Albert Steptoe and his son Harold are junk dealers, complete with horse and cart to tour the neighbourhood. They also live amicably together at the junk yard. But Harold, who likes the ...
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Albert Steptoe and his son Harold are junk dealers, complete with horse and cart to tour the neighbourhood. They also live amicably together at the junk yard. Always on the lookout for ways... See full summary »
Harry H. Corbett,
Classic 1960s British comedy series about a middle aged man and his elderly father who run an unsuccessful 'rag and bone' business (collecting and selling junk). Harold (the son) wants to ... See full summary »
Harry H. Corbett,
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Bus driver Stan Butler agrees to marry Suzy, much to the anguish of Mum, her son-in-law, Arthur, and daughter Olive. How, they wonder, will they ever manage without Stan's money coming in? Then Arthur is sacked, and Stan agrees to delay the wedding. Meanwhile, he hits on an idea: Arthur should learn to drive a bus. Somehow he does just that, and even gets a job. Stan then blackmails the Depot ... See full summary »
Albert Steptoe and his son Harold are junk dealers, complete with horse and cart to tour the neighbourhood. They also live amicably together at the junk yard. But Harold, who likes the bright lights in the West End of London, meets a stripper. Fine, but he marries her and takes her home. Albert, of course, is furious and tries every trick he knows to drive the new bride from his household. Written by
Derek Picken <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It was something of a trend in the 70s to make film versions of popular sit-coms of the day. With one or two exceptions these were cheaply made, second-rate efforts intended to cash in on the success of a popular TV show and were therefore largely embarrassing to watch. The first Steptoe and Son movie does, however, work fairly well.
The grit and seediness of the Steptoe's environment transfers very well to film and we get a valuable glimpse of a part of London which was grey, dilapidated and depressing...something we are never privy to in the TV series. With film censorship being slightly more relaxed than what could be seen or heard on television we get some hilarious outbursts from Harold and Albert, liberally peppered with swear words.
Of course the TV version of Steptoe is a sit-com and while this is funny in places the genuine tragedy of Harold and Albert's situation takes centre stage. Harold ends up getting hitched to a stripper but the match is doomed from the start due to his mixed feelings: all he wants to do is get away from his father and make something of himself yet abandoning him is the one thing he cannot do. We really do sympathise with Harold's plight in this movie and despise Albert's deviousness and thwarting him at every turn.
Of course, such sombre elements existed in the TV programme but due to them being mixed with relatively rapid comedy in 25 minute slots we accepted the character's situation without dwelling on it too much. This time round, with a longer running time and the tragi-drama fleshed out it sometimes makes for uncomfortable viewing.
All the leads perform well and this is a better example of how TV sit-coms could work as cinema spectaculars. Indeed, even if the characters weren't known from TV this has the potential to function well as a stand-alone movie.
See it and be pleasantly surprised.
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