• Warning: Spoilers
    In the 1950s I worked at a big store where the manager wore a Morning Suit and whisked through the departments every morning with his assistants and secretaries spinning in his wake like the asteroids in the tail of a comet.Having nodded imperiously at the various Heads of Departments who bowed or curtsied according to their inclinations,he repaired to his office where he spent the morning drinking tea from bone china cups before being picked up in a chauffeur-driven Daimler for lunch.Watching "Trouble in Store" brought it all back.Mr Jerry Desmonde,brilliant stooge to the stars,is outstanding as the faux-posh boss with his air of natural born superiority who lords it over his staff and exercises his power with relish.Mr Norman Wisdom,consummate stage comedian and clown is one of those great performers whose work seems natural and effortless,a state only achieved by those in complete control of their mental and physical faculties.One minute wicked and impish,the next sentimental and lachrymose,he had the balance of a tightrope walker,the suppleness of an acrobat.His "Norman" character had an innocence that was just right for an era that has recently been acknowledged as the very best of times to have been growing up in - if I may be excused such a barbaric assault on the English language. He could sing,dance and do slapstick,pratfalls and hush a Palladium audience with the smallest gesture of one hand.Like most comics he performed best in front of the curtains,but in a cash-strapped post-war Britain most people settled for seeing him at the movies. In "Trouble in Store",he falls for the sweet and innocent Miss Lana Morris,dark-haired and doe-eyed.Will they end up "going steady"?How quaint it all sounds today when our Norman and Lana would have probably had a knee-trembler under the counter of the Fancy Goods dept ten minutes after meeting. The splendid Miss Margaret Rutherford does a jolly turn as a genteel shoplifter,another beautifully-judged miniature to add to her gallery of English eccentrics. Of course the plot is silly - and quite irrelevant - as Mr Wisdom carries on regardless,his customary act disdaining a movie's necessity for some hook to hang the gags and songs onto. Back in 1953 nobody went to a Norman Wisdom movie for the story;just for the opportunity to see the funniest man in British pictures beat the villain and woo the girl.The triumph of innocence over cynicism- it works every time.