An Alligator Named Daisy

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An Alligator Named Daisy
"An Alligator Named Daisy" (1955).jpg
UK theatrical poster
Directed by J. Lee Thompson
Written by Jack Davies
Based onnovel by Charles Terrot
Produced byRaymond Stross
Starring Donald Sinden
Jeannie Carson
James Robertson Justice
Diana Dors
Stanley Holloway
Cinematography Reginald H. Wyer
Edited by John D. Guthridge
Distributed by Rank Organisation
Release date
  • 13 December 1955 (1955-12-13)
Running time
88 min
CountryUnited Kingdom

An Alligator Named Daisy is a 1955 British comedy film directed by J. Lee Thompson and starring Donald Sinden, Jeannie Carson, James Robertson Justice, Diana Dors, Roland Culver and Stanley Holloway. [1] It was based on the 1954 novel of the same name by Charles Terrot.



Returning from a cricket match in Ireland, Peter Weston, an Englishman, is left with a pet alligator by another passenger who abandons it to him. Horrified, his first instinct is to get rid of it as soon as possible. However, he soon develops a bond with Moira, a young Irishwoman, which appears to be centred almost entirely around the animal. He soon discovers that Daisy is very tame and domesticated, and seems to be the way to Moira's heart.

Once back in London, Weston struggles to keep Daisy under control as she upsets his family, loses him his job at a department store and imperils his relationship with his fiancée Vanessa. He plans to get rid of Daisy, but the police and a pet shop refuse to take her so he abandons her in Regent's Park, later returning with a sense of guilt to rescue her. Owing to a mix-up, Daisy is packed along with the rest of his luggage and accompanies him to his prospective father-in-law's country house. There, Daisy escapes and causes mayhem, while the arrival of Moira's "husband" produces a surprising outcome for all of them.



Film rights to the 1954 novel were bought by Raymond Stross in November 1954. He wanted Diana Dors, Janette Scott and Kenneth Moore to star. [2]

Filming took place at Pinewood Studios in May 1955. [3] [4] It was Dors' third movie with Thompson. [5]

Critical reception

The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote: "Three-quarters of this comedy depends on one joke: an alligator is found in an unlikely place. Apart from a faintly Kafkaesque scene in which Daisy is discovered in an upright piano, the situation is treated with little wit or comic invention, and aimless direction produces flat performances from the principals and gives small scope to the remarkable collection of small-part talent. In these tame surroundings, Harry Green's near-knockabout sequence at the expense of Denmark Street seems like sparkling satire. The staging and choreography of Jean Carson's dance sequence are deploringly unimaginative." [6]

TV Guide wrote: "This very funny film has an excellent supporting cast." [7]

The New York Times found that despite "a curiously cute bit by Margaret Rutherford, as a pet-shop owner who talks to the animals in their own 'language' ... the joke wears thin." [8]

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  1. "An Alligator Named Daisy". British Film Institute Collections Search. Retrieved 23 December 2023.
  2. "SPOTLIGHT ON THE STARS". Western Mail . Vol. [?], no. [?]. Western Australia. 4 November 1954. p. 27. Retrieved 25 May 2019 via National Library of Australia.
  3. Round the British Studios Nepean, Edith. Picture Show; London Vol. 65, Iss. 1690, (Aug 20, 1955): 11.
  4. "No title". The Mirror . Vol. 35, no. 1773. Western Australia. 21 May 1955. p. 14. Retrieved 25 May 2019 via National Library of Australia.
  5. Vagg, Stephen (7 September 2020). "A Tale of Two Blondes: Diana Dors and Belinda Lee". Filmink.
  6. "An Alligator Named Daisy". The Monthly Film Bulletin . 23 (264): 6. 1 January 1956 via ProQuest.
  7. "An Alligator Named Daisy Review". Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  8. A.H. WEILERDonald Sinden (7 October 1957). "Movie Review - An Alligator Named Daisy - Screen: New Best Friend; 'Alligator Named Daisy' Slithers Into Sutton". The New York Times . Retrieved 8 March 2014.