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Sunday, 19 December 2010

Archive Legends - Norman Wisdom

When Norman Wisdom died in October of this year tributes poured in from all across the globe and although he had kept up his profile until recent years it was for the series of British film comedies he made between 1953 and 1966 that he is best remembered - for a period in the Sixties, Wisdom's films made even more money than the James Bond movies. Unlike many British comedians Wisdom's enjoyed massive popularity in many Eastern Bloc countries - in Albania the actor was and remains huge.

Charley Chaplin called Wisdom his favourite clown.

The character of Norman Pitkin who Wisdom played in most of his better films was the classic everyman character and his small stature and the way he faced off against big business and bureaucracy endeared him to the cinema going public. Wisdom was superb at physical slapstick and these skills were brought to the fore in his movies. Prat-falls abounded with Wisdom being hurled through windows or over walls. His films usually contained a romantic subplot, a lesson Wisdom learned from another British comedy great, George Formby.

The top five Wisdom movies.
Trouble in Store
The Early Bird
The Bulldog Breed
A Stitch in Time
On the Beat

Most of Wisdom's better films are available in a great box set collection from ITV Home Entertainment - the box set contains twelve movies and retails at a decent price of £20, even less at online store like Amazon.

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