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"Porridge" (1974) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1974-1977

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Release Date:
5 September 1974 (UK) See more »
The prison life of Fletcher, a criminal serving a five-year sentence, as he strives to bide his time, keep his record clean, and refuses to be ground down by the prison system. Full summary »
4 wins & 3 nominations See more »
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User Reviews:
hillarious, yet with a most brilliant humanity See more (15 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 6 of 21)

Ronnie Barker ... Norman Stanley Fletcher (20 episodes, 1974-1977)
Brian Wilde ... Mr. Barrowclough (19 episodes, 1974-1977)

Fulton Mackay ... Mr. Mackay (19 episodes, 1974-1977)

Richard Beckinsale ... Lennie Godber (17 episodes, 1974-1977)

Sam Kelly ... Warren / ... (12 episodes, 1974-1977)

Tony Osoba ... McLaren (9 episodes, 1974-1977)

Series Directed by
Sydney Lotterby (20 episodes, 1974-1977)
Series Writing credits
Dick Clement (20 episodes, 1974-1977)
Ian La Frenais (20 episodes, 1974-1977)

Series Produced by
Sydney Lotterby .... producer (20 episodes, 1974-1977)
Series Original Music by
Max Harris (20 episodes, 1974-1977)
Series Film Editing by
Ray Millichope (11 episodes, 1974-1975)
John Dunstan (6 episodes, 1977)
Howard Dell (3 episodes, 1977)
Geoffrey Botterill (2 episodes, 1974)
Geoff Higgs (2 episodes, 1977)
Series Production Design by
Tim Gleeson (13 episodes, 1974-1977)
Jon Pusey (5 episodes, 1975)
David Chandler (2 episodes, 1974)
Gerry Scott (2 episodes, 1974)
Series Costume Design by
Mary Husband (2 episodes, 1974)
Series Makeup Department
Ann Ailes-Stevenson .... makeup artist (7 episodes, 1975)
Suzan Broad .... makeup artist (7 episodes, 1976-1977)
Sylvia James .... makeup artist (6 episodes, 1974)
Series Sound Department
Tony Philpot .... sound (13 episodes, 1974-1976)
John Holmes .... sound (6 episodes, 1977)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Smee .... lighting (11 episodes, 1974-1975)
Peter Wesson .... lighting (7 episodes, 1974-1977)
John McGlashan .... film cameraman (6 episodes, 1977)
Ken Willicombe .... film cameraman / camera operator (5 episodes, 1975)
Len Newson .... film cameraman / camera operator (4 episodes, 1974)
Keith Taylor .... film cameraman (2 episodes, 1974)
Brian Clemett .... lighting / lighting technician (2 episodes, 1975)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Mary Husband .... costume (11 episodes, 1974-1977)
Betty Aldiss .... costume (6 episodes, 1975)
Series Editorial Department
Peter Bird .... videotape editor (1 episode, 1976)
Geoff Higgs .... video tape editor (1 episode, 1977)
Series Other crew
Mike Crisp .... production assistant (7 episodes, 1976-1977)
Ray Butt .... production assistant (6 episodes, 1974)
Robin Demetriou .... cast and crew chef (6 episodes, 1974)
Dave Perrottet .... production assistant (6 episodes, 1975)
Jonathan Marshall .... technical adviser / technical advisor (4 episodes, 1974)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
30 min (19 episodes) | 40 min (1 episode) | 45 min (1 episode)
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG (some episodes) | Australia:M (some episodes) | New Zealand:M (seasons 1-3) | Singapore:PG | UK:PG

Did You Know?

In stark contrast to his character in the series, Fulton Mackay (Warden Mackay) has a rose named after him.See more »
Fletch:If you want the system to do something for us, give us more freedom, better grub, conjugal visits!
Mr Barrowclough:Conjugal visits?
Fletch:With our old lady, like, all above board, all ship-shape and Bristol Fashion.
Mr Barrowclough:I'm not aware of any prison that does that!
Fletch:Well, maybe not here, but certainly in Holland, and also in America, I believe, where they have a more enlightened penal system anyway. They have these special apartments, where the wife comes to stay and they can manifest their long-felt want for each other.
Mr Barrowclough:You mean they spend the entire time...?
See more »
Movie Connections:


Why do they say "naff off"?
What is a rilk?
Does Ronnie do the voice of the judge at the beginning?
See more »
10 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
hillarious, yet with a most brilliant humanity, 21 March 2004
Author: prohibited-name-1842 from bangor, north wales

I'm not going to go on about why this is the greatest sitcom ever and what are the funniest lines ever; its up to whoever is reading this to go discover that for themselves and encourage you to do so.

I do want to comment on how this is a sitcom with exceptional timing of both visual gags and one liners, some so blatant that they are funny because you can't belive they stuck them in!

Possibly the best aspect of this programme though was the humanity.

Fletcher might sometimes seem heartless towards godber, but it is all about surviving a harsh environment intact. For evidence about this watch the episode "a night in" which revolves around godbers first night in prison. The episode takes place in their cell and never really features anyone but the two principle characters. But this is still one of the funniest episodes of any sitcom anytime, containing a few throw-away one liners, but mainly the episode is about the subtle humour of how to survive in stir and not forget the outside.

Ronnie Barker is possibly the greatest comic actor of all time, who provides perfect comic timing on every joke, but you will always believe that fletcher is real and you can see the emotion pouring out of every episode of porridge.

Richard Beckinsale as godber was the perfect foil for fletcher and again his timing was immaculate for the restraint on the delivery of his lines. He always held his own with ronnie and will always be fondly remebered by so many for this role after he died so young.

The two principles were also supported so well by other characters in the prison who came from all spectrums of life (well male life, sorry ladies)

One of the most interesting features was that they represented the two opposites of attitude from the prison guards. Mackay was load, coarse and brutal, but you could always see that underneath he was a man trying to do his job to the best of his ability. Mr Baraclough is more interesting as a "screw" who just wants to help the prisioners and be their friends whilst trying to not to hurt either side. Some people found him unbelievable; but i actually know a guy who had to leave his job as prison guard as he identified more with the inmates than the guards he was supposed to work with!

To be honest i don't care if anyone else has this as their favourite programme; it is mine and if i have persuaded just one person to go watch and love this as much as i do then i will be satisfied.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (15 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for "Porridge" (1974)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Quality chrisseeu
Was Norris a Nonce? flanagan-eng
for fans: whats your favourite episode? harley-deery
US version - any good? trevorwomble
Do you think they would have made more Episodes if Richard Beckinsale... dan1213
Which 3 episodes is Godber not in? tonyhu
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