Norman Wisdom is Dead

by Harry on October 5, 2010

For those of us of a certain age, Sunday afternoons were spent watching old films on telly (where on earth were our parents, I wonder?). The best films starred Jack Hawkins or George Formby, but for me the most keenly anticipated were Norman Wisdom’s films. It was only for Wisdom that I noted the time in the Radio Times to be sure to see the whole thing. Looking back, I imagine they all had the same plot, and the same jokes, and the same pratfalls. But who cared? They were all funny, all innocent, all brilliant. Sorry to see him go. But glad that the DVD revolution means I can watch whenever I want. Guardian obit here. Clips, wonderfully arranged, here. Brian Logan’s appreciation.



James Haughton 10.05.10 at 1:19 am

“where on earth were our parents, I wonder?”

In the bedroom.


Martin Wisse 10.05.10 at 7:32 am

Albania is in mourning.


Tom Hurka 10.05.10 at 10:41 am

Those of us of an even more certain age remember Formby films on Canadian TV — ah the days!


Sally Clark 10.05.10 at 12:36 pm

I am a great fan of Norman, I will miss him very much. He always made me laugh – Mr Grimsdale. Rest in peace you wonderful man


Deliasmith 10.05.10 at 3:47 pm

De mortuis nil nisi bonum …

He was better than Benny Hill.
95 – a good age.


Andrew 10.05.10 at 11:18 pm

Much missed. Poor Norman

“Mr Grimsdale ..!”


jim 10.06.10 at 12:17 pm

Don’t laugh at him ‘cos he’s a clown.


Shatterface 10.06.10 at 11:14 pm

Sorry to see Norman Wisdom go, he was the last of the stars of the Sunday afternoon movies (though I was always more of a Will Hay kid, myself).


maidhc 10.07.10 at 9:04 am

My father was a great fan of Jack Hawkins. That great Australian actor who made it to the big time. Bonzer!

I remember from my youth the films of Mary Field. These were supposed to be great films for young people.

I remember a couple of them. They always seemed to feature some kind of prospect of imminent death for youth. The ones I remember are being trapped in a cave that was filling up with water, and being trapped in a burning windmill.

The windmill one was about a girl who broke her mother’s china dog, and she took it to be repaired, and on the way home she broke it again, so she ran away from home to become a hop picker in Kent (?), and that somehow led her to become trapped in a burning windmill.

As a small child I was repeatedly subjected to these films which I found absolutely terrifying. Seeing them over again I would cover my eyes to try to shut out the horror, but it didn’t work.

But nowadays any mention of Mary Field films seems to have gone down the memory hole. There is just about zero information available about these films online, so far as I can determine.

I’m starting to think I’m suffering from False Memory Syndrome, and there never were any films about children breaking china dogs and being trapped in burning windmills. Could it be that the British Empire, er, sorry, Commonwealth, was nothing but an illusion?

I expect that CTers can help me where no one else could.

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