The Square Peg
|The Square Peg|
|Directed by||John Paddy Carstairs|
|Written by||Jack Davies|
|Music by||Philip Green|
|Cinematography||Jack E. Cox|
|Edited by||Roger Cherrill|
|Distributed by||Rank Film Distributors|
The Square Peg is a 1959 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 Sgt. Loder
- Hattie Jacques as Gretchen
- Brian Worth as Henri Le Blanc
- Terence Alexander as Capt. Wharton
- John Warwick as Col. Layton
- Arnold Bell as General Hunt
- André Maranne as Jean-Claude
- Victor Beaumont as Lt. Jogenkraut
- Frank Williams as Capt. Ford
- Eddie Leslie as Medical Officer
- Richard Marner as Schmidt
- John G. Heller as German sentry 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.
- British Cinema of the 1950s: The Decline of Deference by Sue Harper, Vincent Porter Oxford University Press, 2003 p 50
- "Year Of Profitable British Films." Times [London, England] 1 Jan. 1960: 13. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.