On the Fiddle (1961) starring Alfred Lynch, Sean Connery, Victor Maddern, Harry Locke, John Le Mesurier, Eric Barker, Viola Keats, Peter Sinclair directed by Cyril Frankel Movie Review

On the Fiddle (1961)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Alfred Lynch in On the Fiddle (1961)

Lynch Puts the Con in Connery

Whilst Sean Connery will always be best known as James Bond he was in a variety of movies before he donned the tuxedo of the world's greatest agent and one of those was "On the Fiddle" a lightweight army comedy from the start of the 60s. In truth there is nothing about "On the Fiddle" which is amazing, as it has that similar element of comedy which was prevalent in British war comedies from the era with a character trying to avoid his duty. But with the draw of Connery as a comedy side-kick it is amusing enough, an enjoyable distraction during a dull afternoon.

Having been hauled in front of a judge for peddling goods on a street corner Horace Pope (Alfred Lynch - The Krays) thinks fast and says he was just waiting to enlist. Disbelieving everything he says the judge forces his hand by ordering Horace to sign up which is how he comes to buddy up with the easy going Pedlar Pascoe (Sean Connery - Darby O'Gill and the Little People). With Horace having no intention of heading to France and the front line he and Pedlar come up with a series of scams to avoid seeing action whilst making a bob or two. The question is how many scams can the duo get away with before times run out and they end up on the front line.

Sean Connery in On the Fiddle (1961)

So as I said "On the Fiddle" is nothing special as we follow the characters Horace and Pedlar who under Horace's various plans not only tries to have an easy life whilst in uniform but also make a bob two. There is plenty of humour which comes from Horace's wheeler dealing exploits and the mess that he and Pedlar find themselves in when things don't always go to plan especially when he finds himself having to say he will marry a butcher's daughter. But whilst fun it isn't the sort of great British comedy which stays with you that long after it has finished.

In truth the real reason why it works is the double act of Alfred Lynch and Sean Connery who work so well together. Lynch delivers the perfect wheeler dealing cheeky chappy always on the make and always with an excuse which makes pretty much everything he does amusing. And there is Connery who not so much plays Pedlar as thick but naive and easy going which in itself is now amusing when you consider shortly after this he donned the tuxedo to become the most iconic of spies.

What this all boils down to is that if you enjoy old British comedies then find yourself a copy of "On the Fiddle" as whilst not a great comedy it is amusing with a wonderful partnership going on between Alfred Lynch and Sean Connery.