Postman's Knock (film)

Postman's Knock is a 1962 black and white British comedy film directed by Robert Lynn and starring Spike Milligan, Barbara Shelley, John Wood and Warren Mitchell.[1] The screenplay concerns a country postman who is transferred to London, where he manages to foil a major robbery.

Postman's Knock
British quad poster
Directed byRobert Lynn
Produced byRonald Kinnoch
Written by Additional dialogue by Spike Milligan and Ronald Kinnoch (as "George Barclay")
Based ona story by Jack Trevor Story
StarringSpike Milligan
Barbara Shelley
Music byRon Goodwin
CinematographyGerald Moss
Edited byGeoffrey Foot
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer British Studios
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (UK)
Release date
March 1962 (UK)
Running time
88 min
CountryUnited Kingdom

According to MGM the film made a loss of $31,000.[2]


Harold Petts (Spike Milligan) is a conscientious village postman who receives a promotion that takes him to London, to be trained at London's busiest post office. However, after his first day in the big city he is soon in trouble. In the main sorting office he succeeds in beating the new mail sorting machine at pigeonholing letters for delivery (the machine blows up in the process). As a result he is placed safely out of the way in the parcels department, but sorts parcels at such speed that he puts everyone else in the department out of work. This leads him to a meeting with the staff psychiatrist, and then to Jean (Barbara Shelley), an ambitious art student, and the pair find themselves the main suspects in a mail theft ring, with the police and post office officials hot on their heels.


Critical reception

Britmovie noted "several promising satirical opportunities are sadly lost beneath a welter of frenetic slapstick";[3] while David McGillivray described the film in the Radio Times as "one of two comedies (the other is Invasion Quartet) created for Spike Milligan by John Briley and Jack Trevor Story, talented writers not noted for their eccentric humour (Briley went on to script Gandhi and Cry Freedom). Consequently the brilliant Goon flounders in the conventional, happy-go-lucky tale of a village postman who is transferred to London."[4]


  1. "Postman's Knock (1961) - BFI". BFI.
  2. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  3. "Postmans Knock 1961 - Britmovie - Home of British Films".
  4. David McGillivray. "Postman's Knock". RadioTimes.

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