Man of the Moment is a 1955 British comedy film starring Norman Wisdom, Belinda Lee, Lana Morris and Jerry Desmonde. The film includes songs sung by the Beverley Sisters, including, "Dreams for Sale" (Arthur Groves, Peter Carroll), "Beware" (Norman Wisdom), "Yodelee Yodelay", and "Man of the Moment" (Jack Fishman).
|Man of the Moment|
|Directed by||John Paddy Carstairs|
|Produced by||Hugh Stewart|
Earl St John
|Cinematography||Jack E. Cox|
|Edited by||John Shirley|
|Music by||Philip Green|
|Distributed by||Rank Film Distributors|
|24 November 1955 (UK)|
Norman, a file clerk in the (fictional) British Ministry of Overseas Affairs, becomes a British delegate to a diplomatic conference in Geneva, as there is no one else available. He accidentally votes against a motion that would allow intervention in the affairs of the (fictional) peaceful Pacific island nation of Tawaki. This earns him the gratitude of the Queen of Tawaki, who leaves all matters concerning her nation's future in the hands of 'Honourable Sir Norman'.
The furious governments, including America, Great Britain and the Soviet Union, which want to establish a military base on one of Tawaki's outlying islands, shower honours on Norman to persuade him to influence the Queen in their favour. One government sends a glamorous film star to seduce him before killing him, but fails in the attempt. He is then sent a parcel bomb, but he evades it. Finally, they kidnap his new girlfriend Penny. Norman chases the thugs through BBC studios, causing chaos in programmes being transmitted live.
Finally, Norman, now apparently an Ambassador, travels to Tawaki. As he addresses the Queen, a volcanic eruption completely destroys the island the governments had designs on.
- Norman Wisdom as Norman
- Lana Morris as Penny
- Belinda Lee as Sonia
- Jerry Desmonde as Jackson
- Karel Štěpánek as Lom
- Garry Marsh as British Delegate
- Inia Te Wiata as King of Tawaki
- Evelyn Roberts as Sir Horace
- Violet Farebrother as Queen of Tawaki
- Martin Miller as Swiss Tailor
- Eugene Deckers as Day Lift Man
- Hugh Morton as Mitchell
- Cyril Chamberlain as British Delegate
- Lisa Gastoni as Chambermaid
- Harold Kasket as Enrico
- Beverley Brooks as Air Hostess
- Michael Ward as Photographer
- Derek Sydney as Lesnevitch
- Peter Taylor as Gritter
- Josef Behrmann as Rietz
- Charles Hawtrey, play director
The television programmes interrupted by Norman chasing the thugs who kidnapped Penny comprise;
- TV Guide noted, "some fine slapstick moments, including a television studio chase that interrupts several programs."
- David Parkinson gave the film three out of five stars in the Radio Times, writing, "Norman Wisdom is almost at the peak of his powers in this typically silly comedy, in which, as ever, slapstick and sentiment jostle for centre stage....Although we usually think of Wisdom as a bashful bungler, he also did a nice line in cockiness, and it's surprisingly amusing to watch Whitehall and Geneva dance to his tune. Jerry Desmonde again provides supreme support as the stooge."
The film was a huge hit in Hungary with over two million of the population of ten million going to see it.
- "Man Of The Moment Review". Movies.tvguide.com. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- "Star Dust". The Mirror. Vol. 3, no. 1791. Western Australia. 24 September 1955. p. 12. Retrieved 8 August 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
- Vagg, Stephen (7 September 2020). "A Tale of Two Blondes: Diana Dors and Belinda Lee". Filmink.
- "Man of the Moment | Film review and movie reviews". Radio Times. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- "British comedies are the big attraction". Kine Weekly. 15 June 1961. p. 9.