Thursday 19 October 2017

Carrying On with Norman: Just My Luck

This is part of a brand new series of blogs looking back at some of my favourite Norman Wisdom films. Although never as fruity or innuendo-laden as the Carry Ons, Sir Norman's films share a similiar feel to many of the early Carry Ons. Indeed they quite often shared the same production base - Pinewood Studios - and Wisdom's films often co-starred some very familiar Carry On faces. 

Norman Wisdom was one of the most bankable British film stars in the 1950s and early 1960s. His stardom lasted long after his peak at the box office too. He appealed to a cross section of society and young and old loved him in equal measure. His cheeky, child-like charm, excellent comic timing and sheer energy catapulted him to fame and he's very clearly one of our most talented comedy stars full stop. 

We're continuing this series of blogs with a look at one of Norman's 1950s film hits - Just My Luck from 1957.

What's it about?

Norman Hackett (Norman Wisdom) is employed in a jeweller's workshop and is innocently preoccupied with dreaming of meeting the window dresser in the shop across the street from his workplace. He wishes to purchase a diamond pendant for her and, after persuasion, gambles a pound on a six-horse accumulator at the Goodwood races. The bookmaker grows concerned when it appears Hackett, after winning on the first five races, could win over £16,000.

 Who's in it?

Another one of Norman's films with an impressive supporting cast, he is joined once again by the glorious Dame Margaret Rutherford playing Mrs Dooley. His regular film sparring partner Edward Chapman also appears, not as Mr Grimsdale this time, but as Mr Stoneway. Just My Luck also co-stars Jill Dixon and Delphi Lawrence.

Carry On faces?

As with the earlier Trouble In Store, Just My Luck features a lovely supporting turn from a pre-Carry On Joan Sims. Joan's film career was gathering momentum by this stage and by the end of the following year she'd had joined the Carry On team as Stella Dawson in Carry On Nurse. Here she plays Phoebe and enjoys an eventful trip to the cinema with our Norman! 

Another glorious Carry On star turning up for fun with Wisdom is the legendary Leslie Phillips as the Hon. Richard Lumb. There are also small supporting roles for early Carry Oners Michael Ward, Cyril Chamberlain and the brilliant Marianne Stone as a Tea Bar Attendant. Of course Marianne appeared in more British films of the era than practically anybody else!

Did you know? 

Regular stooge to Norman Wisdom, the great Jerry Desmonde, appears in an uncredited role as a racegoer in Just My Luck. 

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