On the Fiddle

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REVIEW

On the cusp of international fame, Sean Connery took a lead role in this star-studded film adaptation of R.F. Delderfield’s story of a couple of lovable service dodgers who become accidental heroes. His performance here gives no inkling as to what lay in his future (Pedlar Pascoe is certainly NOT a smooth, suave sophisticate!) but his screen presence is undeniable. Taking second lead to Alfred Lynch, Connery's obvious charisma and screen presence make him the focus of almost every scene in which he features - something that did not escape Broccoli and Saltzman's notice when they were looking for someone to play a certain Commander Bond. Lynch is no lightweight in the acting stakes either, and though his métier was always strong drama (The Hill, Manhunt, David Rudkin's Wednesday Play entry House of Character) he turns in a likeable and highly watchable performance as the proto-Arthur Daley wide boy Horace Pope.

Released in 1961 at the tail end of the vogue for war films, On the Fiddle is more Carry On Sergeant than Hell is For Heroes but its levity is balanced out by some harder moments, especially at the end when the two protagonists, despite their best endeavours, are finally sent into combat. It took a further four years to appear in the US (as Operation SNAFU), part of a mad scramble by distributors to find other Connery product to capitalise on his global success as Bond. Featuring cameo roles by comedic stalwarts Cecil Parker, Stanley Holloway, Eric Barker, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Kathleen Harrison, John le Mesurier, Graham Stark, Bill Owen, Barbara Windsor and Jack Smethurst, On the Fiddle displays its pedigree clearly and shamelessly and is a perfect example of the sort of film they just don't make any more.

Harry Martineau

onthefiddle

PRODUCT DETAILS

On the cusp of international fame, Sean Connery took a lead role in this star-studded film adaptation of R.F. Delderfield’s story of a couple of lovable service dodgers who become accidental heroes. On the Fiddle is featured here in a brand-new transfer from original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio.

Tricked into joining the RAF by a wily judge, wide boy Horace Pope sets his sights on the main chance, teams with slow-witted, good-hearted gypsy Pedlar Pascoe, and works up a lucrative racket in conning both his colleagues and the RAF. By means of various devious schemes Pope and Pascoe manage to avoid the front lines until they are sent to France – where they find themselves making unexpected and uncomfortably close contact with the enemy...

SPECIAL FEATURES:
[] Original UK theatrical trailer
[] Original US theatrical teaser (“Operation Warhead”)
[] Image gallery  


Reference
7953860
Barcode
5027626386047
Classification
TBC
Number of Discs
1
Picture
1.66:1 / Black and White
Sound
Mono / English
Subtitles
None
Region
2 / PAL
Time
97 mins approx