The Sandwich Man
Starring: Michael Bentine, Dora Bryan, Harry H. Corbett, Bernard Cribbins, Diana Dors,
Director: Robert Hartford-Davis
Year of release: 1966
Country: UK
Screen shots

(click to enlarge)
Plot summary
Written by and starring Michael Bentine (one of the less famous Goons), the Sandwich Man follows a day in the life of Horace Quilby who walks around London advertising his firm's wares on a sandwich board and encounters a variety of eccentric locals on the way.

Snubbed when it was first released, this engaging, off-the-wall, semi-silent film features cameos from a whole host of British comedy stalwarts of the time, including Diana Dors, Terry-Thomas, Bernard Cribbins, Norman Wisdom, Harry H Corbett and Michael Chaplin - son of Charlie.

The rowing appears towards the end of the film when Horace has arranged to meet a friend at Putney Pier to get the river boat back to his house in the London Docklands.

As they wait for the ferry a speed boat pulling a water skier appears on the river and zooms up and down causing chaos.

As the wash upsets a small boat with passengers in it, leaving one man hanging from a pole under one of the arches of putney bridge, a rowing eight, coached by a blazered twit on a bike with a cone attached to his head appears on the scene.

To cut a long story short, the man on the pole eventually falls off on top of the stern of the boat as they pass, causing the boat to flip (after some effort on behalf of the rowers).


  • Stay in the boat, remember you're British
  • Rowing info
    A reader writes
    "In 1966 a complete crew from Twickenham RC was used in making this film.

    They were in a scene where they rowed under Putney Bridge and someone leapt off the bridge - breaking the boat and they all ended up in the drink.

    I was watching it happen from Elvis's B52

    James Dean"

    Alas the quality of the pictures aren't quite good enough to make out the faces of those falling in from their restircted eight but I have a feeling James Dean might be willing to jog his memory in exchange for a few pints of beer...

    Otherwise, there are some nice views of Putney embankment as it was circa 1965, the IC and Thames boathouses are instantly recognisable - Thames looking very pristine (apart from the dodgy black picket fence at the front) - but some of the boathouses are long gone.

    Check out the pictures above.

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