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On the Fiddle

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Title: On the Fiddle  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Barbara Windsor, Bill Owen (actor), R. F. Delderfield, Alan King (comedian), Kathleen Harrison, Patsy Rowlands, Peter R. Hunt, Cecil Parker, Graham Stark, Liz Fraser
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

On the Fiddle

On the Fiddle
film poster
Directed by Cyril Frankel
Produced by Benjamin Fisz
Written by R.F. Delderfield (novel)
Harold Buchman
Starring Alfred Lynch
Sean Connery
Cecil Parker
Stanley Holloway
Music by Malcolm Arnold
Cinematography Edward Scaife
Editing by Peter Hunt
Distributed by Anglo-Amalgamated Film Distributors
Release date(s) 10 October 1961
Running time 86 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
"Operation Snafu" redirects here. For the 1970 film starring Jason Robards and Peter Falk, see Rosolino PaternĂ² soldato.

On the Fiddle is a 1961 British comedy film directed by Cyril Frankel and starring Sean Connery, Alfred Lynch, Cecil Parker, Stanley Holloway, Eric Barker, Mike Sarne, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Kathleen Harrison, Victor Maddern and John Le Mesurier.

It was one of the last films released before Connery was cast as James Bond in the 1962 film Dr No.


During the Second World War, spiv Horace Pope is taken to court for selling stuff on the street. In mitigation he tells the judge he is only working in the black market while waiting to enlist in the war effort. On hearing this plea, the judge calls his bluff and forces him to sign up.

Pope joins the RAF. Very quickly he makes friends with the easy going but loyal Pedlar Pascoe who happily goes along with all of his scams. In time, the pair do their up most make a bit on the side and avoid being sent to the front lines.

However, their antics soon lead to them being sent on a mission to occupied France where they unexpectedly succeed with their offbeat actions.




The film was adapted from the 1961 novel Stop at a Winner by R. F. Delderfield by Harold Buchman.


The fighting scenes in the woods were shot in and around "The Sandpit" on Horsell Common near Woking, Surrey. Interiors were completed at Shepperton Studios, Surrey.


The film was not released in America until 1965. American International Pictures retitled it as "Operation Snafu" or "Operation Warhead" for cinemas. It was only released in order to capitalise on the popularity of Sean Connery, who was now world famous for playing James Bond 007. The titles, as well as the advertising campaign, downplayed the comedic aspects of the film as well as Connery's second-billing.


Reviewing the film following its 1965 release in the United States the New York Times described it as "familiar and trifling, but it's perky". It observed that "The wonder is that a picture with a story already done, gag by gag, a hundred times is so easy to take. It is, though — flip, friendly, brisk and a wee bit cynical in its take-it-or-leave-it jauntiness". It noted that the release in the United States was "an obvious cash-in" on Connery's subsequent popularity as James Bond.[1]


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
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