The cases of a portly and eccentric criminal law barrister.
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1992   1991   1988   1987   1983   1980   … See all »
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Horace Rumpole (43 episodes, 1978-1992)
...
 Henry (38 episodes, 1978-1992)
Julian Curry ...
 Claude Erskine-Brown / ... (36 episodes, 1978-1992)
Marion Mathie ...
 Hilda Rumpole (24 episodes, 1987-1992)
Richard Murdoch ...
 Uncle Tom (24 episodes, 1978-1991)
Maureen Darbyshire ...
 Dianne / ... (24 episodes, 1978-1991)
Peter Blythe ...
 Samuel Ballard Q.C. / ... (22 episodes, 1983-1992)
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Storyline

Horace Rumpole is an "Old Bailey Hack," one of the underpaid barristers who ply the courtrooms of the Old Bailey, London's criminal court. Rumpole refused to handle most suits and will never prosecute. He always defends. Each of his trials has both a victory and a defeat in them, his clients who are acquitted often angrier than those who are found guilty. There is always at least one and often two subplots. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

12 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rumpole von Old Bailey  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rumpole has a penchant for giving literary or historical nicknames to friends and foes. His wife Hilda's moniker, "She Who Must Be Obeyed," was originally applied to the title character of H. Rider Haggard's novel "She," while Phyllida Trant Erskine-Brown's nickname, "Portia," is from William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice." Samuel Ballard is dubbed "Soapy Sam" after 'Bishop Samuel Wilberforce' (1805-73), now best remembered for debating Thomas Huxley over Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, but regarded in his own time as rather a slick operator. And he refers to Judge Graves as the "whited sepulchre" - a Biblical allusion (Matthew 27). See more »

Quotes

Horace Rumpole: She who must be obeyed!
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Connections

Referenced in Comedy Connections: To the Manor Born (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Played to perfection
13 September 2004 | by (Indianapolis, Indiana USA) – See all my reviews

Rarely has television fit a role and an actor together as perfectly as Rumpole and Leo McKern. (A couple of other examples would be Vic Morrow in "Combat!" and Derek Jacobi in "I, Cladius".) The singular pleasure these episodes afford is watching McKern act as the mildly cynical, but resolutely libertarian, barrister. It is easy to see why McKern came to loathe playing the part since it is the ultimate case of typecasting. One can less think of McKern sans Rumpole than he can Connery sans Bond. Better to rewatch Rumpole than the colorless blather on Court TV.

The scripts and additional cast are good enough to make repeated watching of McKern worthwhile.


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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