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The Square Peg (1958)

A British road repairman gets into a feud with the Army, gets drafted and is mistakenly parachuted into Nazi occupied France where his physical resemblance to the local German commandant triggers a hilarious chain reaction.


Jack Davies (original screenplay), Henry Blyth (original screenplay) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Norman Wisdom ... Norman Pitkin / General Schreiber
Honor Blackman ... Lesley Cartland
Edward Chapman ... Mr. Grimsdale
Campbell Singer Campbell Singer ... Sergeant Loder
Hattie Jacques ... Gretchen
Brian Worth Brian Worth ... Henri Le Blanc
Terence Alexander ... Captain Wharton
John Warwick John Warwick ... Colonel Layton
Arnold Bell Arnold Bell ... General Hunt
André Maranne André Maranne ... Jean-Claude (as Andre Maranne)
Victor Beaumont ... Jogenkraut
Frank Williams ... Captain Ford
Eddie Leslie Eddie Leslie ... Medical Officer
Richard Marner ... German Officer
John G. Heller ... German Officer at Gatepost


Norman and Mr Grimsdale are council workmen mending the road outside an Army base when they come into conflict with the military. Shortly afterwards, they get drafted and fall into the clutches of the Sergeant they have just bested. They are sent to France to repair roads in front of the Allied advance but get captured. Norman takes advantage of a useful similarity to impersonate General Schreiber and manages to return a hero. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The news the enemy dreaded - Wisdom's joined the army.


Comedy | War


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English | German | French

Release Date:

19 December 1958 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

The Square Peg See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Rank Organisation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Robert Desmond - an actor in 'The Great Escape' (1963) as the 'tailor' Griffith - appears in 'The Square Peg' as the sentry on the Main Gate of the Army camp who incurs the wrath of General Hunt for not asking to see the General's pass. See more »


At c.20 minutes Pitkin's spade suddenly reappears as he leaves the army base. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The Second World War saw many remarkable adventures on sea, on land and in the air. Strangest of all perhaps, was the story of Norman Pitkin, indomitable fighter, rugged individualist and faithful employee of the St. Godric's Borough Council. See more »


Referenced in Bostock's Cup (1999) See more »


The British Grenadiers
Heard as a theme
See more »

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User Reviews

Dated but amusing
15 December 2011 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

THE SQUARE PEG is a Norman Wisdom vehicle that sees him once more playing the part of Norman Pitkin, employee of gruff Yorkshireman Mr Grimsdale (Edward Chapman). The film is set during WW2 and sees the hapless pair become involved with a local army base, eventually finding themselves in occupied France of all places.

This is the first Norman Wisdom film I've watched. I was inspired to watch it after getting into the CARRY ON films made during the same era. Like those, it has dated quite a lot since it first came out, with the comic hijinks feeling very genteel in the modern era of gross-out comedy. Although I found few laugh-out-loud moments, much of the film is gently amusing.

Wisdom and Chapman share an excellent rapport and their scenes together are obvious highlights within the movie, although an elaborate, late-on sequence involving Pitkin, his doppelganger and a German opera singer (the delightful Hattie Jacques) marks the film's highlight. Until then there's plenty of mugging, slapstick and jokes at the expense of stiff-upper-lipped army superiors (including BERGERAC's Terence Alexander). Honor Blackman shows up as a memorably feisty female agent. I didn't find it quite as funny as I'd hoped, but I'm inspired to check out more of Wisdom's work.

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