Trouble in Store is a 1953 British comedy film starring Norman Wisdom as a department store clerk in his screen debut. For his performance, Wisdom won a BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer. The film broke box office records at 51 out of the 67 London cinemas in which it played. The Daily Mirror reviewer wrote of the film: "If you don't laugh at Norman's antics as the downtrodden worker in a big store, trying to get promotion as a window dresser, there is something wrong with your sense of fun."


Norman (Norman Wisdom), a lowly stock clerk at Burridge's department store, is in love with another employee, Sally Wilson (Lana Morris), though he has been unable to muster the courage to let her know how he feels. After he antagonizes the new head of the store, Augustus Freeman (Jerry Desmonde), he is promptly fired. On his way out, Norman helps Miss Bacon (Margaret Rutherford) carry her bulging suitcases, unaware that she is an audacious shoplifter. Freeman sees Norman assisting a "customer" and rehires him.

Meanwhile, Peggy Drew (Moira Lister), the store's personnel manager, flirts with Mr. Freeman, while plotting with her boyfriend Gerald (Derek Bond) to rob the place. Norman is fired and rehired again and again, as his escapades somehow manage to benefit the store. He also finally becomes acquainted with Sally, chasing her down through the city streets to return her purse. His antics make her laugh.

After his latest firing, Norman is alarmed to find the handsome, suave Gerald trying to get to know Sally better. When he goes to the man's apartment to warn him to stay away from her, Norman inadvertently uncovers the robbery plot, scheduled to coincide with a big sale the next day. But, he is unable to get Sally or anyone else to take him seriously.

Sally eventually decides to bring Norman's story to the attention of the management, but tells the wrong person, Miss Drew, and is tied up for her efforts. Norman finds her and together, they foil the thieves. Freeman takes Norman back into his employ...but not for long.


  • Norman Wisdom as Norman
  • Lana Morris as Sally Wilson
  • Moira Lister as Peggy Drew
  • Jerry Desmonde as Augustus Freeman
  • Derek Bond as Gerald
  • Margaret Rutherford as Miss Bacon
  • Megs Jenkins as Miss Gibson, Norman's loyal friend in the stockroom
  • Michael Brennan as Davis
  • Michael Ward as Wilbur
  • Joan Sims as Edna


Jill Craigie wrote the first draft of the script, but reportedly asked that her name be removed from the credits after learning of Wisdom's participation.


The film was the second most popular movie at the British box office in 1954.


External links

  • Trouble in Store at the TCM Movie Database
  • Trouble in Store at the Internet Movie Database
  • Trouble in Store at screenonline

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