6.8/10
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19 user 4 critic

The Early Bird (1965)

Norman is the assistant helping to run a small, old fashioned dairy which is threatened by a larger, modern organisation. Norman does his best to save the dairy (and his horse) and the ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert Asher

Writers:

Jack Davies (screenplay), Norman Wisdom (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Norman Wisdom ... Norman Pitkin
Edward Chapman ... Mr. Grimsdale
Jerry Desmonde Jerry Desmonde ... Mr. Hunter
Paddie O'Neil Paddie O'Neil ... Gladwys Hoskins
Bryan Pringle ... Austin
Richard Vernon ... Sir Roger Wedgewood
John Le Mesurier ... Colonel Foster (golf partner)
Peter Jeffrey ... Fire Chief
Penny Morrell Penny Morrell ... Miss Curry
Marjie Lawrence ... Woman in Negligee
Frank Thornton ... Drunken Doctor
Dandy Nichols ... Woman Flooded by Milk
Harry Locke ... Commissionaire
Michael Bilton Michael Bilton ... Nervous Man
Imogen Hassall ... Sir Roger's Secretary
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Storyline

Norman is the assistant helping to run a small, old fashioned dairy which is threatened by a larger, modern organisation. Norman does his best to save the dairy (and his horse) and the usual chaos ensues. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His LATEST and FUNNIEST and FIRST TIME in COLOUR

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 December 1965 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

A botellazo limpio See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Rank Organisation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Norman visits the rival dairy at their giant corporate headquarters, they are actually the administration offices at Pinewood Studios, "dressed" by adding a skyscraper to loom overhead. This was done by using a glass matte painting. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Grimsdale: Besides, we're beaten Pitkin. Consolidated's too big.
Norman Pitkin: Oh. You was at Dunkirk, weren't you Mr Grimsdale? I wonder what would have happened if you'd given up then.
Mr. Grimsdale: You're right Pitkin. We'll fight them, to the last half pint of milk!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bostock's Cup (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"....where's the fire...?...."
9 December 2018 | by Brucey_DSee all my reviews

Milkman Pitkin (Wisdom) and his employer, Mr Grimsdale (Chapman), pit their small, archaic dairy against a conglomerate, hell bent on taking their business by fair means or foul.

This film is largely innocent and boisterous fun, slapstick and so forth. Even in its day it was hardly considered cutting edge, so it may be of limited appeal to folk who know not of Norman Wisdom and his earlier outings. This is the first Norman Wisdom film in colour and the last to feature regulars Wisdom, Chapman and Desmonde together.

Wisdom we expect to fall about, but others didn't have it easy either; Desmonde passed away two years after this film was made and was in his late fifties (and possibly in poor health) during shooting; he must have been game though; he variously gets sprayed with foam, falls out of a building, drenched with a fire hose, dragged by a runaway lawnmower and hangs from a tree, all whilst doing his trademark 'outraged patrician type' act. Good stuff. Supporting roles from John Le Mesurier, Richard Vernon, Frank Thornton, Peter Jeffrey, and Brian Pringle (as Machiavellian milkman Austin) are well done. Honourable mention goes to Nellie the horse too.

Some of the scenes in this film are quite memorable; the horse tranquilliser's effects on Pitkin and Grimsdale are a nod to the upcoming era of psychedelia.

Yes this is mostly hackneyed, old fashioned, and so forth, but that was really the point; open up a Norman Wisdom film and inside you will find mostly harmless fun, occasionally with a little pathos thrown in. This is a pretty fair example of a Norman Wisdom film; simply being in colour means it is more likely to get watched by some modern audiences.


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