17 user 3 critic

The Punch and Judy Man (1963)

Dark comedy about a seaside Punch and Judy man driven to distraction by his social climbing wife and his hatred for the snobbery of local government. He is persuaded to go to the Mayor's gala evening but it's all too much for him.


Jeremy Summers


Phillip Oakes (screenplay), Tony Hancock (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Hancock ... Wally Pinner
Sylvia Syms ... Delia Pinner
Ronald Fraser ... Arthur Palmer (Mayor)
Barbara Murray ... Lady Jane Caterham
John Le Mesurier ... Charles Ford (Sandman)
Hugh Lloyd ... Edward Cox
Mario Fabrizi Mario Fabrizi ... Nevil Shanks
Pauline Jameson ... Mrs. Palmer (Mayoress)
Norman Bird ... Reginald Fletcher (Committee Man)
Peter Vaughan ... Fred (Town Clerk Committee Man)
John Dunbar John Dunbar ... Committee Man
Walter Hudd ... Clergyman
Brian Bedford ... 1st. Escort
Peter Myers Peter Myers ... 2nd. Escort
Eddie Byrne ... Ice Cream Man


Dark comedy about a seaside Punch and Judy man driven to distraction by his social climbing wife and his hatred for the snobbery of local government. He is persuaded to go to the Mayor's gala evening but it's all too much for him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

independent film | See All (1) »


Hancock rebels again!




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Release Date:

8 April 1963 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


At the start of the film, the motto SEMPER PORRO NUMQUAM RETRO - EVER FORWARD NEVER BACKWARD appears on the screen and then reduces to the emblem on the corporation dust cart. See more »


Dudley House Bed & Breakfast has a Bognor Regis, rather than Piltdown, phone number, so revealing the genuine location used. See more »

Crazy Credits

The Piltdown civic dignitaries portrayed in this film are, like all other characters and events in the film, wholly fictitious and any similarity to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental. See more »

Alternate Versions

The version of the film issued in 2006 as a DVD double with Call Me Genius by Optimum Releasing is edited, removing four minutes of footage (at around the nine minutes mark). This loses Wally leaving the house after breakfast - after inserting some flowers into the pig ornament on his way out - to visit Edward mending the puppet crocodile in his garage, then encountering the Mayor on the road. The beginning of the following scene in the Town Hall is also clipped. See more »


Featured in My Hero: Ben Miller on Tony Hancock (2013) See more »


In Party Mood
Music by Jack Strachey
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User Reviews

17 September 2003 | by m0rphySee all my reviews

My cd came with "The Rebel" which I have commented on elsewhere on the Imdb.Many of Tony's old friends from his "Half-Hour" tv series were in this film, Hattie Jacques, Mario Fabrizi, Hugh Lloyd and of course John le Mesurier.The broader canvas of cinema allowed Tony to develop his humour around a story set in a typical early sixties English seaside resort run by a myopic town council led by Ron Fraser.It is refreshing to see Sylivia Sims playing comedy as his wife who has social pretensions of meeting the pompous lady who will open the town's illuminations.I don't believe Hancock is "married" in any of his other films or tv comedy and this gives him a chance to interact with her in the domestic scenes together, certainly a novelty.His friend John le Mesurier does beach sand sculptures with commentaries and with Mario Fabrizi, the beach photographer and his assistant in the Punch and Judy stall, Hugh Lloyd, they adjourn to the pub to annoy the local worthies.

This film has a gentle humour and Hancock gets away from the pseudo intellectual persona he so often played in his tv comedy shows and in "The Rebel".Highly acclaimed is the mime sequence in the ice cream parlour run by Eddie Byrne with the little boy fan.Do we assume this is the son he never had in the film?I believe viewers today are giving more generous ratings to this film than when it was first released in 1963.I rated it 6.

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