Trouble in Store

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This article is about a comedy film. For other uses, see Trouble in Store (disambiguation).
Trouble in Store
"Trouble in Store".jpg
Original British Quad poster
Directed by John Paddy Carstairs
Produced by Maurice Cowan
Written by John Paddy Carstairs
Maurice Cowan
Ted Willis
Jill Craigie (uncredited)
Starring Norman Wisdom
Moira Lister
Margaret Rutherford
Music by Mischa Spoliansky
Cinematography Ernest Steward
Edited by Geoffrey Foot
Peter Seabourne
Distributed by Rank Organisation (UK)
Republic Pictures (USA)
Release date(s)
  • 14 December 1953 (1953-12-14)
Running time 85 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget ₤125,000[1]

Trouble in Store is a 1953 British comedy film starring Norman Wisdom as a department store clerk in his screen debut. For his performance, Wisdom won a BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer. The film broke box office records at 51 out of the 67 London cinemas in which it played. The Daily Mirror reviewer wrote of the film: "If you don't laugh at Norman's antics as the downtrodden worker in a big store, trying to get promotion as a window dresser, there is something wrong with your sense of fun." [2]

Plot[edit]

Norman (Norman Wisdom), a lowly stock clerk at Burridge's department store, is in love with another employee, Sally Wilson (Lana Morris), though he has been unable to muster the courage to let her know how he feels. After he antagonizes the new head of the store, Augustus Freeman (Jerry Desmonde), he is promptly fired. On his way out, Norman helps Miss Bacon (Margaret Rutherford) carry her bulging suitcases, unaware that she is an audacious shoplifter. Freeman sees Norman assisting a "customer" and rehires him.

Meanwhile, Peggy Drew (Moira Lister), the store's personnel manager, flirts with Mr. Freeman, while plotting with her boyfriend Gerald (Derek Bond) to rob the place. Norman is fired and rehired again and again, as his escapades somehow manage to benefit the store. He also finally becomes acquainted with Sally, chasing her down through the city streets to return her purse. His antics make her laugh.

After his latest firing, Norman is alarmed to find the handsome, suave Gerald trying to get to know Sally better. When he goes to the man's apartment to warn him to stay away from her, Norman inadvertently uncovers the robbery plot, scheduled to coincide with a big sale the next day. But, he is unable to get Sally or anyone else to take him seriously.

Sally eventually decides to bring Norman's story to the attention of the management, but tells the wrong person, Miss Drew, and is tied up for her efforts. Norman finds her and together, they foil the thieves. Freeman takes Norman back into his employ...but not for long.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Jill Craigie wrote the first draft of the script, but reportedly asked that her name be removed from the credits after learning of Wisdom's participation.[3]

Reception[edit]

The film was the second most popular movie at the British box office in 1954.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Geoffrey Macnab, J. Arthur Rank and the British Film Industry, London, Routledge (1993) p222
  2. ^ Family Britain 1951-1957 by David Kynaston Bloomsbury 2009 p353 ISBN 978-1-4088-0083-6
  3. ^ Tom Vallance Obituary:Jill Craigie, The Independent, 15 December 1999
  4. ^ "JOHN WAYNE HEADS BOX-OFFICE POLL.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 31 December 1954. p. 6. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 

External links[edit]