Trying to change his life by joining the navy, well-meaning but clumsy grocer’s assistant Norman Puckle (Wisdom) is posted to the destroyer HMS Dorchester where he soon creates pandemonium but is chosen to be the first test subject for a planned rocket launch.
Admiral Sir Bryanston Blyth (Ian Hunter) firmly believes that Norman has bulldog determination and dismisses opposition from Philpots (Edward Chapman), a smug Civil Servant who favours his own candidate, Carruthers (Frank Williams) for the job.
The Cockney comic has to go through all sorts of tests, and people begin to wonder if he has the “right stuff” for the job.
Puckle is eventually court-martialled but successfully pleads for a final chance to prove himself. By accident, he takes the place of an astronaut and leaves Earth in the rocket. Equally by accident, he manages to return.
He crash-lands on a Pacific island and ends up in the arms of a compliant local maiden.
Future British film stars Michael Caine and Oliver Reed share a scene together with Wisdom when Norman gets into a fight with a gang of Teddy Boys in a cinema lobby.
Future Coronation Street actors Johnny Briggs and William Roache also have small roles. Liz Fraser is alluring as “NAAFI girl”.
Admiral Sir Bryanston Blyth
Chief Petty Officer Knowles
Petty Officer Filkins
John Le Mesurier