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The Square Peg (1958)

A British road repairman gets into a feud with the Army, gets drafted and is mistakenly parachuted into Nazi occupied France where his physical resemblance to the local German commandant triggers a hilarious chain reaction.


Jack Davies (original screenplay), Henry Blyth (original screenplay) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Norman Wisdom ... Norman Pitkin / General Schreiber
Honor Blackman ... Lesley Cartland
Edward Chapman ... Mr. Grimsdale
Campbell Singer Campbell Singer ... Sergeant Loder
Hattie Jacques ... Gretchen
Brian Worth Brian Worth ... Henri Le Blanc
Terence Alexander ... Captain Wharton
John Warwick John Warwick ... Colonel Layton
Arnold Bell Arnold Bell ... General Hunt
André Maranne André Maranne ... Jean-Claude (as Andre Maranne)
Victor Beaumont ... Jogenkraut
Frank Williams ... Captain Ford
Eddie Leslie Eddie Leslie ... Medical Officer
Richard Marner ... German Officer
John G. Heller ... German Officer at Gatepost


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 <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The news the enemy dreaded - Wisdom's joined the army.


Comedy | War


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English | German | French

Release Date:

19 December 1958 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

The Square Peg See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Rank Organisation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Opening credits: All characters and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons living or dead is purely coincidental. See more »


When Pitkin, as a civilian, is detained by the army, he stands on a bed frame and is at eye level with a window. From the outside he is shown, his face appearing and disappearing, as if jumping up on the bed, when in fact all he had to do was stand still. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The Second World War saw many remarkable adventures on sea, on land and in the air. Strangest of all perhaps, was the story of Norman Pitkin, indomitable fighter, rugged individualist and faithful employee of the St. Godric's Borough Council. See more »


Referenced in Piccadilly Third Stop (1960) See more »


Das Lied der Deutschen
aka "Deutschland über Alles"
Music by Franz Joseph Haydn
Heard as a theme
See more »

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User Reviews

A tale of two Pitkin's
13 January 2008 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

I've always liked Norman Wisdom's films - to a point - in every one there was something anarchic to laugh at but unfortunately something maudlin to squirm at too. This was the 6th of Wisdom's 12 "Norman" comedy films, and imho one of his best although I suspect every fan who has seen them all has their own favourites. However from experience there seem to be more perverse people who have seen every film and who hate the lot.

Norman Pitkin as St. Godric's Council employee is digging up the road outside an Army camp during the War, takes the Mick of the soldiers once too often and he and his boss Mr. Grimsdale find themselves conscripted. The slapstick war between Pitkin and Sergeant Campbell Singer continues into his training, until Pitkin and Grimsdale end up in France and the second part of the story begins. Favourite bits: Pitkin ferociously bayoneting the dummies; his bravado pre-parachuting; the General Schreiber double scenes with Hattie Brunnhilde Jacques; marching out of step with his captors. Apart from one mawkish bit in the French café with Honor Blackman there was no romantic musical interlude – although he had a fine singing voice it's still a definite plus! Cheaply made but well disguised, and with a great cast of British stalwarts also on display - missed Jerry Desmonde though!

It's a pleasant time-filler and maybe one of his more accessible films to a non-fan or non-kid which is perhaps one reason why it's probably shown on TV more often than his other black & white's.

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