Friday 30 November 2018

Carrying On with Norman - The Girl On The Boat

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. 

I've already blogged about the films Trouble in Store from 1953Just My Luck from 1957Follow A Star from 1959 and On The Beat from 1962. My most recent blogs focussed on A Stitch in Time and The Early BirdWe're continuing this series of blogs with a look at another one of Norman's 1960s films - The Girl On The Boat from 1961

What's it about?

During the 1920s, two young men returning to England on a transatlantic liner fall in love with two fellow passengers. The story is based on the novel of the same name by P.G Wodehouse. 

Who's in it?

A strong cast supports Norman in this film, although regular collaborators Edward Chapman and Jerry Desmonde are noticeably absent. Norman's co-stars include Richard Briers, Millicent Martin and Athene Seyler.

Carry On faces?

Future Carry On Cleo supporting actress Sheila Hancock grabs a leading role in this film playing Jane Hubbard. Also starring is the great Bernard Cribbins, a couple of years before he starred in Carry On Jack and Carry On Spying. Bernard plays Peters in the film.

The actor Martin Wyldeck appears in the role of J.P Mortimer. Three years earlier Martin had the small role of Mr Sage, Charlie's father, in the opening scene of Carry On Sergeant. Apparently the reliable character actor Harry Locke also makes an appearance in The Girl On The Boat but in an uncredited bit part. If you spot him let me know!

Did you know? 

This film marked a bit of a departure for Norman Wisdom and featured different material from usual. Although not a disaster at the box office, Wisdom returned to more familiar content for his next films.

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram

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