The Bulldog Breed
|The Bulldog Breed|
UK Quad poster
|Directed by||Robert Asher|
|Produced by||Hugh Stewart|
|Written by||Henry Blyth
|Music by||Philip Green|
|Edited by||Gerry Hambling|
|Distributed by||Rank Film Distributors|
Norman Puckle (Norman Wisdom), a well-meaning but clumsy grocer's assistant, can't seem to do anything right. After being rejected by Marlene, the love of his life, he attempts suicide, but can't even do that. He is saved from jumping off a cliff at 'Lover's Leap' by a Royal Navy petty officer. He persuades Puckle to join the Royal Navy, where he'll meet 'lots of girls'.
Life in the Navy proves not to be as rosy as it's been described, and Puckle fails at every task during basic training. But despite this, he's regarded by the Admiral in charge of a rocket project to be a 'typical average British sailor', and chosen to be the first man to fly into outer space in an experimental rocket.
Puckle fails at every stage of his training and is court-martialled, but successfully pleads for a final chance to prove himself. By accident, he takes the place of an astronaut and leaves Earth in the rocket. Equally by accident, he manages to return. He crash-lands on a Pacific island and ends up in the arms of a compliant local maiden.
- Norman Wisdom as Ordinary Seaman Norman Puckle
- Ian Hunter as Admiral Sir Bryanston Blyth
- David Lodge as Chief Petty Officer Knowles
- Robert Urquhart as Commander Clayton
- Edward Chapman as Mr. Philpots
- Eddie Byrne as Petty Officer Filkins
- Peter Jones as Diving instructor
- John Le Mesurier as Prosecuting counsel
- Terence Alexander as Defending counsel
- Sydney Tafler as Speedboat owner
- Brian Oulton as Bert Ainsworth (cinema manager)
- Harold Goodwin as Streaky Hopkinson
- Johnny Briggs as Johnny Nolan
- Frank Williams as Mr. Carruthers
- Joe Robinson as Tall sailor
- Liz Fraser as NAAFI girl
- Penny Morrell as Marlene Barlow
- Claire Gordon as Peggy
- Julie Shearing as WRN Smith
- Leonard Sachs as Yachtsman
- Glyn Houston as Gym instructor
- Michael Caine as a sailor (uncredited)
- Oliver Reed as a Teddy boy (uncredited)
- William Roache as Space Centre Operator (uncredited)
The film is notable for early appearances by future British film stars Michael Caine and Oliver Reed who share a scene together with Wisdom. It takes place in a cinema lobby, where Norman gets into a fight with a gang of Teddy Boys (one of which is played by Reed), only to be helped by some sailors, who include Caine.
The film was made with co-operation from the Royal Navy, and features several of the Type 14 Blackwood-class frigates. An early scene shows a flotilla of these small frigates sailing out of Portland harbour, led by HMS Murray (F91).
Variety wrote, "the film stands or falls by Wisdom and though the actor, as always, seems to be trying rather too hard, his general good humor and energy carry him through the various situations entertainingly...Wisdom is surrounded by some very capable performers, notably Ian Hunter as the pompous admiral and Edward Chapman as an even more pompous character."