1950s The Square Peg (1958)

Published on January 17th, 2013 | by Chris


The Square Peg (1958)

Movie directed by:
John Paddy Carstairs

Reviewed by:
On January 17, 2013
Last modified:January 25, 2013


A British comedy film that just felt about 20 years too late and not nearly funny enough. Maybe there's a cultural gap here, but I just didn't get it.

The Square Peg (1958)I fear this review will be short and to the point, because there just isn't a whole lot I can think to say about 1958's The Square Peg.  A comedy starring Norman Wisdom and Edward Chapman, the movie reminded me a lot of earlier Abbott and Costello, or Laurel and Hardy....

...only not quite as funny, and much "drier" and "subtler" than either one of those.  Apparently you need to be British and of a generation that would recognize these two names.  Since I am neither, I fear the appeal of this movie went directly over my head and landed somewhere in the mid-Atlantic.

If you were expecting a "Pythonesque" style of British humor, don't even bother.  As I said the style is more along the lines of the two American duos, or maybe Jerry Lewis or the Marx Brothers or something.

As for the plot, one road worker Norman Pitkin (Wisdom) and his boss Mr. Grimsdale (Chapman) find themselves drafted into the local regiment, and subsequently parachuted into Europe during the war.   Conveniently, they land near the area of a German General who bears an uncanny resemblance to Pitkin, and the hilarity ensues.  Or should.  They wind up in all sorts of the predictable hijinks. At least what I would expect from a 1930's or 1940's American picture.  Not a late 1950's one.  The "schtick" is well dated by this point, guys.  Everything, even down to the "missing mirror" gag is played out.

I actually lost interest, and found myself sidetracked, so maybe this isn't a completely fair review, since I didn't finish it with full attention.   But I just wasn't on board with it.  I'm sure I'll hear how wrong I am, but I have to hand out a lowly 4/10 to The Square Peg.  Only because they tried, dammit.  And that's got to count for something.  Maybe if I was more familiar with this comedy team (I'd never heard of them before) I would have appreciated it more.  But frankly it just felt like I'd seen all of it before.

The Square Peg The Square Peg
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DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio:
Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)
Original Release Date:
  • Norman Wisdom
  • Honor Blackman
  • Edward Chapman
  • Campbell Singer
  • Hattie Jacques


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The Square Peg (1958) Chris

Summary: A British comedy film that just felt about 20 years too late and not nearly funny enough. Maybe there's a cultural gap here, but I just didn't get it.


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)

About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.

One Response to The Square Peg (1958)

  1. the war movie buff says:

    Thanks for the honesty. I don’t think I will be watching this one akthough I do like British comedies. “Allo! Allo!” for instance. I too have never heard of the actors.

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