On the Fiddle
|On the Fiddle|
Original US film poster
|Directed by||Cyril Frankel|
|Produced by||Benjamin Fisz|
|Written by||R.F. Delderfield (novel)
|Music by||Malcolm Arnold|
|Editing by||Peter Hunt|
|Distributed by||Anglo-Amalgamated Film Distributors|
|Release dates||10 October 1961|
|Running time||86 minutes|
- "Operation Snafu" redirects here. For the 1970 film starring Jason Robards and Peter Falk, see Rosolino Paternò soldato.
On the Fiddle is a 1961 British comedy film directed by Cyril Frankel and starring Sean Connery, Alfred Lynch, Cecil Parker, Stanley Holloway, Eric Barker, Mike Sarne, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Kathleen Harrison, Victor Maddern and John Le Mesurier.
During the Second World War, spiv Horace Pope is taken to court for selling stuff on the street. In mitigation he tells the judge he is only working in the black market while waiting to enlist in the war effort. On hearing this plea, the judge calls his bluff and forces him to sign up.
Pope joins the RAF. Very quickly he makes friends with the easy going but loyal Pedlar Pascoe who happily goes along with all of his scams. In time, the pair do their up most make a bit on the side and avoid being sent to the front lines.
However, their antics soon lead to them being sent on a mission to occupied France where they unexpectedly succeed with their offbeat actions.
- Alfred Lynch - Horace Pope
- Sean Connery - Pedlar Pascoe
- Cecil Parker - Group Captain Bascombe
- Stanley Holloway - Cooksley
- Alan King - Sergeant Buzzer
- Eric Barker - Doctor
- Wilfrid Hyde-White - Trowbridge
- Kathleen Harrison - Mrs Cooksley
- Eleanor Summerfield - Flora McNaughton
- Terence Longdon - Air Gunner
- Victor Maddern - First Airman
- Harry Locke - Huxtable
- John Le Mesurier - Hixton
- Viola Keats - Sister
- Peter Sinclair - Mr Pope
- Edna Morris - Lil
- Thomas Heathcote - Corporal
- Brian Weske - Sergeant
- Jack Lambert - Police Constable
- Cyril Smith - Ticket Collector
- Simon Lack - Flight Leuitenant Baldwin
- Graham Stark - Sergeant Ellis
- Jean Aubrey - WAAF Corporal
- Jack Smethurst - Dai Tovey
- Patsy Rowlands - Evie
- Bill Owen - Corporal Gittens
- Harold Goodwin - Corporal Reeves
- Barbara Windsor - Mavis
The film was adapted from the 1961 novel Stop at a Winner by R. F. Delderfield by Harold Buchman.
The film was not released in America until 1965. American International Pictures retitled it as "Operation Snafu" or "Operation Warhead" for cinemas. It was only released in order to capitalise on the popularity of Sean Connery, who was now world famous for playing James Bond 007. The titles, as well as the advertising campaign, downplayed the comedic aspects of the film as well as Connery's second-billing.
Reviewing the film following its 1965 release in the United States the New York Times described it as "familiar and trifling, but it's perky". It observed that "The wonder is that a picture with a story already done, gag by gag, a hundred times is so easy to take. It is, though — flip, friendly, brisk and a wee bit cynical in its take-it-or-leave-it jauntiness". It noted that the release in the United States was "an obvious cash-in" on Connery's subsequent popularity as James Bond.