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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Details

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Release Date:

12 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rumpole von Old Bailey  »

Company Credits

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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: An Englishman's gin bottle is his castle!
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Connections

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

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User Reviews

Perfection!!!
11 June 2003 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

The late Leo McKern had the kind of identification with John Mortimer's character that occurs rarely (other examples being David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, Raymond Burr as Perry Mason and probably Joan Hickson as Miss Marple.). In fact, I think the author agrees and said so more than once.

Hilda Rumpole, "she who must be obeyed", (the name comes from Rider Haggard's "She") is a perfect foil for Rumpole. (She was played by two actresses over the years, Peggy Thorpe-Bates 1978-83 and Marion Mathie from 1987-92) The other characters are also perfectly cast.

The stories are most enjoyable and are a fine basis for the series.


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