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Charlie Bubbles (1968)

A married writer has an affair with his secretary.



Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Smokey Pickles
Timothy Garland ...
Richard Pearson ...
Charles Hill ...
Head Waiter
Charles Lamb ...
Mr. Noseworthy
Margery Mason ...
Mrs. Noseworthy
Diana Coupland ...
Garage Attendant
Arthur Pentelow ...
Man With Car
Alan Lake ...


Charlie Bubbles, a writer, up from the working class of Manchester, England, who, in the course of becoming prematurely rich and famous, has mislaid a writer's basic tool - the capacity to feel and to respond. Now he must visit his estranged wife and son, whom he has set up on a farm outside his native city. His journey accidentally becomes an attempt to reestablish his connections with life, people, and his own history. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


If You Think You're Old Enough


Comedy | Drama


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 February 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Berømmelsens pris  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


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Did You Know?


This was a very personal project for Albert Finney, who made his debut as director with it and made it for his own company, Memorial Enterprises. He got fairly lavish backing from an American company, Universal, who were trying to set up a system for making films in England, but then had the greatest difficulty in getting the finished film shown. He made the film in 1966, but, although advance word on it was very positive, and the film eventually won awards as well as rave reviews, it was not shown in either the US or Britain until 1968; its American opening was well over six months in advance of its British one. Finney did his best to promote the film in several countries, but it was written off as a box-office failure. He hoped to direct in films again, and announced a film to be called "The Girl In Melanie Klein" in the early 1970s; but he never made it and never directed another film. See more »


Lottie Bubbles: [to Charlie] How does a perfect child like you grow up to be such a mess?
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Fenesta che lucive
Music by Vincenzo Bellini
Arranged by Albert Marland
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User Reviews

Excellent, under-rated movie
13 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

This excellent film is about the effects of displacement, of being a fish out of water. Working-class Charlie Bubbles has ascended from his humble origins to become a successful writer. He has clearly not handled the transition well from within, but it's hardly surprising when there are so many hurdles to overcome in the world outside of himself.

The story would have been familiar to a lot of people in Britain in the 60s, as the first generation to benefit from the post-WW2 welfare state came to adulthood. CHARLIE BUBBLES nails this more effectively than any other film I know. Playwright Shelagh (A TASTE OF HONEY) Delaney's script is full of acute observation; the acting is marvellous, the cinematography (by a young Peter Suschitzky, now better known as David Cronenberg's DOP) noticeably European, the charming score (by Misha Donat - Mr Suschitzky's sister) a nod to to the work of Georges Delerue and Nino Rota. Indeed, the movie as a whole leans more towards New Wave and Fellini than the realistic school in which Finney made his name as an actor. Here he is also the director - his one and only feature film in that capacity - and a very creditable achievement it is too.

How CHARLIE BUBBLES reads to people unfamiliar with its social and historical background, I don't know. For me it is one of the finest British films of the sixties, but it somehow gets overlooked in the enthusiasm for THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG-DISTANCE RUNNER, A KIND OF LOVING and of course Saturday NIGHT AND Sunday MORNING. They are all fine films films, but so is this one. Re-assessment in its favour is long overdue.

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