Plot: Those Were the Days is a 1934 British film directed by Thomas Bentley. It was based on Arthur Wing Pinero’s 1885 farce The Magistrate and was the first of two Hay movies based on Pinero’s plays, the other being Dandy Dick. The film also features music hall acts of the time – acts of a type rarely committed to film. It is primarily remembered as Will Hay’s first major screen role.
The strait-laced magistrate Brutus Poskett (Will Hay) is concerned that his wife (Iris Hoey) may be older than he believes her to be, especially as his young stepson (John Mills) seems very precocious for an apparently fifteen-year-old boy.
Mrs Poskett tries to stop an impending visit from her first husband’s friend (Claud Allister), who knows her true age, by confronting him at a local music hall. However, unbeknown to her, Poskett has also been persuaded to go to the music hall with his “adolescent” stepson and, in an ensuing melée Poskett’s wife and her sister are arrested.
The following day, Poskett sentences both to seven days imprisonment, failing to recognise them as they are heavily veiled.