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The Bargee (1964)

| Comedy | 1 May 1964 (UK)
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 »



(original story), (original story) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry H. Corbett ...
The Mariner
Miriam Karlin ...
Eric Barker ...
Derek Nimmo ...
Doctor Scott
Waterways Supervisor
Official in Office
Grazina Frame ...
Girl in Office
Jo Rowbottom ...
Cynthia (as Jo Rowbotham)
George (Barman)


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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

1 May 1964 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The narrow-boats Banstead and Bellerophon which were used in the film were built in 1936 and are still in existence (2016). Bellerophon became a horse drawn trip-boat on the River Wey and was renamed Iona. In this guise it made an appearance in the British TV soap Coronation Street (1960). Banstead continued to work for British Waterways until 1969 when it was sold to private use and after a career as camping boat and tearoom, Banstead is now fully restored to working condition and can often be seen on the Grand Union canal where it remains a minor celebrity, as many locals still remember the filming of The Bargee with fond memories. See more »


When planning the journey on the Grand Union Canal the pair agree the first night at Rickmansworth, the second at Boxmoor and the third at Apsley. Geographically Apsley is before Boxmoor and also the two places are only a mile apart so would not both be overnight stopping points, even if in the correct order. See more »


[Christine has collapsed and Doctor Scott has been examining her]
Joe: How is she?
Doctor Scott: She's resting. Can we have a little chat?
Joe: Well, is it anything serious?
Doctor Scott: Depends on your point of view, really. Medically she's A1 - she can get up whenever she wants to.
Joe: Well what's wrong with her, then?
Doctor Scott: There's nothing wrong with her, really. She's a very healthy girl... Very attractive, too. Damned attractive.
Joe: [sternly] Look, you're not here to judge a beauty contest. What's wrong with her?
Doctor Scott: Your daughter didn't tell ...
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User Reviews

A delight for canal enthusiasts.
22 June 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A beautifully made film mainly shot on location. I'm the first to admit that this isn't a movie for the person looking for big 'belly laughs', but for lovers of the English canal system and it's history who like wistful humour and some beautifully subtle moments and some classic lines, it's superb. Harry H Corbett is billed as the Casanova of the canals but his (Hemel Pike) first love affair is with 'the cut', his early line where he says "The only way you'll get me off the canal is to fill it in", will strike a chord with canal enthusiasts. So I can quite understand why people rate this film lower as it is slightly specialised. For those interested in film locations, Leg O' Mutton Lock, the main location in the film is in fact Marsworth top lock on the Grand Union canal and is almost exactly the same today as in 1963, lots more boats though! Corbett's portrayal as Hemel Pike is either a tribute to his research into the canal way of life or he had experience of it as all his actions are extremely accurate. If you love canals you'll love this film. If you are looking for big laughs and constant action you'll be disappointed. I love it. 10 out of 10.

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