There Was a Crooked Man (film)

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This article is about the 1960 British film. For the 1970 western, see There Was a Crooked Man....
There Was a Crooked Man
There Was a Crooked Man FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Stuart Burge
Produced by John Bryan
Albert Fennell
Written by James Bridie (play)
Reuben Ship (script)
Starring Norman Wisdom
Alfred Marks
Andrew Cruickshank
Music by Kenneth V. Jones
Cinematography Arthur Ibbetson
Edited by Peter R. Hunt
Knightsbridge Films
Distributed by United Artists Corporation
Release dates
Running time
107 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

There Was a Crooked Man is a 1960 British comedy film directed by Stuart Burge. It starred Norman Wisdom, Alfred Marks, Andrew Cruickshank, Reginald Beckwith, and Susannah York.[1] It is based on the James Bridie play "The Odd Legend of Schultz"; and was one of two films Wisdom made independently to extend his range, though (according to the BFI Screenonline), "the cinema public craved only the Gump". [2] This is the only Norman Wisdom film that has not had a television viewing or released on video/DVD. However, according to this page,, it was shown in the then ATV region on Christmas Sunday in 1965. It was briefly shown in UK cinemas on general release in 1960 before being withdrawn by US interference in UK culture and was unceremoniously “wiped.” The “offending” film, featured Wisdom masquerading as an arrogant US general requisitioning British land for the US Air Force. The subject of US forces on British soil was deemed too sensitive even for comic treatment.

It was shown publicly for the first time in over 40 years in Darwen, Lancashire, where it was filmed, in 2008.[3]


A naive explosives expert is tricked into working for a criminal gang. The title is taken from the poem There Was a Crooked Man.


External links[edit]


  1. ^ "There Was a Crooked Man (1960) | BFI". Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  2. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Wisdom, Norman (1915-2010) Biography". Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  3. ^ 'Lost' Norman Wisdom film to be shown again Lancashire Telegraph, 20 January 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2014.