6.5/10
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3 user 3 critic

Sparrows Can't Sing (1963)

Charlie returns to the East End after two years at sea to find his house demolished and wife Maggie gone. Everyone else knows she is now shacked up with married bus driver Bert and a ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Charlie
... Maggie
... Fred
Avis Bunnage ... Bridgie
... Jack
... Bert
... Nellie
Griffith Davies ... Chunky
... Georgie
Arthur Mullard ... Ted
Peggy Ann Clifford ... Ted's Wife
Wally Patch ... Watchman
Bob Grant ... Perce
... Caretaker
... Arnold
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Storyline

Charlie returns to the East End after two years at sea to find his house demolished and wife Maggie gone. Everyone else knows she is now shacked up with married bus driver Bert and a toddler, and they all watch with more than a little interest at the trail of mayhem Charlie leaves as he goes about sorting things out. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sailor, sailor, home from the sea - where little stranger can there one be ?

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

30 October 1964 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Hunajapupu älä karkaa  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first English language film to be released in the U.S. with subtitles. See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits epilogue: . . . . and so on See more »

Connections

Featured in The Barbara Windsor Story (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

The Blue Danube
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
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User Reviews

 
non stop believable banter and jesting

Derived from her own Stratford East stage show, this Joan Littlewood film apparently did no better than its non celluloid counterpart. Now it appears fresh, confident and so evocative but I have never seen it before and like many, I suppose, wouldn't have been the slightest bit interested at age 16 in 1963 with the Beatles and all that was to follow. Seen now, however, with all that location shooting and streets that are gone depicted so well. And what irony! The fabulous extended opening shows our hero/villain returning from sea to find his wife and cannot even find his house. Bulldozed slums, replaced by brand new 18 storey blocks of flats and even they bulldozed in turn in 2000. Back to the film and it is non stop believable banter and jesting. The film does not let up once and only in the final splendid sequence in the pub do we see a trace of the theatrical origins. For anyone who has ever visited or lived in London, absolutely essential. For every one else, well worth seeing to get just a glimpse of the old East End and just an inkling of what it really was once like when everybody seemed to know almost everyone else.


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