Nearly a Nasty Accident
UK theatrical release poster
Directed byDon Chaffey
Written byJack Davies
Hugh Woodhouse
play Touch Wood by
David Stringer
David Carr
Produced byBertram Ostrer
StarringJimmy Edwards
Kenneth Connor
Shirley Eaton
Eric Barker
CinematographyPaul Beeson
Edited byBill Lenny
Music byKen Jones
British Lion Films
Bertram Ostrer Productions
Marlow Films Ltd.
Distributed byBritannia Films (UK)
Release dates
  • May 1961 (1961-05) (London)
  • March 28, 1962 (1962-03-28) (Boston)
  • June 27, 1962 (1962-06-27) (New York City)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Nearly a Nasty Accident is a 1961 British comedy film directed by Don Chaffey and starring Jimmy Edwards, Kenneth Connor, Shirley Eaton and Eric Barker.[1][2]

The screenplay was by Jack Davies and Hugh Woodhouse, based on the 1958 BBC TV Sunday-Night Theatre play Touch Wood by David Stringer and David Carr.[3]


Alexander Wood is a cheerful, well-intentioned and mechanically minded aircraftman. He is also dangerously accident-prone. Always on the lookout for things to fix and improve, he constantly creates chaos and arouses the anger of the airbase commander, the promotion-seeking Group Captain Kingsley. Nevertheless Wood wins the heart of Corporal Jean Briggs.


Critical response

The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote: "An air of desperation pervades the homely humours of this stereotype farce, in which Eric Barker and Richard Wattis contribute their standard Whitehall representations, and Jimmy Edwards explodes and stutters and wields his swagger-stick like a cane. Kenneth Connor, wrecking aircraft, flooding South Wales and generally costing the Air Ministry five million pounds in damages, shoulders the main burden of the sub-standard script. At his best, he manages to provide an echo of the late George Formby's gift for this kind of riotous-pathetic "'erk" portrayal; at his worst, he merely parodies Chaplin's little man."[4]

The Radio Times Guide to Films gave the film 3/5 stars, writing: "Jimmy Edwards teams with Kenneth Connor for this old-fashioned blend of slapstick and bluster. Although Edwards, his handlebar moustache bristling with indignation, is the nominal star as the RAF officer whose cushy lifestyle is shattered by the arrival of an accident prone mechanic, it's Connor's talent for timidity and catastrophe that makes this cataloqgue of disasters so amusing, Don Chaffey directs with undue fuss, and there's practised support from some stalwart players."[5]

Leslie Halliwell said: "Familiar faces just about save from disaster this underscripted comedy for indulgent audiences."[6]

The New York Times called the film "essentially a one-joke comedy hanging on the thinnest of plots."[7]

TV Guide said "Connor is a soldier who is obsessed with repairing things and is fascinated with anything mechanical, in this cute British comedy".[8]


  1. ^ "Nearly a Nasty Accident". British Film Institute Collections Search. Retrieved 22 March 2024.
  2. ^ "Nearly a Nasty Accident (1960)". 16 April 2009. Archived from the original on 15 January 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Touch Wood". BBC Programme Index. Retrieved 22 March 2024.
  4. ^ "Nearly a Nasty Accident". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 28 (324): 83. 1 January 1961 – via ProQuest.
  5. ^ Radio Times Guide to Films (18th ed.). London: Immediate Media Company. 2017. p. 651. ISBN 9780992936440.
  6. ^ Halliwell, Leslie (1989). Halliwell's Film Guide (7th ed.). London: Paladin. p. 718. ISBN 0586088946.
  7. ^ Eleanor Mannikka (2014). "Nearly-a-Nasty-Accident - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Nearly A Nasty Accident Review". Retrieved 7 March 2014.