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The Knowledge (1979)

| Comedy, Drama | TV Movie 1979
Four men attempt "The Knowledge" examination to qualify as London taxi drivers.



, (original idea)
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Burgess
Chris Matthews
Kim Taylforth ...
Ted Margolies
Gordon Weller
Brenda Weller
Lesley Joseph ...
Philippa Howell ...
Miss Stavely
Gary Holton ...
Eddie Hairstyle
Natalie Ann King ...
Margaret Louise
Nigel Humphreys ...
Ivan Steward ...
Tim Stern ...


Follows a out of work Londoner looking for a job. Applies for the "Knowledge", which is learning all the streets and routes through Greater London. Takes about 2 years and when you are proficient, you are London Cabby Written by <rick@cougar.multiline.com.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Mister Burgess' Tour  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first production by Euston Films to make use of Steadicam. See more »


Mr. Burgess: If you're a genius it might take you a year. On the other hand it might take you two, or even or ten. And if it looks like it's going to take you longer than that I should chuck it in and take up ballet dancing instead.
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The Knowledge
Music by Jeff Wayne
Lyrics by Jack Rosenthal
Sung by Mick Ford
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User Reviews

Universal appeal, not just Londoners
13 January 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Just to correct something in a previous review here, I don't believe this film is only for people who know London, it's a case of a very specific situation being used to make universal comments. Jack Rosenthal says in an introduction to the published script that it was meant to be about characters who, by going though this gruelling Knowledge test, gain some measure of self-knowledge.

I think it's one of the most perfectly-written dramas I've seen: technically it's supremely adept at conveying quite complex details but it's also joyous in how it involves you. At the start you know no more about this London Knowledge test than the main characters but you get scooped up right along with them until it's vitally important to you. You become tremendously proud of those characters who succeed, and you are crushed for those who don't. Especially one whose downfall, without giving anything anyway, will make your hands fly to your face.

Also just as a point of fact, Nigel Hawthorne's character, Mr Burgess, is called the Vampire, not Dracula. You don't need to know this, I'm not saying it's crucial, but it's a measure of the drama: once you've seen this, you will want everyone to and you will evangelise about its every detail.

I hope you get to see it.


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