On the Beat (1962 film)

On the Beat is a 1962 British comedy film directed by Robert Asher and starring Norman Wisdom, Jennifer Jayne and Raymond Huntley.

On the Beat
On the Beat FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byRobert Asher
Produced byHugh Stewart
Earl St. John (executive producer)
Screenplay byJohn McKimson
Norman Wisdom
Eddie Leslie
StarringNorman Wisdom
Jennifer Jayne
Raymond Huntley
Music byPhilip Green
CinematographyGeoffrey Faithfull
Edited byBill Lewthwaite
Distributed byRank Film Distributors
United Artists (US)
Release date
11 December 1962
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


It was shot at Pinewood Studios and on location around Windsor. The film's sets were designed by the art director Bert Davey. It marked a return to Rank for Wisdom following two films for United Artists, although the latter distributed the film in America.


Norman Pitkin (Norman Wisdom) works at Scotland Yard as a car cleaner, but dreams of becoming a policeman as his late father was. The police reject his request to join the force, but later recruit him to work undercover in disguise. He has turned out to be the double of a suspected jewel thief, an Italian crime boss in London. In addition to his criminal activities, this man is a ladies' hairdresser.

Norman disguises himself as the suspect and gains entry to his salon. Once inside, after some inevitable mishaps, he manages to find the stolen goods, knock out the suspect, wrap him up in a curtain/wall rug, and bring him to justice.

As a reward, he is offered a permanent position in the police and marries his love, the ex-girlfriend of the man he brought to justice (whom he had rescued earlier in the film when she was attempting to commit suicide by jumping in the river).



The film was one of the 12 most popular movies at the British box office in 1963.[1] According to Kine Weekly the four most popular films at the British box office in 1963 were From Russia With Love, Summer Holiday, Tom Jones and The Great Escape, followed by, in alphabetical order, Doctor in Distress, The Fast Lady, Girls! Girls! Girls!, Heaven's Above, Jason and the Argonauts, In Search of the Castaways, It Happened at the World's Fair, The Longest Day, On the Beat, Sodom and Gomorrah, The V. I. Ps, and The Wrong Arm of the Law.[2]


A slightly different arrangement of the film's title theme, by composer Philip Green, was recorded for a production music library, and may be heard in many American animated cartoons of the early 1960s, particularly those from Hanna-Barbera Productions.


  1. ^ "Most Popular Films Of 1963." Times [London, England] 3 Jan. 1964: 4. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.
  2. ^ Hill, William John (1985). CLASS, SEXUALITY AND THE*BRITISH CINEMA 1956-63 (PDF) (Thesis). University of York. p. 288.


  • Hunter, I.Q. & Porter, Laraine. British Comedy Cinema. Routledge, 2012.

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