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The Sandwich Man (1966 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Sandwich Man
"The Sandwich Man" (1966).jpg
Film Poster
Directed byRobert Hartford-Davis
Written byMichael Bentine
Robert Hartford-Davis
Produced byPeter Newbrook
StarringMichael Bentine
Dora Bryan
Harry H. Corbett
CinematographyPeter Newbrook
Edited byPeter Taylor
Music byMike Vickers
Titan International Pictures
Distributed byRank Film Distributors
Release date
July 1966
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget£214,452[1] or £189,334[2]

The Sandwich Man is a 1966 British comedy film directed by Robert Hartford-Davis and written by Hartford-Davis and Michael Bentine. The film also stars Bentine, with support from Dora Bryan, Harry H. Corbett, Bernard Cribbins, Diana Dors, Norman Wisdom, Terry-Thomas, Ian Hendry, and numerous other British character actors.

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Plot synopsis

Bentine plays the lead role, that of Horace Quilby, a mild-mannered widower living in the London Docklands. His job as a sandwich-board man requires him to wander around London wearing immaculate morning dress (top hat and tails) and carrying advertisements. He is also secretary of the Sandwichmen's Brotherhood. However, his real interest in life is pigeon racing – especially his bird 'Esmerelda', which is racing from Bordeaux to London – so he keeps calling at places on his route to see if there is any news.[3]

The action takes place on the streets of London. There is plenty of local colour: red London Transport RT buses are often in view, together with all manner of cars (from saloons and hansom cab taxis to chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royces) and vans.[3]

During the course of one day, Quilby encounters a host of eccentric characters, who are played by an ensemble cast of Britain's best known comedy and character actors. The film is deliberately extremely episodic: one mildly amusing sequence follows another, with stars fleetingly appearing in a cameo role and sometimes just appearing in a background.[3]

Quilby becomes involved in a series of capers:-

  • There is an overloaded Mini Moke with a troubled scout leader behind the wheel but getting nowhere fast;
  • Along comes a policeman riding a motorcycle who has had better days;
  • The main story thread sees Quilby reunite Sue (Suzy Kendall), a young model, with her errant boyfriend Steven (David Buck).

Quilby's homing pigeon Esmerelda wins the race, and the whole of his neighbourhood joins in the celebrations.



The film was the second in a short-lived series of co-productions between the NFFC and Rank.[4] Diana Dors had recently moved back to London after several years in the USA.[5]


The film was poorly received at the time of its release, critically and commercially,[6] but has since achieved some attention, especially for its backdrop of London in the Swinging Sixties.


  1. ^ Petrie, p. 10
  2. ^ Chapman, J. (2022). The Money Behind the Screen: A History of British Film Finance, 1945-1985. Edinburgh University Press p 360
  3. ^ a b c Best Of British magazine, September 2022, p. 65
  4. ^ Petrie, p. 7–8
  5. ^ Vagg, Stephen (7 September 2020). "A Tale of Two Blondes: Diana Dors and Belinda Lee". Filmink.
  6. ^ Petrie, p. 13–14


External links

This page was last edited on 22 April 2023, at 16:12
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