The Punch and Judy Man

The Punch and Judy Man

The Punch and Judy Man is a 1963 British comedy film directed by Jeremy Summers from a script by Philip Oakes and Tony Hancock for the Associated British Picture Corporation. It was Hancock's second and last starring role in a film, following The Rebel (1961).

Based on Hancock's childhood memories of Bournemouth, the movie is set in 1963 in the sleepy fictional seaside town of Piltdown. Hancock plays Wally Pinner, the unhappily married Punch and Judy Man. Wally and the other beach entertainers, the Sandman (John Le Mesurier) who makes sand sculptures, and Neville the photographer (Mario Fabrizi) are socially unacceptable to the town's snobbish elite.

Wally's wife, Delia (Sylvia Syms), runs a typical seaside curios shop of the time below their flat, and is socially ambitious. To achieve this she needs to have Wally invited to entertain at the official reception for Lady Jane Caterham (Barbara Murray), who is to switch on the town's illuminations, and at the mayoress's suggestion the reception committee invites Wally to entertain.

The illumination ceremony ends in farce when Wally's electric shaver shorts out some of the lights, causing some of the illuminated signs to display unflattering comments about the town. The dinner degenerates into a food fight when one of the drunken guests heckles Punch, and when Lady Jane rounds on Wally, Delia floors her with a punch. Her dreams of social acceptance are gone, but Wally and Delia retire, wiser and closer.

Tony Hancock — Wally Pinner
Sylvia Syms — Delia Pinner
Ronald Fraser — Mayor
Barbara Murray — Lady Caterham
John Le Mesurier — The Sandman
Norman Bird — Committee Man
Kevin Brennan — Landlord
Eddie Byrne — Ice Cream Assistant
Norman Chappell — Footman
Mario Fabrizi — Nevile Shanks
Carole Ann Ford — Girl in seaside kiosk
Gerald Harper — First Drunk
Walter Hudd — Clergyman
Hattie Jacques — Dolly Zarathusa, the Fortune Teller
Hugh Lloyd — Edward Cox
Michael Ripper — Waiter
Peter Vaughan — Committee Man
Russell Waters — Bobby Bachelor
Nicholas Webb — Peter
Release date 8th April 1963
Running time 96 minutes Black & White