|Index||10 reviews in total|
This is a lovely film starring a lovely man, with some genuinely funny moments. In the part where he gets hypnotised, you really see his acting ability. In a way it's sad that Norman Wisdom is not part of this day and age. If he was he may have taken on serious film roles, as the likes of Jim Carrey have. This is definitely one of his best films, and one that my whole family loves. He also has a great voice, and at some point must have had to make a decision whether to pursue a singing or acting career. Incidentally, Norman has great support from the likes of Hattie Jacques and John Le Measurier who give assured performances. A film from a different age.
What a wonderful film this is,probably normans best,it has all the hallmarks of mr wisdom from the sad lonely fool to the mad fool!to the sentimental romantic fool that norman pulls off with such natural ease,the plot is good about an ageing pop star played by jerry desmonde trying to revive his flagging career,finds norman, hears his voice and decides to steal it.Hattie Jacques is brilliant as normans vocal teacher but Jerry Desmonde is outstanding in this film,especially when he sings the bath song contorting his body like elvis gone mad!it kept my interest from start to finish.The only slight thing that niggles sometimes, norman very occasionally acts a little too silly where it stops being funny and a little cringing,eg-when hes rolling about on the psychiatrist floor,but normally its kept to the right level.The song 'follow a star'is a enchanting song with a melody that grows on you,incidentally norman wrote this and other songs in this film which further enhances his considerable talents,if you like good comedy,good music and norman wisdom,then this the film to watch.
No, rather "rest in peace, my sorrow" extravaganza! I am not a fan of
Mr Norman Wisdom. But I enjoy good and easy comedies which, however
insane, never get vulgar. This is a perfect example of such thing. I
can watch the majority of Charlie Chaplin's, Buster Keaton's, and
Norman Wisdom's movies anytime. They are timeless. Very often, when I
watch a modern comedy ("Meet the Parents", for instance), I get real
angry and ask myself: "WTF? Is this supposed to be good and funny?"
Whenever I watch the good old Norman Wisdom movies, I don't have to ask
myself such questions - I just rejoice. When I start watching such a
movie, I know beforehand that there won't be anything rude, annoying,
dirty, and vulgar - this alone supplies me with pleasant feelings.
Again I'm impressed by the talent of Mr Norman Wisdom. The songs he performs are beautiful. There is something "jazzy" about them and I like it.
By the way, in our country the film goes under the title "Mister Pitkin na Estrade" ("Mr Pitkin on the Stage") though the main character is not Pitkin but Norman Truscott. It happens because for Russian audience Mr Norman Wisdom will always be Pitkin on the screen. But that is a sign of quality. Like "Apple" among computers.
"RoboCop", "Batoru Rowaiaru", "Long xiao ye", "Jeeves and Wooster", "Lyudi i manekeny", "Mad Max", and ... "Follow a Star" are all great. Does it look strange? It shouldn't. In my humble opinion, there is a high-quality movie behind each title.
Such comedies like this one are fading away in today's hectic cybernetic world but to me they are the best of the best, because they remain childish and amusing in a very pleasant way.
Again I give a very subjective mark - a 10 out of 10 - but I'm 100% sure that such comedies are of the highest artistic quality. Thank you for attention.
Norman Wisdom plays a labourer who is also a big fan of singer Vernon Carew. He sees Carew perform live, and manages to annoy the singer from his place in the crowd more than once. The final straw comes when Norman stands up and is singing Carew's famous song, trying to get the crowd properly excited (Carew's stardom is definitely waning) - but what comes to pass is that some head honchos hear Norman's wonderful voice, singing Vernon's song, and get the idea for Norman to dub for Vernon on his up and coming record. The general idea is quite similar to that which was used in Singin' In The Rain, but Follow A Star is not quite that good a movie. Still, it is quite good, and the music isn't bad. 7 out of 10.
Norman Wisdom was an English comedian much loved during much of the Fifties, and while his success persisted well into the Swinging Sixties, it did so in a spirit redolent of the previous far more innocent decade. His image was that of a perilously naive and inept, yet wholly adorable little man whose sweetness of nature could be said to somehow put the pretensions of souls less humble and self-sacrificing than he to shame. The "Norman" character being a pure-hearted soul for a time when the West's traditional moral values, rooted in its Judeo-Christian foundation, yet possessed considerable influence. And while "Follow a Star", directed by Robert Asher in 1959, with Wisdom appearing as worker and aspiring singer Norman Truscott, is perhaps among his less well-known movies, few are quite so successful in showcasing his incredible talents. While among its many delights are the melodic and moving title song, written by the great man himself, and sung by him in a surprisingly mature baritone crooning voice. Also starring are superb Wisdom regular Jerry Desmonde as irasible fading singer Vernon Carew; Hattie Jacques as Norman's well-meaning but somewhat over-enthusiastic singing teacher Miss Dobson; and the lovely June Laverick, as his sweetheart Judy, who provides Wisdom with the opportunity to present his more serious and romantic side. And who can blame him. While several stalwarts of a classic age of British comedy also appear, including Richard Wattis, as the pompous psychiatrist Dr Chatterway; John Le Mesurier, as the redoubtable waiter Birkett; Fenella Fielding as the elegant Lady Finchington; and Pat Coombs uncredited as a young woman in a theatre. But the movie as a whole is a joy from a simpler time, when Rock and Roll had been more or less shorn of its initial threat, and Beatlemania almost half a decade away.
Being one of the infrequent Norman Wisdom vehicles covered in "Leonard
Maltin's Movie & Video Guide" - which he rates a lowly *1/2 - I was
wary of this title but, actually, it was quite pleasant if, in no way,
The very first scene is an inspired one: we see Norman's sweaty face in an atmosphere of overbearing heat (the film was shot by Jack Asher, a talented cameraman best known for his work for Hammer but who also happens to be the brother of the director!) meticulously going about his business thinking he works in a steamship or something, but eventually discovering that what he's doing is simply pressing a pair of pants (a sophisticated style of gag which has been utilized as early as Harold Lloyd's SAFETY LAST ). The plot - a fading crooner 'borrowing' the voice of a naïve newcomer - is simple enough and has been partly lifted from SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952).
While the love interest is more sentimental than usual, since Norman's sweetheart is wheelchair-bound and he wants to make it as a singer mainly so as to have the money for her operation, the film provides plenty of amusing situations highlighting the ageing performer (Jerry Desmonde at his most despicable), ebullient elocutionist Hattie Jacques and long-suffering maitre d' John Le Mesurier; a party sequence halfway through the film also features a surprise early appearance by a dark-haired Charles Gray!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After a brilliant start satirising innumerable Britsh war films,"Follow a star" settles down to a more orthodox path with the highly - talented Mr Wisdom using bits of his Palladium act which first brought him fame and fortune in an era which coincided with the birth - pangs of post - war British television. He is teamed with the sublime Mr Jerry Desmonde the capo di capo of stooges,a man who,like Mr Wisdom was seldom off our flickering black and white tellies. Mr Desmonde plays a fading singer who is thrown a much - needed lifeline when he records Norman's voice(on a "Grundig",no less,about 75 guineas at the time) and mimes to his self - penned ballads. With a wheelchair - bound girlfriend needing an operation(the lovely Miss June Laverick)Norman agrees to work with his erstwhile idol Mr Desmonde as a major - domo,all unknowing that his voice is being "sampled" as they would call it nowadays. He suffers from stage - fright and has to be hypnotised before he can perform in public,a ploy that offers excellent opportunities for Mr Wisdom to perform his idiot - savant act. Amidst the fairly anodyne songs there is a very fine and well - choreographed full blown musical number "You deserve a medal for that" which is good enough to be Lerner and Loewe.To top it all,the great Mr John le Mesurier get his face pushed into a cake.Sheer bliss. Miss Hattie Jacques is oustanding as Norman's elocution teacher. Co - writer of this and many other fine British comedies,Mr Henry Blythe lived near me in Sussex and was captain of the village cricket team. About the time "Follow a star" came out he arranged a game with Freddie Brown(ex England captain)and a select X1 of Test Players on a beautiful ground set in a dip in the downs. As Squire Henry went out to bat shielding his eyes from the sun a deep sigh of anticipation ran round the crowd.England's current fast - bowling hero thundered up to the crease and Henry glanced the first ball for four runs to leg."Life doesn't get any better than this", I thought,sipping my cold ginger beer...and it hasn't.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
i'm just after watching this for the very first time, this film had
it's highs, it's lows, it's good parts, it's bad, it's funny bits and
it'unfunny bits, lets just say it not one of my favourite Norman Wisdom
I'm not into a lot of singing so that is probably why i didn't enjoy as much as say "The Square Peg" or "On The Beat", funny i mentioned on the beat because during this film i heard the chase music from that film in the background, weird eh?
I quite liked the bit where he acted like a baby though it was quite funny.
Overall this is a good film to pass a typical Sunday afternoon but i'm not going to be rushing to watch it again lets just say....
Norman is working in a laundrettes when he meets the well known, but aging
singing star Vernon Carew who invites him to see his show. When Norman
to the show he finds a patchy audience that throws abuse at the performer,
standing up for him, Norman captures the audience and Carew sees his
to use his voice to help recapture his fame. Tricking Norman into singing
into a tape recorder, he rebuilds his career while Norman still struggles
with his inability to sing without accompaniment from his sweetheart
This film starts badly with an unfunny singing lesson full of mugging and the establishment of a sickly sentimental subplot involving Norman's hopes to help his crippled sweetheart to walk again! However it gets better as it goes despite having to occasionally sink into sentimentality that only serves to take away from the comedy. The routines are quite funny when they come, although Wisdom has done better. One element of the comedy that I felt was ill fitting was the rather crude innuendo and sex-related gags; compared to nowadays it is still very gentle but it just doesn't sit well with the usual gentle humour of Wisdom.
That said it still has some funny scenes where Wisdom shows his ability - if only he didn't feel the need to always add an overly sentimental heart to his films. He does well here but some of that stuff doesn't sit well as it feels even heavier than usual here. The support cast has more famous faces than usual and most of the mare good. The Wisdom regular Desmonde is very good in his role and cameos from John Le Mesurier and Richard Wattis are good if fleeting, however Hattie Jacques is pretty much wasted and her biggest scene isn't very funny at all.
Overall I still enjoyed this film as I am a Wisdom fan, and it did actually get better as it went on. The illogical nature of a plot that sees Wisdom's good but nasal voice saving the career of Carew's much better crooner can be overlooked and in the end there are enough good moments to justify watching the film - just hang in there past a poor start.
Standard formula for a Norman Wisdom movie here. Norman becomes a put
upon clown whilst bubbling under the surface is the fact he's a very
talented guy (singer here), whilst he's in love with a wheelchair bound
beauty. It's often the saccharine elements of Wisdom's films that puts
people off, but to his fans (and I'm one), they are integral to letting
Wisdom hit his comedic heights.
Follow a Star is not a great Norman Wisdom film, but it is a very safe and enjoyable one. Story finds Norman used by ageing crooner Jerry Desmonde, who upon finding he is no longer fashionable, plots to use Norman's amazing singing voice as his own. Cue Norman moving in with Desmonde as the house slave and chaos ensues. Meanwhile those closest to Norman smell a rat and try to bring down Desmonde the fraud.
As usual there are plenty of laughs and high energy acrobatics, with stand out sequences involving hypnosis and the bravura mania of the finale - where the dastards do all they can to get Norman off of the stage. Some super British comedy actors fill out the support slots, most notably Hattie Jacques and Richard Wattis, while Philip Green's musical contributions are most pleasing.
One for Wisdom fans only? For sure. Otherwise leave well alone. 6.5/10
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