There Was a Crooked Man (film)

There Was a Crooked Man is a 1960 British comedy film directed by Stuart Burge and starring Norman Wisdom, Alfred Marks, Andrew Cruickshank, Reginald Beckwith, and Susannah York.[1] It is based on the James Bridie play The Odd Legend of Schultz; and was one of two films Wisdom made independently to extend his range (the other being The Girl on the Boat), although according to the BFI Screenonline website, "the cinema public craved only the Gump".[2] The film was on general release in 1960 on the Rank circuit (supported by the documentary Jungle Hell) to less than spectacular business before being withdrawn, allegedly after American objections to Wisdom masquerading as an arrogant US general requisitioning British land for the US Air Force. The subject of US forces on British soil was deemed too sensitive even for comic treatment.

There Was a Crooked Man
Directed byStuart Burge
Produced byJohn Bryan
Albert Fennell
Written byJames Bridie (play)
Reuben Ship (script)
StarringNorman Wisdom
Alfred Marks
Andrew Cruickshank
Music byKenneth V. Jones
CinematographyArthur Ibbetson
Edited byPeter R. Hunt
Knightsbridge Films
Distributed byUnited Artists Corporation
Release date
Running time
107 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


A naive explosives expert is tricked into working for a criminal gang. The title is taken from the poem "There Was a Crooked Man".


Release and home media

The film had been unavailable for many years. It had one television screening on ITV on Boxing Day in 1965. It was shown publicly for the first time in over 40 years in Darwen, Lancashire, where it was filmed, in 2008.[3]

The film was released on DVD on 8 May 2017.[4]


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