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The Bargee (1964)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 156 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 2 critic

Hemel Pike is a canal barge casanova, aided and abetted by his illiterate cousin, Ronnie. Hemel has a girl in every town along his route, and each one is intent on marriage. He is finally ... See full summary »

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Title: The Bargee (1964)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Harry H. Corbett ...
Hemel Pike
...
Joe Turnbull
...
The Mariner
...
Ronnie
Julia Foster ...
Christine Turnbull
Miriam Karlin ...
Nellie Marsh
Eric Barker ...
Mr Parkes, the Foreman
Derek Nimmo ...
Dr. Scott
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
George, the Barman
Norman Bird ...
Albert Williams, the Waterways Supervisor
...
Tomkins
Ronnie Brody ...
Ted Croxley
George A. Cooper ...
Mr Williams, Office Official
Ed Devereaux ...
Boat Man
Grazina Frame ...
Girl in Office
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Storyline

Hemel Pike is a canal barge casanova, aided and abetted by his illiterate cousin, Ronnie. Hemel has a girl in every town along his route, and each one is intent on marriage. He is finally caught when one of the girls, Christine, falls pregnant. Her protective father, a 'larger than life' character, who holds the canal record for drinking 29 pints of 'Brown & Mild' in a single session, is understandably upset by his daughter's situation... Written by Stephen Parkin <stephen@spcap.demon.co.uk>

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Comedy

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Release Date:

28 April 1964 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The narrow-boats Banstead and Bellerophon which were used in the film were built around 1935 and are still in existence (2005). Bellerophon became a horse drawn trip-boat and was renamed Iona. In this guise it made an appearance in the British TV soap Coronation Street (1960). Banstead was recently offered for sale as one of a working pair of boats with a GBP75,000 price tag. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Highly under-rated.
20 June 2004 | by (Stockton, England) – See all my reviews

This is very much a star vehicle for Harry H. Corbett, fresh from the success of 'Steptoe And Son'. Indeed, the 'Steptoe' associations do not end there, as the presence of Ray Galton, Alan Simpson and Duncan Wood suggest.

Like 'Steptoe', this movie is based around a traditional but dying industry (by the end of the film it has only 18 months), that of commercial narrow boat trading. The difference is that in 'Steptoe' the totting is very much a grim existence, but here it is a pretty much idyllic life and you can readily understand Hemel Pike's reluctance to give it up. The Technicolor helps provide a dream-like tone.

Galton and Simpson's script is strong, mixing comedy and drama as Corbett's 'Casanova of the canals' succumbs to the charms of the winsome daughter of the fiery Hugh Griffith. There is an equally strong cast to match, notably Eric Sykes as an incompetent amateur mariner and Miriam Karlin as a vengeful woman who discovers that she is not the only woman in Corbett's life. In my eyes Ronnie Barker steals every scene he is in.

This is possibly Corbett's best screen outing as star and is far better than its general reputation suggests. I first saw it around ten years ago and it failed to make an impression, re-watching it today, I fell in love with it.


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