Dir: Stuart Burge
Starring: Norman Wisdom and Susannah York
A naive explosives expert is tricked into working for a criminal gang
This was the ‘lost’ Norman Wisdom comedy, a film in which he plays a straight comic. His more mature attitude to proceedings did not go down well, but this was mainly because he played the part of an American Military General, and not because he couldn’t act. Wisdom shows his versatility as a comic, but the subject of US forces on British soil was deemed too sensitive even for comic treatment and the film quickly disappeared. It had one TV showing on ITV on Boxing Day in 1965, and was then not shown publicly for over 40 years. Eventually it was ‘released’ for viewing in Darwen (pronounced Darren), Lancashire, where it was filmed, in 2008, and was finally released on DVD in 2017. I actually enjoyed the film, and there is an excellent shot of a train arriving at Darwen station behind an ex-LMS 2-6-4T (or similar). Later a car speeds along Ryde Pier on the Isle of Wight and to the right there is a brief glimpse of a signal and a vehicle belonging to Ryde Pier’s tramway, which closed in 1969. This is the only known appearance of this tramway in a feature film.