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  • The mark of the greatest films is that they create a world of their own. "Postman's Knock" is absolutely unlike any other film you've ever seen, and obeys its own rules of plot, character and comedy. The late Spike Milligan was a fitful genius who could, occasionally, lapse into becoming an undisciplined bore, but here he is absolutely at the top of his form.

    He plays a country postman seconded, in error it transpires (a conceit not dissimilar to that in 1963's "Heaven's Above!"), to the big city. The conventional comedic take on this situation is to exploit the bumpkin's lack of sophistication in unfamiliar surroundings, but "Postman's Knock" completely inverts this; the bumpkin is shown to be vastly superior to the urban fools with whom he comes into enforced contact. Milligan even gets the girl!

    The late 50s and early 60s were, in hindsight, a golden age for British comedy. It's amazing how, at the turn of the decade, a number of highly individual, indeed quietly experimental, comedies were made: e.g. "School For Scoundrels", "Bottoms Up!" and "Postman's Knock". (Later on in the 60s there were "A Jolly Bad Fellow", "You Must Be Joking!" and the amazing "Rotten To The Core".) These were not part of some franchise, however enjoyable (e.g. the St Trinians films, the Carry-Ons, etc), but apparently unrepeatable one-offs.

    I'm surprised, and not a little disappointed, at the low rating this film has so far received from IMDb participants. It deserves to be cherished for its unique brilliance (I'd rather watch its opening credits than most complete films of the last thirty years), and I give it 10/10!
  • Amusing little British comedy that has rural mailman Harold Petts, Spike Milligan, transfered from his sleepy little country town post office where everything has been the same as it was for hundreds of years. Harold's father grand-father great-grandfather great-great-grandfather etc, etc. were also mailmen, to the large and bustling London GPO (General Post Office) where sorting and delivering the mails is a lot lot more complicated modern as well as mechanized.

    As soon as Harold steps off the train he get's involved in an attempted mail robbery that, even though he thwarts it, he's somehow suspected of masterminding just for his being on the scene of the crime and recovering the stolen mailbag. Not at all familiar with the workings of the modern industrial world Harold get's involved with pretty modern artist Jean, Barbara Shelly. Jean not only gives Horald directions to his new job at the London GPO by taking the tube, or subway, but also sets him up for a place to stay, until he finds a place of his own, in her attic.

    Getting to his job at the post office Harold at first has trouble in delivering the mail since just one high-rise building, of about a dozen, on his route has as many if not more mailbox's as the entire town that he comes from. This causes him to oversleep and come in late for the work the next day the first he was even late on the job in fifteen years. Harold is still suspected by the police as being a criminal master mind who's job in the post office is just a cover to rob it as well as him being suspected by a local gang of clumsy and butterfingered hoods, headed by the not so bright Rupert ,Warren Mitchell, as being the same thing; a criminal master-mind posing as a klutzy and buffoonish mailman to throw off suspicion.

    Finally getting the hang of his new job, as a big city postal worker, Harold suddenly starts to improve and accelerate his working habits. It's later that Harold causes a new mail-sorting machine, that can do the work of six mail distribution clerks, to short-circuit and break down In it just trying to keep up with him sorting letters by hand. Whats even more remarkable about this superhuman feat on Harold's part is that his job isn't even that of a mail distribution clerk but a of mail carrier!

    Later in the movie Harold gets Jean a job at the post office, since she wasn't at all that successful in selling her modern art paintings, so she can pay her bills. It's that very good deed on Harold's part that causes both the police and the Rupert Mob to think that he and Jean are planning to rob the post office, via an inside job, of some 2 million in Pound Sterling thats to be processed through the very post office that both Harold and Jean are now working at. That's when the real slap-stick Keystone Kop, as well as Keystone Postman, fun and action begins in the movie "Postman's Knocks".

    You have to stagger or sleep-walk through, like Harold did, most of the film to really get a good number of belly laughs when the action starts to really pick up with Harold and Jean running through the main post office with the Rupert mobsters and fumbling London Bobbies chasing them as all hell breaks loose in that giant mail room. Hraold & Jean Wracks the entire GPO and thus bringing the delivery and processing of the mail back to the 18th Century. Harold has in the end not only singled-handled foiled a major mail robbery but got himself a promotion as post master, of his little hometown post office, and married his girlfriend Jean. On top of everything else Harold also saved the jobs of countless postal workers, or mail distribution clerks. Harold that this by his being able to keep the new and modern $400,000.00, or 150,000. Pound Sterling, mail-distribution machines from taking over their jobs with his lighting-like mail boxing seed, causing them all to break down in trying to keep up with him.

    P.S It looked like the scene of Harold competing with the mail-sorting machine was taken from the Charlie Chaplin 1936 silent-film, even though talkies were already around for almost ten years at the time, "Modern Times". Unlike Charlie Chaplin in "Modern Times" Spike Milligan or Harold Petts in "Postman's Knocks" showed that good old fashion man CAN prevail over modern and unemotional automation not the other way around.
  • Spike Milligan steals the show when on screen but the associated talent helps keep this film interesting elsewhere. The plot, a fairly standard crime caper, rolls along nicely with Milligan seeming to have his own plot line to develop. Priceless comedy.
  • Spike Milligan plays a postman transferred from his small country route to the Big Smoke (why is not adequately explained, but never mind). He quickly establishes himself as overly competent and gums up the works, also getting involved with the beautiful Barbara Shelley (here playing an unsuccessful modern artist)and some inept criminals. There is some fairly amusing physical comedy and some interesting location footage, especially of the Tube as it was in the early 60s. Worth a look if you have a taste for British B cinema.
  • Just watched this film after taping it in the middle of the night on TCM. I am 57 years old and have never seen this film before. I am surprised it hasn't to my knowledge been shown during the daytime after all these years. Adults and children alike would love this film. It contains many visual jokes and is truly entertaining. With a lot of the rubbish around nowadays on the screen, this deserves 10 out of 10. It shows what a genius Spike Milligan was. It was great to see so many character actors in their prime e.g. Bob Todd, Arthur Mullard, Archie Duncan, Lance Percival and Warren Mitchell, etc. Please check out this fine film and you will find you can watch it again and again.
  • This film was recently shown on Turner Classic Movies. It is a small, fairly tame comedy about an unfailingly good-natured, utterly artless and guileless country postman, Harold Petts (Spike Milligan), who nevertheless possesses a natural intelligence and apparently superhuman mail-sorting skills. He is transferred from his village in the country to London, where in the course of the film he thwarts---almost by accident---two robberies, outperforms the automatic sorting equipment installed by the postal branch where he works, and gets the girl (Barbara Shelley). This is a low-budget affair, rather drab-looking, and of course quite dated. It is of interest primarily because it is one of those rare opportunities here in the States to see the late, great Spike Milligan, who is virtually unknown on the American side of the Atlantic. This must have been bread-and-butter work for Milligan, who keeps his manic tendencies more or less under control in this film, although he allows himself some impish smiles from time to time. If you didn't know who Milligan was, you'd never guess he was the mad, eccentric genius who created The Goon Show for the BBC and who became as well known for his mental instability as for his comic invention. The great actor John Wood, who achieved much greater stardom on stage than on screen, where he was mainly a serviceable supporting actor, plays Police Constable Woods, who winds up on the receiving end of most of the mishaps on screen. I remember him best as Professor Falken in "WarGames." You will also recognize Barbara Shelley, whose natural sexiness was never really exploited the way it would be today, from "Village of the Damned" and the Hammer film originally titled "Quatermass and the Pit," but invariably shown here in the USA as "Five Million Years to Earth." An incidental note: Milligan couldn't resist writing a Goon Show that parodied the Quatermass films, called "Quatermass O.B.E.", where of course Ned Seagoon (played by Harry Secombe) was the Quatermass character. It even used an eerie electronic sound effect borrowed from one of the films.
  • i am trying to find a DVD or VHS copy of Postman's Knock starring Spike Milligan. i have been looking for months with no luck. if anyone has one or knows where i could get one sent to Australia please let me know. i have not seen the movie as yet as i can't find a copy. but my father in law is a massive fan of Spike Milligan and he has wanted this movie to complete his collection but we cannot seem to find it anywhere.i am willing to pay for the copy and freight to Australia of course. i would just really appreciate if someone who may know how i can get a copy could let me know. i have tried various different sites, but this one seems to be the better of all the others.
  • It's nice to see that this ultra-obscure old British film (I've never seen it on British TV) still has appreciative fans but - wow! - it's quite an oddity. I hoped there was a chance that this would be in the same league as the best Wisdom/Phillips/Carmichael/Drake-type comedies, but it's a (delightful) disaster, for these reasons; 1) The script wasn't good/funny enough. 2) I'm sure they did their best (possibly on a particularly small budget) but the direction/technical side of things is clearly not of the typical old high standard. This isn't helped by the less-than-perfect print used on the DVD. 3) Many familiar faces are given very little to work with. 4) I had a worry that the ins and outs of delivering the post would feature heavily in this film, and boy, do they! and 5) Spike was the king of zany comedy, and I was looking forward to seeing him apply his talents to a relatively "straight" old-time comedy, but it doesn't seem he was able to transform (or vastly improve) the film. It's fortunate that the lovely Barbara Shelley features in this (her only comedy?), in the midst of her fantastic horror/thriller movie career. The incredible slightness of her developing romance is quite amusing in itself! The film may be kind of indefensible to anyone who didn't get into this sort of thing at an early age (unfortunately, old British films seem to have all but disappeared from the TV listings...), but it ticks the essential boxes - daft but amusing and good-natured and full of watchable faces. I like it and it will stay in my collection for life - unlike SO much great cinema...
  • abchulett9 September 2006
    Caught this one on Turner Classic Movies late one night. They scheduled it to follow "Ossessione," the Italian version of "The Postman Always Rings Twice." Apparently some scheduling wonk thought it would be clever to follow that with "Postman's Knock." Since it stars Spike Milligan, whose British TV classic "Goon Show" is widely known to have been an inspiration for the Monty Python troupe, I figured it might be worth watching.

    Wrong. It's basically an incompetent movie about an incompetent postman working for an incompetent postal service who is mistaken by an incompetent police force to be a member of an incompetent gang of criminals. It's a shame their lack of competence couldn't at least be a little bit funny now and then.

    If you're looking for great British comedy from this era, check out Alec Guiness & Peter Sellers in "The Ladykillers" (not the foul-mouthed Tom Hanks remake) and stay far, far away from this thing.
  • One day I hope they will show this movie again. I saw it in 1964 or so on a weekday afternoon, so the movie was probably badly cut up for commercials. I recall that Milligan (in one sequence) demonstrates that he can sort and dispense letters in the post office better than the machine that they have purchased. And I remember the actors planning the mail robbery. But that said is about it. Although some of the posters here speak highly of the movie, I find it interesting that I can barely recall it. I think that is suggestive that it is not as good as has been suggested. But I can tell if they will show it again, so that I can watch it again.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    With Britain in the midst of a postal strike, what better time to review a film about a postman? The great Spike Milligan, like a lot of radio/television comedians, never found the right vehicle to launch himself as a movie star. This 1962 knockabout farce cast him as 'Harold Petts', a country postman who is promoted unexpectedly, necessitating a move to London, where he fails to fit in. Not long after arriving, he accidentally thwarts a robbery, and the police think mistakenly he must be behind it. They dispatch P.C. Woods ( John Woods ) to keep tabs on our hero, which he does by means of various ( unconvincing ) disguises.

    Harold strikes up a friendship with art student Jean ( Barbara Shelley ), who installs him in the attic of her lodging house.

    Meanwhile, the same gang of crooks ( Warren Mitchell, Lance Percival, John Bennett and Arthur Mullard ) is planning to nab a sack of money due to be removed from circulation. Can Harold stop them?

    This is a sweet little film ( ideal Sunday afternoon viewing ), and Milligan acquits himself well, even though the role of 'Harold' could really have been played by any British comedian of that era, including Norman Wisdom, Charlie Drake and, in particular, Eric Sykes. I wonder if the script was not originally written with the latter in mind. Like the 'Sykes' character from the B.B.C. series, Petts is basically a grown-up kid who causes trouble without realising it. He tells everyone he meets he comes from a long line of postmen. Milligan gets to indulge in a fair amount of visual comedy, such as slipping on soap as he enters a building and sliding into a ladies' toilet, causing a sorting machine to short circuit, and flinging letters like darts through mail boxes.

    Barbara Shelley is not only too old to be playing a student, but has no chemistry with Spike at all. Luckily, the supporting cast includes comedy stalwarts such as Bob Todd, Wilfrid Lawson, Mario Fabrizi ( who always put me in mind of Sam Costa ), Miles Malleson, and Denise Coffey.

    The script was by Jack Trevor Story and John Briley ( author of the Oscar winning 'Gandhi' in 1982 ). Story also wrote another Milligan vehicle - the dreadful 'Invasion Quartet' ( 1961 ). Spike is credited with 'Additional Dialogue' and yes, at times, the dialogue has a Goon-like quality. Had he been given a free hand, I think the film would have been a lot funnier.

    Another reviewer here suggests here you should watch 'The Ladykillers' instead. Well, I can think of a couple of hundred other movies you should watch instead of this, but that is not to imply this movie is no good. The moment the animated opening credits and catchy Ron Goodwin theme kicks in, you know that you're going to enjoy yourself. Its just a pity that Spike was not given better movie roles.
  • Goon show alumnus Spike Milligan is the driving force in Postman's Knock, a genuinely funny comedy chock full of witty dialogue, wonderful sight gags and top drawer performances from the veteran cast.Milligan plays rural postman Harold Petts,who is transferred one day to big city London. Harold unwittingly foils an attempted robbery on his first day on the job and draws the attention of a dim witted police sergeant and his equally thick headed subordinate, nicely played by John Wood, who believe he's one of the gang of robbers. The robbers for their part, think Harold is a member of a rival gang: comedy ensues. Spike Milligan's very low key performance in this film is one of its strengths. Milligan, without trying very hard, is funny. With all that comic energy in play, Postman's Knock could have gone off the rails. As it is, the rest of the cast matches his comic charm, especially character actors Warren Mitchell, who plays the gang leader and Miles Malleson as the nutty psychiatrist. Unlike some British films of the period,Postman's Knock is played broadly enough to satisfy non English audiences.It also features an incredibly catchy title tune by Ron Goodwin.I really enjoyed this film.