The cases of a portly and eccentric criminal law barrister.
Reviews
Popularity
4,077 ( 86)

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... 

Pie in the Sky (1994–1997)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

DI Crabbe retires from the police force after being shot and sets up his own restaurant. However, his ex-boss, Chief Constable Fisher constantly calls Crabbe back on duty.

Stars: Richard Griffiths, Maggie Steed, Malcolm Sinclair
To the Manor Born (1979–1981)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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
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
The Sweeney (1975–1978)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

British police TV series which revolutionized the genre on UK television in the mid-1970s starring John Thaw as a hard-edged detective in the Flying Squad of London's Metropolitan Police.

Stars: John Thaw, Dennis Waterman, Garfield Morgan
Minder (1979–1994)
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 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
Elizabeth R (TV Mini-Series 1971)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

When Elizabeth Tudor comes to the throne, her (male) advisers know she has to marry. Doesn't she? Thus starts a decades-long political/ matrimonial game, during an age of high passions and high achievement.

Stars: Glenda Jackson, Ronald Hines, Robert Hardy
Mystery!: Campion (1989–1990)
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 1930's England, a man from an aristocratic family takes up the pseudonym Albert Campion and, with the help of his ex-burglar manservant, solves mysteries.

Stars: Peter Davison, Brian Glover, Andrew Burt
Sharpe's Challenge (TV Movie 2006)
Action | Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Sean Bean is back as the swashbuckling hero in Sharpe's Challenge, an action packed mini-series to be shot on location in Rajasthan, India. Two years after the Duke of Wellington crushes ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Clegg
Stars: Sean Bean, Daragh O'Malley, Toby Stephens
Good Neighbors (1975–1978)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The perils of "escaping the rat race" and dropping out of society - to start a farm in Surbiton (and to drive Margo nuts).

Stars: Richard Briers, Felicity Kendal, Penelope Keith
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

BBC Television comedy detailing the fortunes of Reginald Iolanthe Perrin. Disillusioned after a long career at Sunshine Desserts, Perrin goes through a mid-life crisis and fakes his own ... See full summary »

Stars: Leonard Rossiter, Pauline Yates, John Barron
My Partner the Ghost (1969–1971)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 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
A Dorothy L. Sayers Mystery (TV Series 1987)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A gentleman sleuth solves mysteries and falls in love with a detective novelist.

Stars: Harriet Walter, Edward Petherbridge, Richard Morant
Edit

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)
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 detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

David Yelland played Rumpole's 17 year old son Nick in the first episode, despite being 31 at the time. 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 Screenwipe: Episode #3.3 (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A great character in a well-written series
9 February 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Occasionally a role and actor are perfectly matched. Since Rumpole of the Bailey was created by John Mortimer specifically for Leo McKern, it's no surprise that this is one of those times.

Rumpole is a brilliant barrister dedicated to seeking justice for the downtrodden, and that's what most of his clients are, downtrodden. All the small-time crooks know his name, and he's defended various members of one family, the Timsons, who know who he is from birth.

Rumpole at home has to answer to "she who must be obeyed," his wife, Hilda. She's not happy about his lowly job and wants him to move up, but Rumpole isn't interested. In his daily work life, Rumpole deals with all kinds of people: Claude Erskine-Brown, usually in trouble of some kind; his wife Phylida, whom Rumpole calls Portia, who adores Rumpole; Judge Guthrie Featherstone, a judge who at one point is involved in a sex scandal when someone sends him to a massage parlor for his bad elbow; and junior clerk Liz (played by McKern's daughter Abigail). Rumpole sees through pomposity and his quiet asides are hilarious.

Sloppy, contemptuous of authority, enterprising, Rumpole is fantastic, usually coming up with a last minute save for his client. One of my favorites was when he had to stay with Portia and Claude Erskine-Brown, and his habits drive them insane. Going up against Portia in court, when they reach a point where she could object, Rumpole says under his breath, "I'll be out tomorrow." In another episode, while defending one of the Timsons, the judge asks if the young boy was prodigo vicis per amicitia (spending time with friends), to which Rumpole says, "Ah, prodigo vicis per amicitia. Yes, that's something he says all the time, prodigo vicis per amicitia. I'm prodigo vicis per amicitia." He's the best.

Highly recommended for the cast, the writing, and most of all, for Leo McKern as Rumpole.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Where Have all the Rumpole Fans Gone? goflorida10
DVD set bueno-pzo
Worst Rumpole episode ever? Wika_Wika_WickeD
Rumpole and the Fascist Beast tarhealer
Rumpole and the Old Boy Net tmwctd
Class murdriggs
Discuss Rumpole of the Bailey (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?