The Early Bird

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The Early Bird

"The Early Bird".jpg

original UK Quad poster
Directed by Robert Asher
Written by Jack Davies
Norman Wisdom
Starring Norman Wisdom
Edward Chapman
Jerry Desmonde
John Le Mesurier
Music by Ron Goodwin
Cinematography Jack Asher
Edited by Gerry Hambling
Distributed by Rank Organisation Warner Home video
Release date
Running time
98 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Early Bird is a 1965 British comedy film directed by Robert Asher and starring Norman Wisdom. It also features Edward Chapman, Bryan Pringle, Richard Vernon, John Le Mesurier and Jerry Desmonde. It was the first Norman Wisdom film to be shot in colour. The title is taken from the expression "the early bird catches the worm".

Comedy is a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humour. These films are designed to make the audience laugh through amusement and most often work by exaggerating characteristics for humorous effect. Films in this style traditionally have a happy ending. One of the oldest genres in film, some of the very first silent movies were comedies, as slapstick comedy often relies on visual depictions, without requiring sound. When sound films became more prevalent during the 1920s, comedy films took another swing, as laughter could result from burlesque situations but also dialogue.

Norman Wisdom English actor, comedian and singer-songwriter

Sir Norman Joseph Wisdom, was an English actor, comedian, and singer-songwriter best known for a series of comedy films produced between 1953 and 1966 featuring his hapless onscreen character that was often called Norman Pitkin. He was awarded the 1953 BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles following the release of Trouble in Store, his first film in a lead role.

Edward Chapman (actor) English actor

Edward Chapman was an English actor who starred in many films and television programmes, but is chiefly remembered as "Mr. Wilfred Grimsdale", the officious superior and comic foil to Norman Wisdom's character of Pitkin in many of his films from the late 1950s and 1960s.



Wisdom's character works for Grimsdale's Dairy as a milkman, in competition with Consolidated Dairies, an ever-growing rival company under the management of Walter Hunter (played by Jerry Desmonde).

Jerry Desmonde British actor

Jerry Desmonde was an English stage musical, film, and television actor principally in comedies and drama. He is probably best known as a straight man to Norman Wisdom. He also worked as a comedy foil to Sid Field, notably in their 1946 Golfing sketch. He was sometimes credited as Jerry Desmond.

Much of the humour centres on classic slapstick comedy, with Norman encountering various comedic escapades. These include being dragged around Mr Hunter's garden by an errant lawnmower and using the fire brigade's high pressure hosepipes to blast firemen off their ladders, after being called to a suspected fire at Consolidated Dairies' HQ.


Paddie ONeil British actor and singer

Paddie O'Neil OBE was a British actress and singer.

Bryan Pringle 1935-2002 British actor

Bryan Pringle was an English character actor who appeared for several decades in television, film and theatre productions.

Richard Vernon Film, television actor

Richard Evelyn Vernon was a British actor. He appeared in many feature films and television programmes, often in aristocratic or supercilious roles. Prematurely balding and greying, Vernon settled into playing archetypal middle-aged lords and military types while still in his 30s.


The film was one of the 15 most popular movies at the British box office in 1966. [1] TV Guide wrote, "most of the humor is slapstick, predictable, and only vaguely amusing"; [2] while Allmovie called the film a "lively British satire". [3]

<i>TV Guide</i> American bi-weekly magazine

TV Guide is a bi-weekly American magazine that provides television program listings information as well as television-related news, celebrity interviews and gossip, film reviews, crossword puzzles, and, in some issues, horoscopes. The print magazine is owned by NTVB Media, while its digital properties are controlled by the CBS Interactive division of CBS Corporation; the TV Guide name and associated editorial content from the publication are licensed by CBS Interactive for use on the website and mobile app through an agreement with the magazine's parent subsidiary TVGM Holdings, Inc.

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<i>Trouble in Store</i> 1953 film by John Paddy Carstairs

Trouble in Store is a 1953 British comedy film directed by John Paddy Carstairs and starring Norman Wisdom as a department store clerk in his cinema debut. For his performance, Wisdom won a BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer. Although it was shown at a West End venue, the film broke box office records at 51 out of the 67 London cinemas in which it played.

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  1. "Most popular star for third time." Times [London, England] 31 Dec. 1966: 5. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.
  2. "The Early Bird Review". Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  3. "The Early Bird (1965) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast". AllMovie. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
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