183. On the Beat (GB 1962)

Buffoon tries to join the Metropolitan Police.

starring: Norman Wisdom, Jennifer Jayne, Raymond Huntley

director: John Paddy Carstairs

bit part:: Jack Watson (as 'police sergeant'), a man who could play two roles: 'thug' or 'gobshite'. Thrillingly, he combined the two in Sidney Lumet's 'The Hill'.

Jack Watson as Donny Osmond in 'Donny Osmond: the Donny Osmond Story'.

FACT: Norman Wisdom.....Albania....zzzzzz


'On the Beat' exemplifies the 'films with at least one interesting bit' on the scrolling thing on the home page of this web site.

Norman Wisdom: the 'hip-hop' small hat years..

Wisdom plays his usual 'please love me British public' idiot persona and does all the usual things Norman Wisdom usually does in a Norman Wisdom film.

There are, however, two extraordinary scenes which raise 'On the Beat' above the usual entertain the Great British/Low IQ public.

1. Norman plays imbecilic car park attendant Norman Pitkin, a man who dreams of joining the Met and following in his father's footsteps. He is too small, but by a quirk of fate, Norman is the doppelganger of Italian master criminal/hairdresser Giulio Neopolitani (or something like that) and is enlisted by the police to impersonate him for sundry plot-related purposes.

Those hands look false to me.

Giulio's girlfriend escapes his clutches and tries to kill herself by throwing herself in the canal. Pitkin saves her and tries to revive her by straddling her unconscious body and rubbing her back (presumably to get the water out of her lungs, but as I type this, the notion becomes even more sinister/suspect). The woman awakes and when she turns round, Norman's thrusting motions suggests to her (and we, the audience) that Giulio is having sex with/raping her unconscious body.


I'm not making this up, by the way.


One of Norman's hands is blurred.

2. The second scene is far more wholesome, and in its own little way,  quite brilliant.

Norman can't get in the Met, not because he's a knob head of Herculean proportions, but due to his diminutive stature. Norman goes for the medical on stilts (presumably he got a tailor to make him such giant kecks). It's a great scene to start off with and is helped in no small measure by having ace  British stalwart Eric Barker as the doctor in charge of the medical.

Barker taps one Norman's knees to test his reflexes. One of Norman's giant legs goes flying across the room. In one of those 'it can only happen in a comedy film' moments, Barker doesn't see this happening and Wisdom's one-giant-legged walk to surreptitiously reclaim the leg without alerting the doctor is one of the best pieces of physical comedy you'll ever see.


*Norman takes what appears to be a bad LSD/ketamin trip after being injected with horse tranquiliser in his 'milkman' film 'The Early Bird.