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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?


Robert Desmond - an actor in 'The Great Escape' (1963) as the 'tailor' Griffith - appears in 'The Square Peg' as the sentry on the Main Gate of the Army camp who incurs the wrath of General Hunt for not asking to see the General's pass. 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

Not his best but still Wisdom in his glory years – has the same weaknesses and strengths as all his stuff
16 May 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

When Council employees make live hard for the soldiers on a local military base, the army drafts them to treat them badly. However Mr Grimsdale and Pitkin accidentally get on the wrong truck and are parachuted behind enemy lines. When Mr Grimsdale is captured by the Nazi's the resistance decide to use Pitkin's uncanny resemblance to Nazi General Schreiber to effect a rescue.

In stead of Norman Wisdom's usual plot of `working class lad showing up the rich', we have `working class lad showing up the military and the Nazis'. Here the plot allows several funny set ups before eventually falling back on the old `lookalike' chestnut. However it's still quite funny – it's not Wisdom's best, but it has it's moments and happily there is very little of his usual `dreaming of unattainable girl' stuff that he usually does.

The cast is better than usual. Wisdom still has his innocent `salt of the earth' thing going on and is funny and charming. Chapman fits well with him as Grimsdale, although the two have had better films together. A very young Honor Blackman (her voice hasn't changed a bit!) is good if fleeting and even Hattie Jacques turns up. The army officers are filled out with familiar faces and everyone tries hard.

Overall this isn't Wisdom's best – but the working class Council worker triumphs over the Germans and upperclasses as a whole – who can't get some enjoyment out of that?!

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