Tommy (Tommy Handley) is a con man. His friend Bill Barton (George Moon) and Bill’s wife Susie (Evelyn Dall) are vaudeville actors working in New York City in 1944. Tommy talks Bill into loaning him some money for an investment. The investment is a time machine. Susie (Evelyn Dall) demands that Tommy give the money back. Tommy says his partner, The Professor (Felix Aylmer), handles the details. The Professor lectures Bill and Susie about time and time travel. He has invented a machine he calls a Time Ball. The invention is a large metal ball that he says can travel through time and into space. The Professor says it still needs some work since it will go back in time but not forward in time. That’s why he needs additional funds.
Tommy, Bill, Susie and the Professor end up in the Time Ball and are accidentally sent back in time to sixteenth century England and the time of Queen Elizabeth I. The Professor ends up tossed into the Tower of London for blasphemy. Tommy, after meeting Captain Walter Raleigh, before he became Sir Walter Raleigh, meets Queen Elizabeth. When Tommy throws down Raleigh’s coat and assists the Queen over a mud puddle Tommy is made a Knight in Queen Elizabeth’s court. He proceeds to con everyone he meets out of their money and jewelry. Bill and Susie get chased by a mob and hide out in the Globe Theater. Susie inspires William Shakespeare while he is writing “Romeo and Juliet”. Bill and Susie then do a jazz number.
In between a few song and dance numbers Tommy tries to win the Professor’s freedom by trading America to the Queen for the Professor. Complications arise when John Smith shows up with Pocahontas who says that she owns America. The four time travelers end up in the Tower of London awaiting their execution. They come up with some twentieth century ingenuity to try to make their escape and get back to the Time Ball.
“Time Flies” was released in 1944 and was directed by Walter Forde” It is a British science fiction comedy musical. The film is believed to be the second film made involving a time machine that is not a lost film. The first is believed to be a Hungarian movie from 1942 titled “Sziriusz”.
The movie is a silly dated romp through a bit of history slapstick style. It’s not great but it is harmless. A slice of forties British vaudeville comedy and music hall tunes in a sixteenth century setting. There are some amusing moments, some old jokes and some old time radio stars kicking up their heels to entertain everyone during a bad time in history. To some a bit of nostalgia, to some an interesting look at what was funny in the forties.
British 30’s and 40’s comedy duo Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt play an Elizabethan soothsayer and his son.