The Bulldog Breed

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The Bulldog Breed
"The Bulldog Breed".jpg
UK Quad poster
Directed by Robert Asher
Produced by Hugh Stewart
Written byHenry Blyth
Jack Davies
Norman Wisdom
StarringNorman Wisdom
Music by Philip Green
Cinematography Jack Asher
Edited by Gerry Hambling
Distributed by Rank Film Distributors
Release date
  • 13 December 1960 (1960-12-13)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Bulldog Breed is a 1960 British comedy film starring Norman Wisdom and directed by Robert Asher. [1]



Norman Puckle (Norman Wisdom), a well-meaning but clumsy grocer's assistant, cannot seem to do anything right. After being rejected by Marlene, the love of his life, he attempts suicide, but cannot 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 will meet "lots of girls".

Life in the Navy proves not to be as rosy as described, and Puckle fails at every task during basic training. But despite this, he is 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.


Production notes

The film features 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.

Coronation Street actors Johnny Briggs and William Roache, later to play the roles of Mike Baldwin and Ken Barlow respectively, also had small roles.

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).

Critical reception

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." [2]

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  1. "The Bulldog Breed (1960)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  2. "The Bulldog Breed". Variety. 1960. Retrieved 9 June 2014.