Down 355 this week

The Punch and Judy Man (1963)

 -  Comedy  -  8 April 1963 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 195 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 4 critic

Dark comedy about a seaside Punch & Judy man driven to distraction by his social climbing wife and his hatred for the snobbery of local government. He is persuaded to go to the Mayor's gala... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 18 Jun 2011
a list of 356 titles
created 02 Jan 2012
a list of 2031 titles
created 15 Aug 2012
a list of 320 titles
created 15 Feb 2013
a list of 149 titles
created 12 Aug 2013

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Punch and Judy Man (1963)

The Punch and Judy Man (1963) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Punch and Judy Man.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Wrong Box (1966)
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In Victorian England, a fortune now depends on which of two brothers outlives the other... or can be made to have seemed to do so!

Director: Bryan Forbes
Stars: John Mills, Michael Caine, Ralph Richardson
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A group of army personnel and nurses attempt a dangerous and arduous trek across the deserts of North Africa during the second world war. The leader of the team dreams of his ice cold beer ... See full summary »

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: John Mills, Anthony Quayle, Sylvia Syms
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A British agent sets out to uncover the hidden facts behind a British government employee's suicide.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: James Mason, Maximilian Schell, Simone Signoret
Hancock's Half Hour (1956–1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

TV version of the popular BBC radio show of the same name, with Tony Hancock as the modern man of the world (in his own eyes). Sid James is there to bring him back to earth.

Stars: Tony Hancock, Sidney James, Johnny Vyvyan
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Anthony Hancock gives up his office job to become an abstract artist. He has a lot of enthusiasm, but little talent, and critics scorn his work. Nevertheless, he impresses an emerging very ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Day
Stars: Tony Hancock, George Sanders, Paul Massie
Sapphire (1959)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1950s London racial hostility to Commonweath immigrants is openly paraded. A pregnant girl, initially assumed to be white, is murdered. As two detectives start to investigate, and ... See full summary »

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Nigel Patrick, Yvonne Mitchell, Michael Craig
Killer's Kiss (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As a man waits at a train station for his girl, he tells us about the recent past and we segue into a long flash-back.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Frank Silvera, Irene Kane, Jamie Smith


Credited cast:
Tony Hancock ...
Wally Pinner
Delia Pinner
Mayor Palmer
Barbara Murray ...
Lady Jane Caterham
The Sandman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Brian Bedford ...
1st Escort
Fred Berman ...
Master of Ceremonies
Norman Bird ...
Committee Man
Kevin Brennan ...
Terence Brook ...
Bar Tender
Eddie Byrne ...
Ice Cream Assistant
Norman Chappell ...
John Dunbar ...
Committee Man
Mario Fabrizi ...
Nevil Shanks
Girl in seaside kiosk


Dark comedy about a seaside Punch & Judy man driven to distraction by his social climbing wife and his hatred for the snobbery of local government. He is persuaded to go to the Mayor's gala evening but it's all too much for him. Written by Steve Crook <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

independent film | See All (1) »


Hancock rebels again!







Release Date:

8 April 1963 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)
See  »

Did You Know?


Sylvia Syms replaced Billie Whitelaw. See more »


Featured in London - The Modern Babylon (2012) See more »


The Savage
Music by Norrie Paramor
Performed by The Shadows
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A brave try at something different
9 February 2005 | by (Scarborough, England) – See all my reviews

When 'The Punch and Judy Man' was released Tony Hancock had been one of Britain's favourite radio and television comedians for about seven years. His work was brilliantly written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson who worked many of Hancock's own quirks into his screen character.

Unfortunately Hancock's intellectual pretension came to the fore as he began to feel limited by Galton and Simpson's writing and decided he would try more serious comedy on the lines of Chaplin and Jacques Tati. We can see this ambition in the film's titles: starring Tony Hancock, screenplay by Tony Hancock (and Philip Oakes), based on an idea by Tony Hancock. Apparently Hancock also wanted to direct and photograph the film but Associated British vetoed this.

Ultimately Hancock lacked the intellectual depth and discipline of his heroes and his public didn't want to see him in an unfamiliar role. The result was a box office dud.

Forty years later we can see the film more objectively. The frustration is that the viewer can sense what Hancock was aiming for: a satirical look at celebrity and snobbery within the confines of a fading marriage. For example, the name of the fictional location - Piltdown - suggests the intellectual fraudulence of the town's middle-classes, being based on a faked primitive man which fooled the scientific establishment for half a century.

Unfortunately other elements creep in, such as the pathos of a little boy slipping his hand into Hancock's as they walk along a rain drenched sea-front. Until this point their relationship has been one of mutual irritation (the boy attends all Hancock's Punch and Judy shows and corrects him when he gets the plot wrong) which is much more satisfying.

The best moments occur with Hancock's gleeful anarchy as he annoys the 'Yaks', self-serving members of a secret society who dominate local business and politics. The ice-cream eating scene is excellent. The final scene with the wife is quite touching a we see them reach new understanding and mutual respect.

Despite good things the film never quite comes to the boil, but the good things are worth watching the film for, such as Lady Jane Caterham's speech to the good people of Piltdown - as wicked an impersonation of the Queen's delivery as I've ever heard.

A last word. For some reason the video release I have cuts two short but crucial early scenes: Hancock shoving a bunch of artificial flowers up the rear of an ornamental china pig to show his frustration with his marriage, and of him raising his hat to the Mayor while actually giving the 'V'-sign with his fingers. Perhaps this was to ensure a 'U' certificate but it seems a poor reason to chop a film.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
its wearing well stevelittlewood77
The Punch and Judy Man - who played the boy? rake-1
Discuss The Punch and Judy Man (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: