7.9/10
238
6 user 1 critic

The Curse of Steptoe (2008)

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 »

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hattie (TV Movie 2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Married comic actors Hattie Jacques and John LeMesurier seem the perfect couple,with their two young sons and the legendary Christmas dinners they host for their friends. However,in 1963,... See full summary »

Director: Dan Zeff
Stars: Ruth Jones, Robert Bathurst, Aidan Turner
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 1967 actor Jimmy Perry shows his friend David Croft the script of a sitcom he has written based on his time in the Home Guard, entitled 'Fighting Tigers'. Head of BBC TV comedy Michael ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Bendelack
Stars: Paul Ritter, Richard Dormer, Stuart McQuarrie
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

After a plane explodes over Washington D.C. panic begins to envelop the British embassy, and its ambassador to the U.S. Mark Brydon finds himself caught up in a potentially damaging diplomatic incident.

Stars: Jason Isaacs, Ben Daniels, Eva Birthistle
Dawn I (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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 »

Director: Romed Wyder
Stars: Sarah Adler, Joel Basman, Moris Cohen
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Albert Steptoe and his son Harold are junk dealers, complete with horse and cart to tour the neighbourhood. They also live amicably together at the junk yard. But Harold, who likes the ... See full summary »

Director: Cliff Owen
Stars: Wilfrid Brambell, Harry H. Corbett, Carolyn Seymour
Steptoe and Son (1962–2016)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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 »

Stars: Wilfrid Brambell, Harry H. Corbett, Frank Thornton
Skeletons (2010)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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.

Director: Nick Whitfield
Stars: Ed Gaughan, Andrew Buckley, Tuppence Middleton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Elspeth Rae ...
Young Blonde Actress
...
...
...
Ken Oxtoby ...
Costume Designer
Ben Parr ...
Wilfrid's Young Blonde Man
Peter Hamilton Dyer ...
Director (as Peter Hamilton-Dyer)
...
Julian Forsyth ...
Jamie Lennox ...
Plain Clothes Policeman
Scott McNess ...
Boy Outside Theatre
Edit

Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 March 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Curse of Steptoe and Son  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Made as one of a four-part season "The Curse of Comedy" on BBC Four, though not billed on-screen with this series title. The other three films in the series were Hancock & Joan (2008), Hughie Green, Most Sincerely (2008) and Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me (2008). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

References This Is Your Life (1955) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Well acted and made, even though it could have dug deeper.
21 March 2008 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Steptoe & Son (remade in the U.S as 'Sanford & Son') was one of the seminal British TV sitcoms of the 1960s, and owes a lot to the 'Angry young man' style of theatre and film that came the decade before. Out of that theatre came a slew of gifted actors like Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, Richard Harris, Richard Burton, Laurence Harvey and the underrated Harry H Corbett.

That Corbett's career never reached the heights of the others is the subject of this solid and extremely well acted drama about how he found such success in the BBC sitcom that he was forever stereotyped and unable to break the mould or be accepted as the accomplished stage actor he was. 'Curse' is indeed apt to this predicament, the shows immediate success destroyed any chance he had of regaining his serious career. As he so poignantly states in one scene (and i admit i'm paraphrasing here) "I will forever be known as a rag and bone man".

Jason Isaacs does a splendid job as Corbett, his optimism slowly wearing away as his TV star shines. Trapped by immediate success he rues the day he agreed to do the show. At first the resemblance between the younger Corbett and Isaacs is superficial but once the show reappeared after a 5 year break in the 1970s, the resemblance between the two is striking, and the mannerisms are uncanny too (even the voice). Praise too for Phil Davis for his excellent portrayal of the sad and lonely Brambell, a man who also rues the day he did the show, but for very different reasons.

I cannot fault the two leads and all the actors are marvellous as is the period detail. My grumble is that this could have been a much better drama if the script had been longer and taken the film to a more logical conclusion (Corbetts death in 1982). It is well known that Corbett or Brambell didn't really get on (amazingly Brambell was only 13 years older than Corbett)so a deeper insight into that conflict would have been good. It would also have made more sense to show the ill fated tour of Australia and their post-Steptoe careers, and oddly no mention is made of the two Steptoe feature films they did in the early 1970s.

However this drama shows that Isaacs is a much better actor than his Hollywood career has so far shown. Phil Davis is also still one of the best supporting actors in Britain.


8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?