The Square Peg
|The Square Peg|
|Directed by||John Paddy Carstairs|
|Written by||Jack Davies|
|Music by||Philip Green|
|Cinematography||Jack E. Cox|
|Editing by||Roger Cherrill|
|Studio||The Rank Organisation|
|Distributed by||Rank Film Distributors|
The Square Peg is a 1958 British comedy film starring Norman Wisdom and directed by John Paddy Carstairs. Norman Wisdom plays two different characters: a man who digs and repairs roads and a Nazi General.
- Norman Wisdom as Norman Pitkin/General Schreiber
- Honor Blackman as Lesley Cartland
- Edward Chapman as Mr Grimsdale
- Campbell Singer as Sergeant Loder
- Hattie Jacques as Gretchen
- Brian Worth as Henri Le Blanc
- Terence Alexander as Captain Wharton
- John Warwick as Colonel Layton
- Arnold Bell as General Hunt
- André Maranne as Jean-Claude
- Victor Beaumont as Jogenkraut
- Frank Williams as Captain Ford
- Eddie Leslie as Medical Officer
- Richard Marner in a bit part
- John G. Heller as German officer at gatepost
In the early days of World War II, Norman Pitkin, a roadmender with St Godric's Borough Council, falls foul of the soldiers in an army camp, when his handiwork slows down access to the camp. Despite the efforts of Borough Engineer, Mr Grimsdale, the army has both of them called up for army service. They find themselves in the Pioneer Corps, doing much the same sort of work.
The two are posted to France, but mistakenly end up behind German lines. Grimsdale is captured by German soldiers and taken to local headquarters in a chateau. Meanwhile, Pitkin has wandered into the nearby town, but doesn't notice soldiers standing to attention and saluting him. It transpires that he's a double of the local commander, General Schreiber. In a cafe, he recognises the waitress as Lesley, an ATS officer he had briefly met in training camp. She is in fact an undercover agent working with the local resistance group, but Pitkin inadvertently blows her cover and she's arrested, along with the cafe owner.
Pitkin and Henri, another resistance worker, break into the chateau, using a tunnel that Pitkin digs, but they too are captured. Pitkin comes face-to-face with Schreiber and finally realises his chance. To keep up the deception, he has a tryst with Gretchen, the general's mistress - a singer of Wagnerian proportions - and comically attempts to sing Schubert lieder with her.
Pitkin/Schreiber manages to release the prisoners, who escape through the tunnel, but Pitkin is caught and sentenced to be shot at dawn. As the execution is about to be carried out, he escapes through the same tunnel and runs back to the Allied lines.
At war's end, all have survived and peace returns to the Council offices. Grismdale is still Borough Engineer, but Pitkin is now the mayor.
The film was the 7th most popular movie at the British box office in 1959.
- "Year Of Profitable British Films." Times [London, England] 1 Jan. 1960: 13. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.
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