On The Beat (1962)

on the beat 1962

Long comedy with Norman Wisdom playing two parts. In one he’s a man who wants to be a policeman just like his late father. In the other he plays an Italian hairdresser who runs a mob in London. There’s a lot of funny stuff along the way, most of which looks like it was taken from the silent era. It’s a funny opening as Norman dreams of being on the force and then a good bit on a subway.

Norman Pitkin (Norman Wisdom) works at Scotland Yard cleaning cars. He gets into a water fight with Sir Ronald Ackroyd and is fired.

Scotland Yard is being pressured by the Home Secretary to break the mob run by hairdresser Giulio Napolitani (Norman Wisdom). Sgt.Wilkens goes to the salon undercover and takes some film. She also spots microphones under the chairs. They’re used to pick up conversations about parties the women are attending while wearing their jewels. That sets up robberies. To keep the peace a gangster sets up a marriage between his daughter Rosanna (Jennifer Jayne) and Guillo. She hates him.

Pitkin made another try and joining the force. He put on some fake legs to make him almost seven feet tall. He ends up being tossed out. He goes home and puts on his father’s old uniform and goes outside. There are a number of long gags and then he runs into some young boys playing football and is coerced into being a referee. He blows his whistle and ends up being chased by at least fifty cops. The bit goes on way too long but it is staged and photographed really well.

Norman is arrested. When he’s released the uniform is confiscated. Depressed he wanders around and spots Rosanna. She jumps into the river and he rescues her and takes her home. Looks like romance is on the way.

Norman’s luck is improving. Superintendent Hobson looks at a picture of Guillo and notices a resemblance to Norman. He wants to use Norman to go undercover and pose as Guillo. Norman plays hardball and demands to join the force. He finally gets his way. Now he’s shown a film of Guillo and tries to get the impression down. Meanwhile Guillo and his men nab Rosanna when she leaves Norman’s place.

Time for Norman to do his thing. He walks into the salon and another long bit ensues. There’s some real funny stuff before it’s all over.

Wisdom is hilarious as Guillo I just wish the movie was cut by fifteen minutes or so. Still it’s worth seeing to check out one of Britain’s funniest comics.

 

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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