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Steptoe and Son Ride Again (1973)

 -  Comedy  -  July 1973 (UK)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 497 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 1 critic

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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wilfrid Brambell ...
Steptoe / Albert
Harry H. Corbett ...
Son / Harold
...
Woman in Flat
...
Doctor Popplewell
Neil McCarthy ...
Lennie
Bill Maynard ...
George
George Tovey ...
Percy
Sam Kydd ...
Claude
Yootha Joyce ...
Freda - Lennie's Wife
Olga Lowe ...
Percy's Wife
Joyce Hemson ...
Claude's Wife
Henry Woolf ...
Frankie Barrow
Geoffrey Bayldon ...
Vicar
...
Mr. Russell
Richard Davies ...
Butcher
Edit

Storyline

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 to improve his lot, Harold invests his father's life savings in a greyhound who is almost blind and can't see the hare. When the dog loses a race and Harold has to pay off the debt, he comes up with another bright idea. Collect his father's life insurance. To do this his father must pretend to be dead. Written by Derek Picken <dpicken@email.msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

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Release Date:

July 1973 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

O Cabo dos Trabalhos  »

Company Credits

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Henry Woolf reprised the role of villainous Frankie Barrow in the parent BBC TV series episode "The Seven Steptoerai" in 1974. See more »

Goofs

When Harold tells his dad that Hercules The Second ran away at Acton Park, Albert's pigeon-chewing varies from shot-to-shot. See more »

Connections

References Ryan's Daughter (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A fair attempt all told, but misguided too much of the time.
30 December 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Steptoe and Son" is one of my favourite of many redoubtable British sitcoms; we used to be, and still are, in the shape of "Phoenix Nights", "The Office" and "I'm Alan Partridge", rather good at this sort of thing. Yet British film comedy; or more specifically attempts to transfer a TV success to film, have largely failed. Often horrendously badly! British film comedy can only really look back to Will Hay (of whom I've never seen any films actually), the Ealing comedies, some late-1950s Sellers pieces, Monty Python, the odd stray triumph, and the fact that it has produced comedic actors great in American films: Stan Laurel, Chaplin, Sellers and others.

"Steptoe and Son Ride Again" attempts to be closer to the original TV show than the previous "Steptoe and Son" film of 1972, which was quite horribly trite at times. Galton and Simpson script, so there should be no problem there, but there is: pointless bits are included and coincidences are foisted upon the film to make the plot come together. Corbett and Brambell are perfectly in character, but what are they given? A lame duck opening to the film; that takes in a yawn-worthy plot device of a greyhound and a bizarre cameo from a portly, pallidly wasted Diana Dors. Who sanctioned this? We also don't really get to see the actors doing the expertly winding long scenes of Galton and Simpson dialogue, so familiar to fans of the TV series. Perhaps the makers thought they had to, with a film of 'Steptoe', up the ante visually in some way by having more 'action'. Somewhat missing the point about the series.

Once things get to the actual plot - about the insurance policy on Albert's life and the 'funeral' - the comedy finally breaks out upon the picture, like a supply of embezzled honey to an ailing bee. The lacklustre nature of early sequences is always in mind, however, as is the lack of real cinematic interest, despite the attempts at activity. Milo O'Shea is always a pleasure to see, and the scene with his drunken Doctor is a deftly played delight. The wake is pretty well done, and with Harold leaping through a graveyard, some interesting shots are captured at last, by the director.

This central plot is frankly not central enough, and the coda ending is really deflating in its unrelated flippancy. With such a blackly humorous, potentially poignant farce of a scenario, an ending of impact and subtle sadness - there has rarely been a sitcom as achingly melancholic as "Steptoe" at its best - would have possibly raised the film to something special - yet we return to the irrelevancies of the early part of the film. What a shame; with this film the makers managed to actually hit upon a good idea, but they squander its attending possibilities... How emblematic is this of the ennui and failure of British film in the 1970s...? Well, at least it has its very good central proposition; which makes up quite a sizeable sequence of very good material, I suppose.

Rating:- ***/*****


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