6.5/10
201
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 »

Director:

Joan Littlewood

Writers:

Stephen Lewis (screenplay), Joan Littlewood (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Booth ... Charlie
Barbara Windsor ... Maggie
Roy Kinnear ... Fred
Avis Bunnage Avis Bunnage ... Bridgie
Brian Murphy ... Jack
George Sewell ... Bert
Barbara Ferris ... Nellie
Griffith Davies Griffith Davies ... Chunky
Murray Melvin ... Georgie
Arthur Mullard Arthur Mullard ... Ted
Peggy Ann Clifford Peggy Ann Clifford ... Ted's Wife
Wally Patch Wally Patch ... Watchman
Bob Grant Bob Grant ... Perce
Stephen Lewis ... Caretaker
Victor Spinetti ... 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:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1964 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Hunajapupu älä karkaa See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Barbara Windsor was nominated for a best actress BAFTA for this film. See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Flesh and Blood: The story of the Krays (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Roving
(uncredited)
Traditional
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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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