Norman and Mr Grimsdale are council workmen mending the road outside an Army base when they come into conflict with the military. Shortly afterwards, they get drafted and fall into the ... See full summary »
Norman and Mr Grimsdale are council workmen mending the road outside an Army base when they come into conflict with the military. Shortly afterwards, they get drafted and fall into the clutches of the Sergeant they have just bested. They are sent to France to repair roads in front of the Allied advance but get captured. Norman takes advantage of a useful similarity to impersonate General Schreiber and manages to return a hero. Written by
Steve Crook <email@example.com>
THE SQUARE PEG is a Norman Wisdom vehicle that sees him once more playing the part of Norman Pitkin, employee of gruff Yorkshireman Mr Grimsdale (Edward Chapman). The film is set during WW2 and sees the hapless pair become involved with a local army base, eventually finding themselves in occupied France of all places.
This is the first Norman Wisdom film I've watched. I was inspired to watch it after getting into the CARRY ON films made during the same era. Like those, it has dated quite a lot since it first came out, with the comic hijinks feeling very genteel in the modern era of gross-out comedy. Although I found few laugh-out-loud moments, much of the film is gently amusing.
Wisdom and Chapman share an excellent rapport and their scenes together are obvious highlights within the movie, although an elaborate, late-on sequence involving Pitkin, his doppelganger and a German opera singer (the delightful Hattie Jacques) marks the film's highlight. Until then there's plenty of mugging, slapstick and jokes at the expense of stiff-upper-lipped army superiors (including BERGERAC's Terence Alexander). Honor Blackman shows up as a memorably feisty female agent. I didn't find it quite as funny as I'd hoped, but I'm inspired to check out more of Wisdom's work.
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