When He's Cleaning Windows
When it comes to the movies of Norman Wisdom I have found that if you watch too many too quickly they end up becoming a little annoying and are better watched only occasionally. Unfortunately when I sat down to watch "Up in the World" I hadn't realised this and watched it too soon after another Norman Wisdom movie and the outcome was that it did little for me. You see Wisdom's movies had a formula, they had routines and you need time to forget that in-between watching them as otherwise they just end up too similar. And as such the biggest compliment I can give "Up in the World" is that it is a solid, typical Norman Wisdom comedy where the little chap makes it all look so easily.
After putting a bill board up in the wrong place Norman (Norman Wisdom) finds himself looking for work and finds it as window cleaner on the large estate of Lady Banderville (Ambrosine Phillpotts) and her spoilt son Sir Reginald (Michael Caridia). What Norman doesn't know is that a group of kidnappers are planning to kidnap the spoilt heir and were planning on getting one of their own on the inside with the window cleaning job. So not only does Norman have to contend with the spoilt Reginald and all the pompous lackies who look down their noses at Norman but also unwittingly deal with kidnappers who are after Reginald. But at least Norman finds time for romance when he befriends Jeannie (Maureen Swanson - Robbery Under Arms) who also works at the estate.
So "Up in the World" is your basic Norman Wisdom comedy where whilst there is a storyline the majority of the movie is focussed on the slapstick. Now as storylines go, and this one basically shows up towards the end, the kidnapping of Reginald is okay, there is some typical mistaken identity moments and confusion comedy as well as a couple of scenes where Norman dresses up as a woman but it is forgettable.
And to be honest all the build up to this which is basically Norman Wisdom acting the clown is just as forgettable because it is basically what we have seen before. But as I mentioned if this is the first Norman Wisdom movie you have watched in a while it will be so much better and the cleverness of the clowning around will be more impressive. That doesn't mean it is weaker than any of Wisdom's other movies and he makes some very clever chain of events gags look so easy but it is all so very familiar.
And to be honest that is about it, Jerry Desmonde is entertaining as the pompous estate manager Maj. Willoughby who Norman constantly annoys whilst Maureen Swanson is lovely as Jeannie. And then there is Michael Caridia as Sir Reginald who certainly delivers everything which is annoying about spoilt brats.
What this all boils down to is that "Up in the World" is really a standard, solid and entertaining Norman Wisdom movie which once again sees him making it look all so easy when it comes to clowning around. There is nothing stand out about it but if you haven't watched a Norman Wisdom movie in a while it will bring a smile to your face.