lady
1932 Nine Till Six
1932 Heroes of the Mine
1932 The Little Waitress
1932 The Wonderful Story
1933 Money for Speed
1933 A Moorland Tragedy
1933 Dora
1933 Lucky Blaze
1933 A Political Party
1933 The Crime at Blossoms
1933 Hawleys of High Street
1933 Love's Old Sweet Song
1933 The House of Trent
1933 Faces
1933 The Song of the Plough
1934 Girls Please
1934 The Scoop
1934 Nell Gwyn
1934 The Feathered Serpent
1935 Dandy Dick
1935 Drake of England
1935 Peg of Old Drury
1935 The Man Without a Face
1935 Gay Old Dog
1935 Turn of the Tide
1936 Strange Cargo
1936 The Amazing Quest of Earnest Bliss
1936 Luck of the Turf
1936 When Knights Were Bold
1936 Windbag the Sailor
1936 Wednesday's Luck
1936 Accused
1936 Talk of the Devil
1936 As You Like It
1937 Feather Your Nest
1937 Fifty Shilling Boxer
1937 The Fatal Hour
1937 Night Ride
1937 Oh, Mr Porter!
1937 Victoria the Great
1937 Intimate Relations
1937 Owd Bob
1937 Dreaming Lips
1938 Convict 99
1938 Old Bones of the River
1939 Ask a Policeman
1939 Where's that Fire?
1939 The Frozen Limits
1939 A Girl Must Live
1939 Cheer Boys Cheer
1939 The Band Waggon
1940 Charley's (Big Hearted) Aunt
1940 Gasbags
1941 I Thank You
1941 Hi Gang!
1942 Back Room Boy
1943 Millions Like Us
1943 Time Flies
1944 It Happened on Sunday
1944 The Agitator
1944 Don't Take it To Heart
1945 A Place of One's Own
1945 I'll be Your Sweetheart
1946 Green for Danger
1947 Green Fingers
1947 Jassy
1947 The Root of all Evil
1947 The Hills of Donegal
1949 The History of Mr Polly
1949 High Jinks in Society

 Moore Marriott at Amazon UK

 Moore Marriott at Amazon US