|The Square Peg|
|Directed by||John Paddy Carstairs|
|Produced by||Hugh Stewart|
|Written by|| Jack Davies |
|Starring|| Norman Wisdom |
|Music by||Philip Green|
|Cinematography||Jack E. Cox|
|Edited by||Roger Cherrill|
|Distributed by||Rank Film Distributors|
The Square Peg is a 1959 British war comedy film directed by John Paddy Carstairs and starring Norman Wisdom.Norman Wisdom plays two different characters: a man who digs and repairs roads, and a Nazi general.
During the Second World War, Norman Pitkin, a roadmender with the St Godric's Borough Council, enjoys annoying the soldiers of the nearby British Army camp, even a general. Despite the efforts of his boss, Borough Engineer Mr Grimsdale, Colonel Layton (the camp commander) has both of them called up for service in the Pioneer Corps to exact retribution. They begin training at the same camp under the supervision of one of Pitkin's former victims, Sergeant Loder. The only bright spot for Pitkin is falling in love at first sight with the beautiful ATS officer Lesley Cartland, who is preparing to go behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied France.
Pitkin and Grimsdale board the wrong lorry and end up parachuting into France, where they are put to work on road repairs. They inadvertently advance four miles into enemy territory, and Grimsdale is captured and taken to local headquarters in a chateau. Meanwhile, Pitkin (out of uniform) goes to the nearby town of Fleury to purchase sugar and eggs, but does not notice German soldiers standing to attention and saluting him. It transpires that he is looks exactly like the ruthless local commander, General Otto Schreiber. In a cafe, he recognises the waitress as Lesley Cartland. She is working with the local resistance group, but Pitkin inadvertently blows her cover and she is arrested, along with the cafe owner.
Pitkin and Henri Le Blanc, the local resistance leader, break into the chateau through a tunnel that Pitkin digs to try to rescue them, but Henri is himself captured. Pitkin, unaware of this, climbs into Schreiber's suite. When Gretchen, the general's girlfriend (an opera singer of Wagnerian proportions), arrives, Schreiber leaves strict orders not to be disturbed, no matter what. In the next room, Pitkin dresses in one of Schreiber's uniforms and awaits his chance. He watches through a keyhole as the couple dine, then unexpectedly sing a duet. When Schreiber leaves the room to attend to his throat, Pitkin is mistaken for him by Gretchen and has to attempt to sing Schubert lieder with her. Luckily, Schreiber has locked himself in the bathroom. Eventually he gets out, but after some further hijinks, including a rendition of the Marx Brothers' mirror routine from Duck Soup, Pitkin knocks Schreiber out (Gretchen having fainted after seeing two Schreibers). By pretending to be Schreiber, Pitkin manages to free the prisoners. They escape, but Pitkin is caught and sentenced to be shot at dawn. As the execution is about to be carried out, he inadvertently falls into the camouflaged tunnel he dug and escapes. He ties up Schreiber (off-camera).
After the war ends, Grimsdale is still Borough Engineer, but Pitkin is now the mayor.
The popularity of Norman Wisdom films had declined through the 1950s but The Square Peg halted the trend.The film was the 7th most popular movie at the British box office in 1959. It also gained a 3.3/5 on Letterboxd according to 123 ratings.
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.
A look-alike, double, or doppelgänger is a person who bears a strong physical resemblance to another person, excluding cases like twins and other instances of family resemblance.
Saint-Cloud is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France, 9.6 kilometres from the centre of Paris. Like other communes of Hauts-de-Seine such as Marnes-la-Coquette, Neuilly-sur-Seine and Vaucresson, Saint-Cloud is one of France's wealthiest towns, ranked second in average household income among communities with 10- to 50-thousand tax households. In 2006, it had a population of 29,981.
Marie Henri Daniel Gauthier, comte de Rigny was the commander of the French squadron at the Battle of Navarino in the Greek War of Independence.
The Devil's Brigade is a 1968 American DeLuxe Color war film filmed in Panavision, based on the 1966 book of the same name co-written by American novelist and historian Robert H. Adleman and Col. George Walton, a member of the brigade.
John Loder was established as a British film actor in Germany and Britain before immigrating to the United States in 1928 for work in the new talkies. He worked in Hollywood for two periods, becoming an American citizen in 1947. After living also in Argentina, he became a naturalized British citizen in 1959.
John Paddy Carstairs was a prolific British film director (1933–62) and television director (1962–64), usually of light-hearted subject matter. He was also a comic novelist and painter.
Edward Chapman was an English actor who starred in many films and television programmes, but is chiefly remembered as "Mr.Thomas 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.
Jerry Desmonde was an English stage musical, film, and television actor principally in comedies and drama.
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.
Robert Asher was a British film and television director, the brother of British cinematographer Jack Asher.
Bugs' Bonnets is a 1956 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, directed by Chuck Jones and written by Tedd Pierce. The short was released on January 14, 1956. It features the voice talents of Mel Blanc, providing the voice of Bugs Bunny, as well as the uncredited performance of Arthur Q. Bryan.
"Square peg in a round hole" is an idiomatic expression which describes the unusual individualist who could not fit into a niche of their society.
Philip Green, sometimes credited as Harry Philip Green or Phil Green, was a British film and television composer and conductor, and also an accordion player. He made his name in the 1930s playing in and conducting dance bands, performed with leading classical musicians, went on to score up to 150 films, wrote radio and television theme tunes and library music, and finally turned to church music at the end of his life in Ireland, a song from which proved so popular that it reached No 3 in the Irish charts in 1973.
Just My Luck is a 1957 British sports comedy film directed by John Paddy Carstairs and starring Norman Wisdom as a worker in a jewellery shop.
A Stitch in Time is a 1963 Norman Wisdom comedy film set in a children's hospital. It was directed by Robert Asher and edited by Gerry Hambling. The cast includes Edward Chapman, Jeanette Sterke, Jerry Desmonde, Jill Melford, Glyn Houston, Vera Day, Patsy Rowlands, Peter Jones, Ernest Clark, Hazel Hughes, Lucy Appleby and Frank Williams. The film also features an early role for Johnny Briggs.
Up in the World is a 1956 comedy film directed by John Paddy Carstairs and starring Norman Wisdom, Maureen Swanson and Jerry Desmonde. It was produced by Rank.
One Good Turn is a 1955 British comedy film directed by John Paddy Carstairs and starring Norman Wisdom, Joan Rice, Shirley Abicair and Thora Hird.
Up to His Neck is a 1954 British comedy film directed by John Paddy Carstairs and starring Ronald Shiner as Jack Carter, Hattie Jacques as Rakiki and Anthony Newley as Tommy.
The Big Money is a 1958 British comedy film directed by John Paddy Carstairs and starring Ian Carmichael, Belinda Lee and Kathleen Harrison.