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The Early Bird/Press For Time [DVD]


Price: £4.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Norman Wisdom, Edward Chapman, Jerry Desmonde, Paddie O'Neil, Bryan Pringle
  • Directors: Robert Asher
  • Writers: Norman Wisdom, Eddie Leslie, Henry Blyth, Jack Davies
  • Producers: Hugh Stewart
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 12 May 2003
  • Run Time: 191 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008MJ21
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,784 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Norman Wisdom double bill. In 'The Early Bird' Wisdom plays a milkman caught up in a feud between the small, traditional company that employs him and a large, modern dairy planning a hostile takeover. Will Norman, in his typically inept fashion, manage to save his company from the onset of modernity? Whilst in 'Press For Time' Norman Shields (Wisdom) is an accident-prone young reporter, who only got the job because his grandfather (also played by Wisdom) happens to be the Prime Minister. Hilarious chaos ensues when Norman is sent to cover a beauty contest. Wisdom also appears in drag as a Suffragette called Emily.

From Amazon.co.uk

Norman Wisdom reprises his best-loved character, the comically inept Pitkin, in 1965's The Early Bird, ably supported once again by Edward Chapman in his final appearance as Mr Grimsdale. This time around Wisdom is the only milkman working for Grimsdale's Dairy, a small business threatened by a menacing large corporation in the shape of Consolidated Dairies and their electric milk floats. Grimsdale and Pitkin must evoke the Dunkirk spirit to save their family firm from the grasp of the faceless giant. Of course, the wafer-thin plot is the merest excuse for a series of calamitous set pieces in which Wisdom wreaks havoc in his trademark bumbling manner. The best bits involve a disastrous game of golf, the usual shenanigans with a fire hose and a virtuoso tour de force opening sequence as the household struggles to wake up in the morning, all set to Ron Goodwin's tongue-in-cheek music score. --Mark Walker

In Press for Time Norman Wisdom offered his version of the crusading reporter movie, though by 1966 time was running out for Norman's style of big-screen comedy. Perhaps a sign of his growing frustration with the formulaic nature of his pictures was that he stretched himself to play not just his usual underdog hero, but also his own mother and his grandfather, the Prime Minister. Wisdom also cowrote the movie in which, as a reporter in a small seaside town, he causes chaos for the council, organises a beauty parade and dresses as a suffragette. Though now nearing the end of his years as a movie star, Wisdom shows himself to still be as polished as ever at his own brand of good-natured slapstick. --Gary S Dalkin

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Mar. 2002
Format: DVD
As a life-long fan of the comic, Wisdom provides a superb performance, incorporating humour, (at it's best and in a manner that only he can deliver), together with a number of poignant moments. With the occasional few minutes of slapstick, 'The Early Bird' provides the viewer with an excellent story line, (if slightly unbelievable), heartfelt warmth, great humour and Norman Wisdom providing the facial expressions that are only equalled by other greats like Tommy Cooper, Eric Morcambe and Peter Sellers!
This film represents superb all-round entertainment and if you enjoy the old British black and white comedies, this really is a must!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lou Knee on 19 Aug. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
His best vehicle by a mile, and I can never help wondering, when I watch this film, if a certain ex-milkman, Mr.Benny Hill went to the pictures to see this, and got mightily inspired by it. There is some nice direction in this movie, and though it's way over the top in its silliness, and opens with quite a slothful, drawn out sequence, it owns some quite memorable comedy scenes. This certainly isn't Peter Cook, and will probably always be considered low comedy, but I wouldn't mind betting that many people with a finer taste in comedy allow themselves the odd low snigger at his antics on the golf course or on the end of a lawnmower. I love the theme of this film in particular, as it's one that is still very topical today, about big corporate giants bullying the little man out of business. And its choice of milkmen for this is a very apt one for today's viewers, as this once very busy profession is now in its death throes. This film, for all these reasons, has become a true British classic. Nice one, Norman.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tony Winter on 14 Oct. 2008
Format: DVD
If you want an hour an a half in the comfort zone, there are many many classic films you can choose from, but if you want laughter NON-STOP, then Norman Wisdom is the man who can do this for you, and this classic film will CERTAINLY keep you laughing.

In The Early Bird, Norman reprises his role as Pitkin, in his first colour movie, and once again works for Mr Grimsdale. This time the duo are running a small dairy called Grimsdales, providing a little personal service to the public, and are under threat to closure, from rival dairy company, Consolidated Dairies. Consolidated pull out all the stops to try and put Grimsdales out of business, but Norman tries his hardest to put a stop to all of their plans, resulting in hiliarious antics, which will have you holding your sides with laughter. Pitkin and Grimsdale waking up in the morning to start the days work, in a silent scene, with both of them falling down stairs, and blowing up the bathroom, Pitkin having a journey on the back of a runaway lawnmower, totally destroying Mr Hunters prize and joy garden, Pitkin taking his horse to bed with him, trying to do the round with a hand cart and milk churn, with the hand cart getting destroyed on a level crossing, Pitkin dressed up as a vicar, and having a crazy game of golf with Mr Hunter, and then Pitkin taking charge of a fire at Consolidated Dairies.

In Press For Time, Norman has a newspaper stand outside Westminster Tube Station, and goes to work for a small local newspaper in a town called Tinmouth. Here, he gets caught up between the political differences of the labour and conservative parties, where both the leaders take advantage of him, using him to get themselves and their parties voted into leadership.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Jan. 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This film had me in stitches. It is a black and white film, which is normally a
deterrent for me, however it's clever mixtures of tears of sadness with tears of
laughter is effective in this film.
It is a about Norman, who is a delivery man for Grimsdale Dairies. He begins
becoming irate when a deliver for a larger company begins destroying there bottles
and leaving their own. This leads to a hilarious war.
It brings a tear to one's eye in times, and other times sad things are mixed with
comedy.
Overall, this is a classically hilarious slapstick comedy, show Norman Wisdom's
immense talent
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Format: DVD
You're right Pitkin. We'll fight them, to the last half pint of milk!

The opening sequence is an extended sketch of Pitkin getting up making a cup of tea for his boss Mr Grimsdale and then getting into a hilarious scrape with their housekeeper Mrs Hoskins.

The plot is all about a large combine forcing Grimsdale's dairies out of business and the underhand methods they use.

Pitkin visits the chairman Mr Hunter at his home and wrecks the place.Later they visit the large dairies offices to do a deal and they effectively wreck the place.

They deal is struck and Grimsdale's are left with their ten roads.

Most of the scenes are extended comedy slapstick sketches.
Interesting their are no women in the film to be Pitkin's love interest.
The two women in it are Mr Grimsdale's housekeeper Mrs Hoskins who has designs on Mr Grimsdale and at every opportunity Mr Grimsdale and Mrs Hoskins are an embrace although neither in the first flush of youth.

The other woman in the Chairman's secretary who is a brainless dolly bird. Hardly a politically correct film but it is just comedy.

The premise behind the film hasn't changed that is a large combine forcing a small firm out of business it is just that now no one gets their milk delivered to their door anymore.

Even the big combine dairies have been forced out of business by the supermarkets. So it is a period piece.

In the part where he is confronted by the other milkman who is poaching his customers and they have a stand off it is straight out of Ernie the fastestmilk cart in the west which came a few years later.

All in all a very good comedy and in colour so doesn't look too dated.
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