In the early 1960s aspiring stage actor Harry H. Corbett jumps at the chance to play junk-dealer Harold Steptoe in a television comedy show 'Steptoe and Son'. However, the show's success ... See full summary »
Four comrades in arms attempt to influence the young Elisha, to make him overcome his conflicts of conscience and fully commit to their cause. The story is set in Palestine in 1947, during ... See full summary »
Classic 1960s British comedy series about a middle aged man and his elderly father who run an unsuccessful 'rag and bone' business (collecting and selling junk). Harold (the son) wants to ... See full summary »
Harry H. Corbett,
Ambassador to Washington is the pinnacle of success in the Foreign Office and the position is offered to only the brightest and the best. But Ambassador Mark Brydon finds his skills tested ... See full summary »
Two exorcists literally remove the skeletons from the cupboards from people's homes. Some fairly embarrassing secrets are revealed along the way. A case where the skeletons have hidden themselves turns the lives of all those involved.
In the mid-1960s, Joan, not long married to comic actor John Le Mesurier, meets and is mutually attracted to comedian Tony Hancock, married to the long-suffering Freddie. Hancock's most ... See full summary »
In the 1950s Frankie Howerd, the famous radio and film comedian, meets a young waiter Dennis Heymer, who,like himself,is a closet homosexual. Their relationship blossoms into a partnership,... See full summary »
This is a recreation of a series of interviews done over about a year with Chris, a man with a violent, dangerous past who, now with wife and child, talks about his regret for the pain he ... See full summary »
In the early 1960s aspiring stage actor Harry H. Corbett jumps at the chance to play junk-dealer Harold Steptoe in a television comedy show 'Steptoe and Son'. However, the show's success proves to be a poisoned chalice for him, type-casting him and thwarting his stage ambitions. Wilfrid Brambell, the actor playing his father, is marginalized in a different way. He is a gay man in an England where homosexuality is still illegal. The show runs for several years, incorporating film spin-offs but both, in their own way, feel that they have invoked the curse of Steptoe. Written by
don @ minifie-1
The brother of Harry H. Corbett's second widow, Maureen, complained to the BBC that the timeline portrayed in the film was wildly misleading and gave the impression that i) Maureen's affair with Harry may have led to the break-up of his first marriage with Sheila Steafel which was not the case, and ii) Harry's decision not to make any more episodes of Steptoe and Son (1962) coincided with the birth of his and Maureen's first child, whereas the birth had happened eight years before the end of Steptoe. The BBC upheld these complaints and agreed not to repeat the film unless it was edited to remove these misleading errors. See more »
Directly after the 1962 awards ceremony, Corbett does his impersonation of Harold Wilson with reference to his White Heat of Technology speech. Wilson did not become Prime Minister for another two years and the White Heat speech was even later. However, the writer made this 'error' quite deliberately. He took dramatic license. Dates were fudged throughout the piece, so though the award ceremony was in fact held in 1962, the film avoids placing it in time. Harry's party trick was his Harold Wilson impression; that was the most appropriate moment in the piece to give him the chance to do his thing. See more »
The story of Harry H. Corbett's (Jason Isaacs') decline in fortune, from an aspiring star of Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop to a pathetic wreck in the mid-Eighties, reduced to playing pantomime and embarking on a pointless tour of Australia in a stage version of Steptoe and Son, is a familiar one. Although brilliant in his portrayal of Harold Steptoe, he became so typecast that no one could see him performing anything else. Wilfrid Brambell (Phil Davis) experienced no such agonies - as a character-actor, he was glad of the regular work. Nonetheless he had his own personal problems - as a closet homosexual at a time when it was illegal in Britain, he was reduced to making brief assignations in public rest-rooms. Apparently Brian Fillis' drama upset the Corbett family due to its portrayal of the Brambell/ Corbett professional relationship; as a result, the drama is now prefaced with a warning that some of the scenes are fictionalized versions of the truth. One wonders why there was so much fuss: the relationship between the two actors is portrayed as cordial on set, while off-set they chose to lead totally separate lives. Once the series finished in 1974 (on television, at least) they said goodbye to one another quite civilly. The drama suggests that Corbett was in a sense a victim of his own desire for fame and fortune - goaded by Tom Sloan (Roger Allam), the BBC's long-serving head of comedy - he agreed to make series after series, even though he protests to his wife Sheila Steafel (Zoe Tapper) that he will quit as soon as humanly possible. Isaacs and Davis give convincing characterizations; they capture the mannerisms of the two actors quite uncannily.
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