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.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The 7th most popular film in the UK in 1959, and is a "comeback" film for its star Norman Wisdom whose films had been declining in popularity in the past decade. See more »
The dummy that Pitkin stabs and throws on the end of his bayonet moves before he stabs it. See more »
Sorry, only I used to know a girl once, just like you. Well, I didn't exactly know her. I couldn't really, she being what she was and me being what I am.
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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 »
The British Grenadiers
Heard as a theme See more »
A tale of two Pitkin's
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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