One Good Turn (1955 film)

One Good Turn is a 1955 British comedy film directed by John Paddy Carstairs and starring Norman Wisdom, Joan Rice, Shirley Abicair and Thora Hird.[1]

One Good Turn
Original UK Quad poster
Directed byJohn Paddy Carstairs
Produced byMaurice Cowan
Written byMaurice Cowan
John Paddy Carstairs
Ted Willis
StarringNorman Wisdom
Joan Rice
Shirley Abicair
Thora Hird
Music byJohn Addison
CinematographyJack E. Cox
Edited byGeoffrey Foot
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Release date
4 January 1955
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


Norman lives at Greenwood children's home, south of London, where he grew up. He has stayed on and serves as carer and general dogsbody. He regards the staff and children there as his family, and when Jimmy, one of the boys, sets his heart on a model car he's seen in a shop window, Norman is determined to raise the money to buy it. But he can't afford it on his meagre wages and Matron won't provide the money.

On a train trip to Brighton, which he's keen to join because he's never seen the sea, Norman joins in a London to Brighton walking race. He wins, but fails to sell the silver cup he's been awarded to a pawnbroker, wno thinks it's been stolen. At a local fair, he enters a boxing competition. He actually wins, but the crooked promoter cheats him of his winnings. The audience have seen what happened and have a whip-round for him, which raises fifteen shillings.

Norman return to the Home, but finds it in a state of siege. The chairman of the trustees is also a crooked property speculator and wants to evict the kids so that a factory can be built on the site.

The defenders are successful and the home is saved. At christmas he dressed as Santa to give presents to the children



The film was the 7th most popular movie at the British box office in 1955.[2][3]

In a Radio Times review written many decades later, it was asserted: "this is the cleverly constructed follow-up to Norman Wisdom's smash-hit debut Trouble in Store. Arguably the best of his vehicles...Of course, the film is overly sentimental, but sentiment was part of Wisdom's stock-in-trade, and today, if we can look beyond the home-grown schmaltz, we can recognise the rare quality of a true cinematic clown".[4]


  1. "BFI | Film & TV Database | ONE GOOD TURN (1954)". 16 April 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  2. 'Dirk Bogarde favourite film actor', The Irish Times (1921-Current File) [Dublin, Ireland] 29 December 1955, p. 9.
  3. Thumim, Janet. "The popular cash and culture in the postwar British cinema industry". Screen. Vol. 32 no. 3. p. 259.
  4. "One Good Turn | Film review and movie reviews". Radio Times. Retrieved 9 June 2014.

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