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Steptoe and Son (1972)

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 ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Wilfrid Brambell ...
Harry H. Corbett ...
Arthur Howard ...
Fred Griffiths ...
Joan Heath ...
Zita's mother
Fred McNaughton ...
Zita's father
Patrick Fyffe ...
Arthur (as Perri St. Claire)
Mrs. Hobbs
Mike Reid ...
Hotel Doctor
Michael Da Costa ...
Hotel Manager (as Michael da Costa)
Enys Box ...
Traffic Warden


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 <dpicken@email.msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


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Release Date:

7 January 1972 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Bric-à-brac de père en fils  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Debut film appearance of Mike Reid. See more »


At the end of the film, when Harold and Albert get beeped at and overtaken by Prince Philip's Rolls-Royce, they are going down Great George Street, with Big Ben a short distance behind them. But in the next shot, with the Rolls-Royce still just in front of them as if only a few seconds have passed, they are suddenly on the Mall approaching Buckingham Palace, about a mile away. See more »


Harold Kitchener Steptoe: [To Albert] You're worse than a fly 'round a cow's arsehole.
See more »


Spun-off from Steptoe and Son (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

Chief example of stunted British folly, in place of film.
6 January 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Women? They're all scrubbers...!"

No, not a good translation; not at all! This lags behind the previous year's "Dad's Army", entirely missing the special, small-screen magic of the seminal television sitcom original, and failing to play interestingly at all with the big screen... you could just about say that this film well represents a Britain entering decline, and more precisely even than that, a *British film industry* entering decline. And that is hardly a recommendation, is it? To be an exemplar of saddening folly...

All that remains after the subtlety of the TV original has been surgically stripped away, by Cliff Owen, Galton and Simpson are: endless, dilapidated musical cues, yawn, from the Ron Grainer theme... bolstered sentimentality (that shoddy, thick-eared ending... how much bolder does the second Steptoe film seem in comparison) an increased seediness - with director and writers seemingly detaching themselves completely - fully applicable to something like the 'misbegotten monstrosity' (yours truly on this site) from 1973, "The Mutations". There is a strangely botched, cut-adrift tone about the scene where Harold is beaten up in a rugby club, that I partly hate and recoil it (so far, as a friend intimated, from the mood of the TV series...), but this at least seems an original slant, and emblematic of tensions just rising to the boil in the Britain of 1972... There is, however, an implied prostitute, aye of a 'heart-of-gold' who turns loose woman-traitor 'pon poor auld 'Arold - and beyond-caricature writing of the 'class' element; not to mention, surprisingly misjudged performances from the usually redoubtable leads. Brambell and Corbett collude with the script, and indeed fail to cure it of an essential ham. What would Anthony Aloysius Hancock have made of it all...? I will merely concede that a few moments just about work - chiefly those where G & S play things a little more carefully and B & C touch tenderer nerves - and it is not on the whole an unwatchable affair.

But, and oh, how this pains me to say it: it is tiresome, boring, both wilfully detached from reality and what made the TV series great, and also fully in tune with the lazy, tawdry, misogynist 'fuck it, that'll do...' actuality of much of what was allowed to pass for mainstream film-making in the Britain of the time.

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