Rumpole of the Bailey (1978–1992)

TV Series  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 581 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 4 critic

The cases of a portly and eccentric criminal law barrister.

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Title: Rumpole of the Bailey (1978–1992)

Rumpole of the Bailey (1978–1992) on IMDb 8.3/10

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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 8 nominations. See more awards »


Series cast summary:
 Horace Rumpole (42 episodes, 1978-1992)
Jonathan Coy ...
 Henry (37 episodes, 1978-1992)
Julian Curry ...
 Claude Erskine-Brown (35 episodes, 1978-1992)
Marion Mathie ...
 Hilda Rumpole (24 episodes, 1987-1992)
Richard Murdoch ...
 Uncle Tom (23 episodes, 1978-1991)
Maureen Derbyshire ...
 Dianne - Secretary / ... (23 episodes, 1978-1991)
Peter Blythe ...
 Samuel 'Soapy Sam' Ballard, Q.C. / ... (22 episodes, 1983-1992)


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 <>

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

12 February 1980 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Originally, author John Mortimer had Alastair Sim in mind to play Rumpole - until he found out Sim was dead. See more »


Horace Rumpole: An Englishman's gin bottle is his castle!
See more »


Follows Play for Today: Rumpole of the Bailey (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Nothing to complain about here...
13 September 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Before I got engrossed in this brilliant show, I considered Kavanagh QC my favourite legal drama. Now after watching Rumpole of the Bailey, I have changed my mind, though Kavanagh QC will always have a special place in my heart. There is very little I can add to the comments praising this show, but I'll try my best. Rumpole of the Railey is simply brilliant. The writing is always superb and really clever and the stories are engrossing(even some of the weaker episodes are compulsive viewing). The photography is wonderful, as is the music, costumes, locations, direction and music, while the courtroom scenes are a joy to behold. Much has been said about Leo McKern here, and with good reason, he is phenomenal playing one of the most interesting and enjoyable lead characters I've ever seen. Everyone else is very well cast, but it will always be McKern's show. To conclude, Rumpole of the Bailey is wonderful with very little wrong with it. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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