IMDb > A Voyage Round My Father (1984) (TV)

A Voyage Round My Father (1984) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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A Voyage Round My Father -- Before creating the beloved courtroom drama Rumpole of the Bailey, writer John Mortimer found inspiration in his own life for this portrait of a difficult but enduring love between father and son in mid-20th-century Britain. Screen legend Laurence Olivier stars as the eccentric patriarch--a blind barrister so stubborn and cantankerous that he refuses to acknowledge his sightlessness. Alan Bates (Gosford Park) portrays his devoted son, who follows his father's footsteps in the law while longing to become a writer, with Jane Asher (Brideshead Revisited) as his wife. 
Adapted for the screen by Mortimer himself and filmed largely on location at his family estate in bucolic Oxfordshire, this production garnered multiple awards, including an International Emmy for best drama. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, it captures the special bond between father and son, which at times seems unbearable--but ultimately unbreakable.


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John Mortimer (play)
John Mortimer (screenplay)
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Release Date:
19 April 1984 (USA) See more »
Before creating the beloved courtroom drama Rumpole of the Bailey, writer John Mortimer found inspiration... See more » | Full synopsis »
4 wins & 5 nominations See more »
(3 articles)
DVD Playhouse--March 2010
 (From The Hollywood Interview. 18 March 2010, 6:05 PM, PDT)

Actors, politicians and royalty pay respects to Sir John Mortimer
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 17 November 2009, 8:42 AM, PST)

In the Family Way
 (From Backstage. 2 April 2009, 1:59 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
What a Wonderful Elegy He Made for Himself See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order)

Laurence Olivier ... Clifford Mortimer

Alan Bates ... John Mortimer

Jane Asher ... Elizabeth

Elizabeth Sellars ... Mother
Michael Aldridge ... Headmaster

Alan Cox ... Son as a Boy
Norman Bird ... Ham

Albert Welling ... Japhet
James A. Downer ... Reigate
Susan Littler ... Miss Cox
Gay Wilde ... Miss Baker
Anthony Sharp ... Film Director
Ann Davies ... A.T.S. Girl
Judy Riley ... A.T.S. Girl
Jonathan Newth ... Boustead
Malcolm Terris ... Thong
Jennie Goossens ... Witmers
Harold Goodwin ... Ringer Lean
Patrick Barr ... Doctor

Esmond Knight ... Judge
Raymond Huntley ... Judge
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Sean Maguire

Directed by
Alvin Rakoff 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
John Mortimer  play
John Mortimer  screenplay

Produced by
John Frankau .... executive producer
Original Music by
Marc Wilkinson 
Cinematography by
Tony Pierce-Roberts 
Film Editing by
Oscar Webb 
Casting by
Elizabeth Sadler 
Production Design by
David Marshall 
Costume Design by
Louise Walker 
Makeup Department
Carol Green .... makeup artist
Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou .... make-up/hair artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Adrian Rawle .... second assistant director
Gary White .... first assistant director
Sound Department
Freddie Slade .... dubbing mixer
Dennis Whitlock .... sound recordist
Other crew
Shirley Cleghorn .... stage manager
Michael Harvey .... location supervisor
Janet Mullins .... production assistant

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Brazil:90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The house in which the family live is the house in which author John Mortimer and his parents lived, and which the author lives today. The gardening hat that Laurence Olivier wears belonged to John Mortimer's father.See more »
Clifford Mortimer:You're alone in this world, and there's nothing anyone can tell you about it!
Sons as a Boy:Wah!
Mother:Oh, never crying!
Clifford Mortimer:Say "Rats!" It's impossible to cry if you say "Rats!", it's something to do with the muscles of the face.
Sons as a Boy:[Walking to the car, off to boarding school] Rats! Rats! Rrrrrats!
See more »
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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
What a Wonderful Elegy He Made for Himself, 5 May 2000
Author: alicecbr from United States

Sir Laurence Olivier, the magnificent!! What a sweet comedy and the line to best ALL lines: "I ALWAYS get angry when I'm dying!" and he does. This was his swan song a few years before he died.

And how great it was to see two Anthonies play opposite on another, Alan Bates and Laurence Olivier. Father and son, it was so wonderfully sweet and funny. Of course, the beautiful English countryside wasn't half-bad either.

I love observing the native habits of the English. They are so funny and so well least they were back in those times before the fall of the Empire. To watch all the goings-on in the courtroom was well worth the price of the movie. U.S. courtroom behavior is so much more cut and dried with none of the unmeant and deliberate humor that was injected in this movie.

See this one, and understand that it can well be a primer for dying the good death.

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