The Camels Are Coming (1934)

Jack Hulbert-Anna Lee

Jack Hulbert-Anna Lee

No middle ground. Either you love these kind of movies or you can’t stand them. Jack Hulbert, sings,dances and mugs his way through this over the top goofy movie about an Air Force squadron leader looking for drug smugglers in Egypt.

Egyptian pilots have been training in Britain so they can patrol their country and nab drug smugglers. It’s time to return to Egypt and squadron leader Jack Campbell (Jack Hulbert) goes with them. He takes to the skies in his trusty plane along with his carrier pigeon Amy.  He spots a caravan and lands next to it. At the head is a Sheik and his wife. He accuses him of being a smuggler. Thanks to a ridiculous gambit, Jack believes his story and flies away.

Then he spots a plane flying near him. When it lands he takes his craft down too. The other pilot is the lovely Anita Rodgers (Anna Lee). He thinks she’s a smuggler and says she’s under arrest. She pulls a gun and shoots holes in his petrol tank. She’s having a great time. Before flying off she drops a piece of paper on purpose with her hotel’s name on it.

Luckily for Jack a stray camel; wanders by. There’s a too long scene with him trying to mount up as he keeps falling down. Meanwhile the caravan has reached a man named Nicholas who sells vases etc. to people in Cairo. Inside the vases are the drugs he gets from the Sheik. Jack arrives riding the camel and towing the plane.

Nichols wants to poison him but decides to send him to Cairo with the drugs. Of course Jack thinks the bag contains innocent vases. He manages to sing and dance his way through a hit song of the day, “Whose Been Polishing The Sun.” The plane is patched up and filled up and it’s back to Cairo.

Jack tells the general he’s found the woman in the gang. He goes to the hotel and Anita spots him. She tells a man,Dr.Zhiga, to come over to her when she gives the signal. She sits next to Jack. He tells her he’s going to arrest her. By this time he’s fallen for her. Dr.Zhiga comes over and they leave. Jack disguises himself as an Egyptian guide.

He can’t get Anita and Zhiga to hire him and they drive off. Jack jumps in a car with a couple tourists and they follow Anita and Zhiga to the pyramids. In a short time he finds out Anita and Zhiga are doing a publicity stunt to introduce a new brand of cigarettes. So much for her being a smuggler.

Now things get really dumb as Jack and Anita ride out into the desert to get Nichols. Lots of sight gags to come.

Anna Lee did a number of top movie roles but is best known by soap fans as Lila Quartermaine on “General Hospital” (1981-2003)



About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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