The cases of a portly and eccentric criminal law barrister.
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Episodes

Seasons


Years



7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1992   1991   1988   1987   1983   1980   … See all »
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 8 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

To the Manor Born (1979–1981)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Audrey fforbes-Hamilton is sad when her husband dies but is shocked when she realises that she has to leave Grantleigh Manor where her family has lived forever. The new owner is Richard De ... See full summary »

Stars: Penelope Keith, Peter Bowles, Angela Thorne
Bergerac (1981–1991)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Alcoholic and divorced father of a young daughter, DS Jim Bergerac is a true maverick who prefers doing things his own way, and consequently doesn't always carry out his investigations the way his boss would like.

Stars: John Nettles, Terence Alexander, Sean Arnold
Butterflies (1978–1983)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Ria, a happily married suburban housewife, reaches the age where she feels as if life is passing her by. Being taken for granted by her butterfly collecting dentist husband doesn't help. So... See full summary »

Stars: Wendy Craig, Geoffrey Palmer, Bruce Montague
My Partner the Ghost (1969–1971)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Jeff Randall and Marty Hopkirk are private detectives who specialize in divorce cases. Their long-running partnership seems to come to an abrupt end when Marty is killed by a hit-and-run, ... See full summary »

Stars: Mike Pratt, Kenneth Cope, Annette Andre
Danger UXB (TV Series 1979)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Brian Ash (Anthony Andrews) is a young lieutenant who is assigned to a UXB unit in the early days of World War II. UXB (UneXploded Bomb) is the signal that an aerial bomb has not exploded. ... See full summary »

Stars: Anthony Andrews, Maurice Roëves, George Innes
Taggart (1983–2010)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The Maryhill CID investigates gruesome murders against the bleak backdrop of the city of Glasgow.

Stars: Blythe Duff, Colin McCredie, John Michie
Lovejoy (1986–1994)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Lovejoy is an irresistible rogue with a keen eye for antiques. The part-time detective scours the murky salerooms, auction halls and stately homes of Britain, always on the lookout for a find.

Stars: Ian McShane, Dudley Sutton, Chris Jury
Minder (1979–1994)
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Arthur Daley, a small-time conman, hires former boxer Terry McCann to be his 'minder', so Terry can protect him (Arthur) from other, small-time, crooks. While Terry is trying his hardest to... See full summary »

Stars: George Cole, Glynn Edwards, Dennis Waterman
Just Good Friends (1983–1986)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The series followed the wavering relationship between two ex-lovers, Penny Warrender, a secretary for an advertising firm, and Vincent Pinner, an ex ice cream salesman turned turf ... See full summary »

Stars: Paul Nicholas, Jan Francis, Sylvia Kay
Upstairs, Downstairs (1971–1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The trials of the British aristocratic Bellamy family and their household staff.

Stars: Gordon Jackson, David Langton, Jean Marsh
Rising Damp (1974–1978)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Popular sitcom set in a seedy bedsit lorded over by the mean, vain, boastful, cowardly landlord Rigsby. In each episode, his conceits are debunked by his long suffering tenants.

Stars: Leonard Rossiter, Don Warrington, Frances de la Tour
The Sweeney (1975–1978)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Jack Regan is a hard edged detective in the Flying Squad of London's Metropolitan Police. He pursues villains by methods which are underhanded and often illegal themselves, frequently violent and more often than not successful.

Stars: John Thaw, Dennis Waterman, Garfield Morgan
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
...
Julian Curry ...
 Claude Erskine-Brown / ... 36 episodes, 1978-1992
Marion Mathie ...
 Hilda Rumpole 24 episodes, 1987-1992
Richard Murdoch ...
Maureen Darbyshire ...
 Dianne / ... 24 episodes, 1978-1991
...
Edit

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

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rumpole von Old Bailey  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although it may seem like dubious practice to replace Samantha Bond with Leo's daughter, Abigail McKern in the part of Miss Liz Probert, she only appears in three episodes in her first series; Series 5. She then becomes a regular. (Note also that Rumpole may have had a thing for Probert...) See more »

Quotes

"Soapy" Sam Ballard: Rumpole as a client! God give me strength!
Hilda Rumpole: Oh, don't worry, Sam. If God doesn't, I certainly will.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Chase Australia: Episode #2.18 (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury
7 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

It is hard to know who deserves the most credit for this courtroom series; author John Mortimer QC (a noted barrister himself), or actor Leo McKern.

Obviously, the series was written with the benefit of intimate knowledge of the English legal system, but almost every branch of it is portrayed very unflatteringly. Most Barristers are shown as smug and pompous, fencing with each other in Latin phrases while the defendant and jury look baffled; policemen are bent, solicitors are shady and judges are either more concerned with barristers' correct dress rather than the evidence, or sadistic and bigoted.

The seamier side of the profession is also shown; with prestigious barristers having to work from poky "chambers", at the mercy of clerks for their work ("briefs") and undervalued secretaries for their paperwork.

In such a world, a weary and introspective character such as Rumpole dominates the scene. McKern's booming delivery and range of facial expressions make this all too easy. The language is a delight, as Rumpole quotes Browning, Tennyson, Shakespeare at will. Some of the most hilarious scenes occur as lawyers take on their clients' personas and start arguing their cases with each other in the first person, in bars or restaurants.

Rumpole's home life with wife Hilda, "She who must be obeyed", is also shown as quite a caricature, as Hilda Rumpole is portrayed as having few interests beyond her husband's lowly position in the pecking order, and household cleaning agents.

Any one of the episodes makes good viewing.


21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 19 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page