Mister Drake’s Duck (1951)

UK, 1950
75m (USA), 85m, 7261 feet/2213 metres
35mm film, black and white, 1.37:1
mono, English

A British comedy science fiction film directed by Val Guest.

Plot Summary

On their quiet Sussex farm, the peaceful lives of Mr. Drake and his wife are shattered when one of their lays a uranium egg. The army descends on the farm and the search is on for the hen that laid it.


* = uncredited

Directed by: Val Guest
Copyright MCMLI [] by Dougfair Corporation
Douglas Fairbanks and Company in association with Daniel M. Angel presents. Released through United Artists Corporation
Produced by: Daniel M. Angel
Production Manager: Adrian Worker
Screenplay by: Val Guest
From the Story by: Ian Messiter
Assistant Director: George Fowler
Director of Photography: Jack Cox
Camera Operator: Harry Gillam *
Film Editor: Sam Simmonds
Musical Score: Bruce Campbell
Musical Director: Philip Martell
Sound: H.C. Pearson
RCA Sound System
Dress Designer: Julie Harris
Make-Up: F. Williamson
Hair Stylist: Joan Carpenter
Title Designer: David Langton *
Art Director: Maurice Carter
Locations: Steyning, Sussex, England, UK *

Douglas Fairbanks Jr (Donald Drake)
Yolande Donlan (Penny Drake)
A.E. Matthews (Brigadier Matthews)
Reginald Beckwith (Mr Boothby)
Jon Pertwee (Reuben)
Wilfrid Hyde-White (Mr May)
Howard Marion-Crawford (Major Travers)
Peter Butterworth (Higgins)
Tom Gill (Captain White)
John Boxer (sergeant)
Gilbert Davis (sergeant major)
Ballard Berkeley (Major Deane)
Roger Maxwell (Colonel Maitland)
Harry Fowler (corporal)
Bruce Belfrage (air vice marshal)
Raymond Rollett (admiral)
Frederick Bradshaw (wing commander)
Frank Phillips (B.B.C. announcer)
Richard Littledale (member of parliament)
George Merritt (home secretary)
Arthur Hill (American vice consul)
Ben Williams (auctioneer)
Danny Green (truck driver)

Alternative Titles

Alto comando: operazione uranio – Italy
Ankka ja atomimuna – Finland
Die Atomente – Germany
Gestörte Flitterwochen – Germany
Mrs Drake's Duck – early title
El pato atómico – Spain



  • Classic Images no.287 (May 1999) p.45 – credits, review (Video views by John Nangle)
  • Filmfax no.74 (August/September 1999) p.22 – video review (Mister Drake's Duck by John Rossi)
  • Kine Weekly no.2252 (29 June 1950) – note
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.18 no.206 (March 1951) p.235 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.184 no.7 (18 August 1951) p.982 – review
  • Today's Cinema vol.76 no.6174 (25 January 1951) – review
  • Variety 25 July 1951 p.4 – note (Fairbanks in from Europe)
  • Variety 1 August 1951 pp.1, 55 – note (Doug, Jr., Eyeing Theatres, TV For Fairbanks Oldies)
  • Variety 14 February 1951 (USA) – credits, review


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.130
  • British Sound Films: The Studio Years 1928-1959 by David Quinlan p.348 – credits, synopsis
  • Nuclear Movies: A Filmography by Mick Broderick p.42
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.307 – credits
  • So You Want to Be In Pictures: From Will Hay to Hammer Horror and James Bond by Val Guest pp.48, 100, 104, 107-108, 109, 135, 171, 184 – production notes
  • The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy by David Pringle (general ed.) p.59 – credits, review