It's often said you have to be English to understand Norman Wisdom's humour Albanians would probably agree, the same as Russians would've done about George Formby. The fact is he's always appealed to certain parts of the population, usually kids or people with defiantly unsophisticated humour like me. In his films I cringe at the obligatory mawkish bad bits but overall have always got more out than I put in, apart from his last.
This was his first big effort: he plays lowly Norman in the stockroom at a big department store under the control of new broom Jerry Desmonde and intent on winning the love of the girl on the record counter. There's various adventures along the way, many firings and re-hirings and a tiny sub-plot involving a gang of what turned out to be extremely cartoony robbers, but basically it's a one man show. However if you already know that Norman isn't your bag, try this one solely for the beautiful performances by the ever frothing Desmonde up against Wisdom for the first time, and regal Margaret Rutherford as an expert shoplifter in a fantastic feathered hat. Favourite bits: the smashing window dressing scene; Norman's first explosive encounter with Desmonde; the climactic violent gunfight in front of an audience. Norman's most famous song is here too: Don't Laugh At Me 'Cause I'm A Fool; in 2008 UK BBC broadcast an otherwise interesting programme on him at 92 years old with Alzheimer's disease setting in with that precise aim in mind. I do hope no one takes the mickey out of those particular sensitive documentary makers if they ever get old and in the way too.
Recommended as I've always liked Norman's films - to a point - but then again maybe my funny bone froze at age 11.
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