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When Steptoe Met Son (2002)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary  -  20 August 2002 (UK)
5.8
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Looks at the difficult off screen relation of actors Harry H. Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell who grew to hate one another during their years on screen. It charts their rise to fame with "... See full summary »

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Title: When Steptoe Met Son (TV Movie 2002)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Harry H. Corbett ...
Harold Steptoe (archive footage)
Wilfrid Brambell ...
Albert Steptoe (archive footage)
Matthew Gravelle ...
Himself / Narrator (voice)
Ray Galton ...
Himself
Alan Simpson ...
Himself
John Junkin ...
Himself
Freddie Hancock ...
Herself
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Looks at the difficult off screen relation of actors Harry H. Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell who grew to hate one another during their years on screen. It charts their rise to fame with "Steptoe and Son" in the early 60's, to their final falling out during an Australian stage show in the late 70's. Written by Anonymous

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20 August 2002 (UK)  »

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Sharp Reminder of the Pitfalls of Fame
25 December 2013 | by (London) – See all my reviews

WHEN STEPTOE MET SON tells of the real lives of Harry H. Corbett and Wilfred Brambell, the two actors who immortalized the characters of Steptoe and Son in the long-running British sitcom. The format was imported to US television and renamed SANDFORD AND SON, but achieved nothing like the same reputation. The documentary traces a familiar tale of typecasting: Corbett in particular was an accomplished Shakespearean actor, with considerable experience of performing in Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop in London's Stratford East. Brambell was more of a bit-part player with long experience in low-budget British movies. The two were brought together in 1962, and the series subsequently ran for twelve years on television and radio. By the end, however, both actors had become so typecast in their roles that they were imprisoned by them; this made for a combustible working relationship, with Brambell in particular turning to excessive amounts of drink. The two were reduced to a tour of Australia's seedier music- halls in the late Seventies, performing a vaudeville-style program that could only be described as tatty. Perhaps one thing to note is that, like Tony Hancock, the star of comedy writers' Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's other big hit (HANCOCK'S HALF HOUR/ HABCOCK), Brambell and Corbett were imprisoned by the quality of their scripts, all of which portrayed men trying and perpetually failing to improve themselves. A cast of life imitating art too closely, perhaps. The documentary is available to view on You Tube.


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