The Early Bird
|The Early Bird|
original UK Quad poster
|Directed by||Robert Asher|
|Written by||Jack Davies
John Le Mesurier
|Music by||Ron Goodwin|
|Edited by||Gerry Hambling|
|Distributed by||Rank Organisation Warner Home video|
|Running time||98 minutes|
The Early Bird is a 1965 British comedy film directed by Robert Asher and starring Norman Wisdom. It also featured Edward Chapman, Bryan Pringle, Richard Vernon, John Le Mesurier and Jerry Desmonde. It was the first Norman Wisdom film to be shot in colour. The title is taken from the expression "the early bird catches the worm".
Wisdom's character works for Grimsdale's Dairy as a milkman, in competition with Consolidated Dairies, an ever-growing rival company under the management of Walter Hunter (played by Jerry Desmonde).
Much of the humour centres on classic slapstick comedy, with Norman encountering various comedic escapades. These include being dragged around Mr. Hunter's garden by an errant lawnmower and using the fire brigade's high pressure hosepipes to blast firemen off their ladders, after being called to a suspected fire at Consolidated Dairies' HQ.
The film used some notable special effects: to create extra storeys in the Consolidated Dairies' building and to create the illusion that Mrs. Hoskins (Paddie O'Neil) has a horse's head.
- Norman Wisdom as Norman Pitkin
- Edward Chapman as Mr. Thomas Grimsdale
- Jerry Desmonde as Mr. Walter Hunter
- Paddie O'Neil as Mrs. Gladwys Hoskins
- Bryan Pringle as Austin
- Richard Vernon as Sir Roger Wedgewood
- John Le Mesurier as Colonel Foster
- Peter Jeffrey as Fire Chief
- Penny Morrell as Miss Curry
- Marjie Lawrence as Woman in negligee
- Frank Thornton as Drunken doctor
- Dandy Nichols as Woman flooded by milk
- Harry Locke as Commissionaire
- Michael Bilton as Nervous Man
- Imogen Hassall as Sir Roger's Secretary
The film was one of the 15 most popular movies at the British box office in 1966. TV Guide wrote, "most of the humor is slapstick, predictable, and only vaguely amusing."; while Allmovie called the film a "lively British satire".
- "Most popular star for third time." Times [London, England] 31 Dec. 1966: 5. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.
- "The Early Bird Review". Movies.tvguide.com. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
- "The Early Bird (1965) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast". AllMovie. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
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