User Reviews (18)

Add a Review

  • I saw this on UK TV today for the first time in many years and was reminded of the great enjoyment that Norman Wisdom has always provided. This movie now seems very dated and full of the flavour of early 50's Britain.

    I'll always remember the 'pill swallowing' sequence and we always used it as a joke with our own kids when they had to take pills and struggled.

    Seeing it again I became aware of a number of throw-away lines with sexual connotations that now seem quite modern.

    The movie is firmly rooted in the British class system - but here the 'common' working man takes the p*** out of all the establishment figures and institiutions AND wins good in the end AND gets his girl.

    No wonder Norman Wisdom was such a hero in Russia and Albania (apparently)!

    See this movie if you haven't already .. enjoy it for what it is and what it represented.
  • 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.
  • When a major London department store is taken over by a new manager, Mr Freeman, stock boy Norman finds himself out of a job after a series of misunderstandings. He wins back his job in time to get embroiled in an internal robbery of the store.

    This was the first of the Norman Wisdom/Rank comedies that became an annual money spinner from the 50's well into the 1960's. The plot is rarely important and here we have a mix of romance and robbery that supports the usual mix of accidents and misunderstandings. The romance and the robbery don't really work, the romance seems to happen far too quickly while the robbery is tacked on at the end.

    Wisdom is as excellent as always - his uncoordinated, shy, eager, accident prone and misunderstood personality allows him to have a series of funny set pieces. It's an acquired taste, but if you like the short of slapstick humour then Wisdom will appeal to you. Wisdom regular Jerry Desmonde is good as the store manager and Margaret Rutherford (second in the cast list for a very small role) is funny as an upper-class shop lifter. The only weak link is Lister as Norman's love interest, she's a little light and her character changes depending on how the story is going.

    Overall it's not a masterpiece but it's a good Norman Wisdom comedy. It won't appeal to everyone but it's a gentle family comedy from another age.
  • Norman Wisdom's brand of comedy is an acquired taste; for those unfamiliar with his particular shtick, he's basically the British counterpart to Jerry Lewis - with all that it entails! I had watched a few of his films over the years but it'd been some time since then, so I decided to rent a 12-DVD Box Set (on Region 2) available from my local outlet - which, actually, I did mainly for my father's sake who used to lap his films up...and is already halfway into the collection as I write this!

    Anyway, his debut feature is pleasant enough and is actually considered by many to be his best vehicle (though still featuring a couple of sentimental songs). In itself, simple-minded but occasionally inventive (particularly the window-dressing 'competition', the "sale day" rush and the climactic rounding-up of the bad guys) and with a premise that's seen service in countless 'comedian' films - Charlie Chaplin's short THE FLOORWALKER (1917) and again later in MODERN TIMES (1936), Harold Lloyd's SAFETY LAST (1923), The Marx Bros.' THE BIG STORE (1941) and Jerry Lewis himself in WHO'S MINDING THE STORE? (1963). Here the star is nicely abetted by Jerry Desmonde as his flustered boss (often serving as the brunt of Wisdom's accident-prone gags) and Margaret Rutherford as a charming elderly shoplifter.
  • Though now slightly over fifty years old, Sir Norman's film debut remains one of his very best movies. 'Trouble In Store' finds the clown in top form, as a stock room worker who wishes to move up in the world and marry the girl of his dreams. Whether roller-skating behind a fast moving bus or crooning his biggest hit (and signature tune) 'Don't Laugh At Me', Norman demonstrates the charisma that made him such a major box office attraction.

    Backing Norman is the fantastic Margaret Rutherford, who in only a handful of scenes steals the picture (and everything else!) as an elderly shoplifter. The very lovely Lana Morris also scores as the object of Sir Norman's affections. Lana comes across in this picture so well that it is a real pity that she did not have a better movie career.

    Highlights range from Wisdom's window dressing 'duel' with Michael Ward, a very catchy duet with Lana (Norman once again showing us his great singing voice) and a fun Western parody climax. This movie seemed to fly by and is probably Sir Norman's most enjoyable film.
  • 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.
  • Over the past few months, I've gotten into Norman Wisdom (I'd literally never heard of him before some people lent me a DVD containing some of his movies). Well, after I nearly laughed myself to death watching "Up in the World", "The Square Peg" and "A Stitch in Time", "Trouble in Store" actually seems weaker. Maybe it's that there are some scenes where he breaks into song, or that the whole movie is rather hokey, but it just can't equal the quality reached by its successors.

    Still, I will say that the movie is good for a few laughs. Playing his usual clumsy character Norman, he works in a London department store and hopes to get promoted, but his idiocy keeps working against him...until he and a female co-worker discover a plot to rob the store. I guess that what I really like about Norman Wisdom's movies is how he pokes fun at the class system, as the underdog messing up the stuffy rich people's lives; certainly he does that here. But they really could have done without the songs.

    Overall, I get the feeling that maybe Wisdom was still trying to figure out his version of comedy, so I can forgive him if this flick isn't as funny as his later ones. I would recommend watching his later movies first, so as not to get put off by this one.
  • crossbow01061 January 2009
    This is a comedy starring Norman Wisdom as a bumbling stock person in Burridge's, the big London department store. This is a slapstick comedy with heart. He really likes Sally, a salesclerk played by the sweet looking Lana Morris. There are many rich characters in this film, such as Moira Lister playing supervisor Peggy Drew (Miss Srew, if you don't mind!) and the comic icon Margaret Rutherford playing a crafty shoplifter. The Jerry Lewis film "Who's Minding The Store?" borrowed some elements of this film, but this film is better. It is more engaging and involves great sight gags, such as the big sale with thousands of marauding shoppers and Norman trying to catch Sally to give her her purse while on roller skates. No need to go into the central plot, it doesn't matter. This is a fun comedy from the great Norman Wisdom. I recommend this. In these crazy times you need a laugh and this film gives you some.
  • AndreiPavlov27 September 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    No, I won't, I am raving mad! Well, Mr Norman Wisdom strikes again. Another over-the-top comedy with his trademark style. Now his genuine "Don't laugh at me…" song is included too. What surprises me here is good timing in very well choreographed crowd scenes. The supermarket "sale-out" day is represented as one solid piece of mass hysteria.

    The old lady, who steals everything in sight, is almost stealing the show – well, she could have stolen this movie if it were not a Norman movie. Mr Norman Wisdom makes some impressive stunts here (roller-skating along the busy streets of London, performing some rather dangerous acrobatic jumps and falls, and playing with fire).

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is the way the comedies are to be made. No modern stuff can beat it. When another Hollywood so-called "comedy" comes to the screen nowadays, I am 99% sure it is going to be junk with less than 5% of healthy giggles potential. And whenever I watch a Norman Wisdom movie, "laughing my ass off" is guaranteed. Like it or not, Mr Norman Wisdom is a comic genius, like Mr Charlie Chaplin, Mr Buster Keaton, and Mr Arkadiy Raikin.

    If you don't like this movie, you are probably dead, bright green, and are about to smell bad (no offence here).

    With deep respect to the master, 10 out of 10. Thank you for attention.
  • All of Norman Wisdoms movies, shows, etc. are brilliant and this is one of my favourites and one of his first movies. Norman is hilarious here as always and brings lots of jokes and laughter as usual. If you want to see a great comedy, then I definitely recommend Trouble In Store. It's brilliant and I give it a well deserving 10/10.
  • "Trouble in Store" is one of the first films in which British actor Norman Wisdom starred. The versatile and talented Wisdom went on to a distinguished comedy career in England. He received a knighthood and retired from entertaining at the age of 90, living another five years beyond that.

    Wisdom came from a poor beginning and broken family background. He learned to forage and scrounge early for survival and struck out on his own in his early teens. With such a background, the irrepressible Wisdom devoted a lifetime to trying to make people laugh. He especially liked to entertain children outside of films.

    Besides his acting and athleticism that he used in his comedic roles, Wisdom had a very good singing voice. He learned to play several instruments – clarinet, sax, trumpet, French horn, drums and piano. He was also an accomplished songwriter.

    In this early comedy film, he shows much of the slapstick, falling down, tripping and mishap behavior that became his trademark in many more films and in live performances. The supporting cast, plot and other aspects of the film are all good. But, this is a Norman Wisdom showcase all around.

    In reading about this beloved English entertainer, I came across some of his clever quotes and cute sayings. Here's one that might describe the basis for his playful attitude and fun-filled approach to life: "Such is life and life is such and after all it isn't much. First a cradle. Then a hearse. It might have been better, but it could have been worse."
  • Norman Wisdom and Margaret Rutherford together: movie heaven! Unfortunately the lovable Mr. Wisdom and the delightful Ms. Rutherford share little screen time in "Trouble in Store," Wisdom's first screen outing as his bumbling on-screen persona, Norman. Humble department-store stock clerk with ambitions to become a window dresser encounters the new store manager and hilarious complications pile on even more hilarious complications. Like a classic Laurel & Hardy routine, Norman competes with another window dresser and manages to destroy a china display to the delight of passing onlookers on the street. Margaret Rutherford is a congenital scene-stealer and, as Miss Bacon, a dotty shoplifter, her delivery and facial expressions are hysterically funny. When Norman helps her from the store laden with stolen suitcases stuffed with the store's goods, the store manager thanks her for her business, and so do we.

    "Trouble in Store" also features Jerry Desmonde as the store manager and Lana Morris as Norman's love interest; both later worked with Wisdom in "Man of the Moment." Wisdom is in fine voice on a couple songs, one of which he penned himself; he was obviously a man of endless talents. Norman's effortless pratfalls and slapstick are wonderful. Although less sentimental and more upbeat, Wisdom likely owed much to such great clowns of the silent era as Charlie Chaplin. The always-endearing Norman delivers the comedy goods as usual, and "Trouble in Store" was a good vehicle for him.
  • "Trouble in Store", a British comedy made in 1953 is still a film that can be watched and enjoyed by modern audiences as it has charm and its humour are timeless.

    This was the first film made by British comedian Norman Wisdom as part of his seven film contract with the Rank film company. Many of Wisdom's fans say that his film career went on a downwards spiral after the high point that was this film but if so Norman certainly goes out on a high note.

    Norman has been given full reign in this film and gets to show off his talents as a comedian, dancer and singer. His singing ability is put to good use in the second half of this film as he sings the song that would become his trademark song "Don't laugh at me" which Wisdom himself penned. It is hard to think of a current film star who can be classed as a triple threat (an actor/actress who can act, sing, dance) as Wisdom could.

    Norman Wisdom proved in this film that he was one of the countries best comedians this country has produced and his popularity remains strong. Now ninety three Wisdom can no longer recognise himself in his films but through films like this his performances live on. Wisdoms likability and charm carry this film, scoring big laughs with audiences every time.
  • When I was aged 6 or 7 our local school used to hold a Saturday morning matinée . We'd get to see crap westerns or those really patronising crap movies made by the Children's Film Foundation . I don't know about you but I was really dying to see some movies featuring hardcore battle scenes between soldiers and monsters like I would see on DOCTOR WHO during the same period . As a child I would have happily have watched ALIENS , DOG SOLDIERS and 28 DAYS LATER in the morning followed by Jon Pertwee era DOCTOR WHO in the early evening

    I'm mentioning this because one of the movies shown was TROUBLE IN STORE . I didn't like it as a child and I liked it even less as an adult . As with all of Wisdom's other movies it's frivolous and unsophisticated . Norman gets invited to his boss's office not realising that he's talking to his boss and pours drinks and helps himself to cigars . This of course leads him to being sacked which he deserves to be , I mean smoking cigars what a crime that is nowadays . Norman then gets mixed up with a bunch of gangsters who decide they're going to rob the store and want him out of the way . I can then perhaps understand why Bob and the others who have stated what a good comedy TROUBLE IN STORE is - It's from a truly bygone era , an era that perhaps never existed in the first place , where instead of bumping off people who know too much , villains would make witnesses swallow a sleeping pill while they carried out their criminal work . There might be a small amount of naive charm to all this but unless you're a fan of Wisdom's slapstick brand of humour you certainly won't go out of your way to watch this
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Well too start i remember wanting to get this film taped years ago off the BBC, since i watched bits of the other ones we had on VHS (A Stitch In Time, The Bulldog Breed, The Square Peg, On The Beat),i've watched the film more recently so i have a clearer image of it.

    The film starts off with Norman on his bike, on his way to the superstore where he works, falling of his bike and causing all sorts of commotion, in the store where Norman works, there is a plot of buglers (obviously) plotting to burgle the store (they do even in front of Normans eyes!!!) but he and his girlfriend (who he sings too, my least favourite part of the movie) find out about the plot and stop it, leaving Norman with the job he wanted so much, to be a window dresser!

    and now to my main question, did it deserve a BAFTA?.... well definitely yes for best newcomer, i enjoyed this movie but as my dad said "it's not as good as the ones we have on video" and well i agree, so overall i think it did deserve a BAFTA for it's category....

    so overall i enjoyed this film , like all of Normans films i've seen....
  • Please note: This review is by a grouchy American who did NOT grow up watching Norman Wisdom on television or in film. Therefore, this actor does not hold the sentimental charm that he obviously does for Brits or those who grew up behind the old Iron Curtain. Because of that, I did not have the same predisposition to love Mr. Wisdom. And, unlike some of the other reviewers, I don't really see the comparison with Chaplin or Lloyd, though I did see a lot in common with Jerry Lewis. In fact, most of his antics seemed very, very forced--not artful like Lloyd or Chaplin. But who am I to say, as Mr. Wisdom has been knighted and is a British institution--an institution that most Americans just won't understand. Of course, the same can be said for American football and $5 cups of coffee from Starbucks--things Brits and most others really can't understand as well.

    Now this isn't to say that I hated TROUBLE IN STORE, I just didn't see it as magical as most other reviewers did. It's a pleasant little diversion about a very klutzy guy (Wisdom) and his many, many mistakes on his job at a department store. In many ways, he reminds me of Curious George, actually, as every time he messes up, it all turns out well in the end. I almost expected people to say "good monkey" at several points during the movie. The only problem is that there was just little subtlety about the film and Norman's behaviors became a bit tiresome--no one is THAT klutzy. As a result, I really can't recommend the film--at least unless you have a real high threshold for this sort of humor.

    By the way, Margaret Rutherford's charming supporting role as a shoplifter seems to have possibly inspired Helen Hayes' role in AIRPORT. Both feature larcenous cute old ladies to add color to the films.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Saint in London" director John Paddy Carstairs' amusing comedy of errors "Trouble in Store" ranks as Norman Wisdom's finest and funniest film with him in the lead role. Indeed, before he toplined in "Trouble in Store," Wisdom worked primarily in British television after playing a peripheral role in the 1948 comedy "Date with a Dream" with Terry-Thomas. Cast as a bungling buffoon who seems like a walking booby-trap, Wisdom plays a well-meaning but shy stockroom clerk in a major London department store who cannot seem to quit getting in trouble. Carstairs puts Wisdom through an obstacle course of slapstick shenanigans that the young comic indulges in with considerable flair and spontaneity. An underdog from the word go, our goofy hero yearns to become a window dresser, but he does himself no favors when a new 'chief' comes aboard to run the company. Wanting to know everybody from bottom to top, Augustus Freeman (Jerry Desmonde of "A King in New York") meets Norman and everything that can go wrong—does go wrong for our hero. No sooner has Norman brought credit to himself, he does an about-face and disgraces himself. The running gag through this 85-minute bit of hilarity is that Freeman fires Norman but then turns around and rehires him! Of course, our fine young protagonist feels Cupid's arrows sink into him when he lays his eyes on pretty young co-worker, Peggy Drew (Moira Lister of "The Limping Man), who works in the recording department. Margaret Rutherford has a field day as a shoplifter who fools everybody with whom she comes into contact. Initially, she hauls off quite a lot of merchandise and gets the unwitting Norman to carry it for her. The comedy is basic, but good comedy never goes out of style, and poor Norman is such a sympathetic soul that you can overlook his idiocy. The big plot concerns a well-organized group of thieves that plan to take over the shop on a clearance day and make away with a horde of cash. By this time, our madcap hero has become a persona non-grata as he struggles to warn Mr. Freeman about this wholesale onslaught of larceny. Jerry Desmonde is just as hilarious as the new chief whose best-laid plans go awry.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The British comedy is something, for my taste, isn't existent. Only Norman Wisdom's movies that give me a chance to change my mind!

    Wisdom was brilliant. As if a mix of talking Charles Chaplin and British Jerry Lewis. Sometimes he has a miserable lonely soul, and most of the time a loose sense of childhood. The way he used to smile in sadness was exceptional.

    I'm familiar with most of his comedies. And according to them, this movie from 1953, his first as a lead, is their best. For the next 15 years, he'd make lower and lower movies than that. For instance, try to avoid one of his last movies (Press for Time - 1966); it's totally the opposite quality!

    In (Trouble..), the formula achieves itself worthily and perfectly: a kind idiot as a lead + a systematic environment that goes crazy because of his idiocy + a love story between the lead and a girl as good as him. Hmmm, how many comic movies, old and recent, British or else, used that?! Anyway, be sure and secure, it's well done here.

    In this movie, and rather every movie for Wisdom, you'll find a light touch of sexuality. I don't support sexuality on screen, but I have to admit that back then that touch was made in limited and kind of classy manner, totally unlike the matter in later times, and - in specific - our contemporary time. So, as you see, the values of modesty and decency lessen as time goes by, and that can't be a good thing at all!

    Utilizing the TV shows as a background for the end's chase sequence was smart. It made the climax so comic, so dazzling despite the passing of 50 years, and the fact that this is a British movie! However, still the best scene at all is the party of the rich people. What a moment when Norman joins it, thinking it a party of poor servants. The punch line of that scene is invaluable!

    This is rare, for its time, place, and - sorrowfully - lead actor. Watch the rest of Wisdom's movies to see how the blaze faded away gradually.