A Stitch in Time (film)

A Stitch in Time is a 1963 Norman Wisdom comedy film set in a children's hospital. It was directed by Robert Asher and edited by Gerry Hambling. The cast includes Edward Chapman, Jeanette Sterke, Jerry Desmonde, Jill Melford, Glyn Houston, Vera Day, Patsy Rowlands, Peter Jones, Ernest Clark, Hazel Hughes, Lucy Appleby and Frank Williams. The film also features an early role for Johnny Briggs.[1]

A Stitch in Time
original UK 1-sheet poster
Directed byRobert Asher
Produced byHugh Stewart
Earl St. John
Written byJack Davies
Norman Wisdom
Henry Blyth
Eddie Leslie
StarringNorman Wisdom
Edward Chapman
Jeanette Sterke
Jerry Desmonde
Music byPhilip Green
CinematographyJack Asher
Edited byGerry Hambling
Distributed byJ. Arthur Rank Film Distributors
Release date
  • 1963 (1963)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


Norman Pitkin is the apprentice to Mr Grimsdale an old fashioned butcher. When the store is raided by a young thug (Johnny Briggs), Mr Grimsdale (at Norman's suggestion) puts his gold watch in his mouth for safe keeping. The result of which leads to Mr Grimsdale accidentally swallowing the watch and sent to hospital. Whilst visiting Mr Grimsdale, Norman (in his usual way) accidentally causes chaos around the hospital and meets a girl called Lindy who hasn't spoken since her parents were killed in an aeroplane accident. After Norman is unable to visit Lindy as he is banned from hospital he and Mr. Grimsdale join the St. John Ambulance Brigade which gives him the excuse to visit her, as the usual chaos ensues. In the end Lindy visits him at a charity ball where the St. John Ambulance Brigade Band are performing. The ball descends into the inevitable shambles, caused entirely by Norman. However, Norman redeems himself (and the reputation of the Brigade) as he addresses those attending the ball and everyone donates money for the charity.



The film was shot almost entirely at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. Location filming was kept to a minimum.


A Stitch in Time represents Wisdom's most commercially successful title.[2] The film was rereleased in 1984 in Chennai India. The film was a smash hit and ran for many weeks at the old Alankar Theatre (now demolished).

Critical reception

  • The Radio Times gave the film two out of five stars: "this was (Wisdom's) final film in black and white and also his last big starring success at the box office, for he belonged to a more innocent age. The script sticks closely to the winning Wisdom formula as he knots his cap in confused shyness in his attempts to declare his love for a pretty nurse. Stalwart stooges Edward Chapman (Mr Grimsdale, of course) and Jerry Desmonde prove once more that straight men can often be much funnier than the comics".[3]
  • Sky Movies gave the film three out of five stars, noting the film "has just enough inspired tomfoolery - a madcap race on casualty trolleys down the corridors of a hospital; a hectic ride for a bandaged Norman on top of an ambulance; Norman messing up a St John's Ambulance Brigade concert - to ensure a decent quota of laughs. In his silly stunts, he is forever the naughty boy having the time of his life doing what he shouldn't".[4]
  • TV Guide gave the film three out of five stars, and noted, "a charming and sentimental piece of characterization from Wisdom."[5]


  1. "A Stitch in Time (1963) | BFI". Explore.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  2. "BFI Screenonline: Wisdom, Norman (1915-2010) Biography". Screenonline.org.uk. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  3. "A Stitch in Time | Film review and movie reviews". Radio Times. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  4. "A Stitch in Time - Sky Movies HD". Skymovies.sky.com. 16 February 2006. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  5. "A Stitch In Time Review". Movies.tvguide.com. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
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