The Sandwich Man is a genuine curiosity that plays out like a love-letter to ‘60s London.
Original Goon Michael Bentine co-wrote the script and gives a memorable performance as the titular Sandwich Man, Horace Quilby, who treads a perpetual odyssey through the streets on behalf of Finklebaum and O’Casey – dealers in ‘misfit clothing’. Resplendent in top hat, tails, and sandwich board, his is an unique angle from which to observe life.
While the plot is wafer thin, the performances are all top-notch. The result is a gentle, whimsical comedy that features a Who’s Who of British talent including Norman Wisdom, Diana Dors, Harry H. Corbett, Dora Bryan, Bernard Cribbins, Terry Thomas, John Le Mesurier, Warren Mitchell, Alfie Bass, Roger Delgardo, Burt Kwouk, and Suzie Kendall.
The Sandwich Man wasn’t a hit back then, and Network’s reissue is unlikely to win it any retrospective accolades. But, despite its faults, this is a fascinating and charming watch in which the City itself is the true star.
A film that collectors and Londonphiles will love.
Commentary with Producer/Cinematographer Peter Newbrook.