6.7/10
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Steptoe and Son (1972)

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
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wilfrid Brambell ... Albert Steptoe
Harry H. Corbett ... Harold Kitchener Steptoe
Carolyn Seymour ... Zita
Arthur Howard Arthur Howard ... Vicar
Victor Maddern ... Chauffeur
Fred Griffiths Fred Griffiths ... Barman
Joan Heath Joan Heath ... Zita's mother
Fred McNaughton Fred McNaughton ... Zita's father
Lon Satton ... Pianist
Patrick Fyffe Patrick Fyffe ... Arthur (as Perri St. Claire)
Patsy Smart ... Mrs. Hobbs
Mike Reid Mike Reid ... Compere
Alec Mango ... Hotel Doctor
Michael Da Costa Michael Da Costa ... Hotel Manager (as Michael da Costa)
Enys Box Enys Box ... Traffic Warden
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Storyline

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 bright lights in the West End of London, meets a stripper. Fine, but he marries her and takes her home. Albert, of course, is furious and tries every trick he knows to drive the new bride from his household. Written by Derek Picken <dpicken@email.msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 January 1972 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Bric-à-brac de père en fils See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Associated London Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To receive an 'A' (PG) cinema certificate some brief nudity was removed from the striptease scene. DVD releases are fully uncut. See more »

Goofs

The morning after the night out seeing the stripper, after Albert has slept in the stable, as he picks up the milk on the doorstep he has rough facial hair. When he takes the milk into the house he is clean shaven. See more »

Quotes

Albert Steptoe: [About Zita] You can be poor without being common, and she was common!
See more »

Connections

Followed by Steptoe and Son Ride Again (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Chief example of stunted British folly, in place of film.
6 January 2005 | by HenryHextonEsqSee all my reviews

"Women? They're all scrubbers...!"

No, not a good translation; not at all! This lags behind the previous year's "Dad's Army", entirely missing the special, small-screen magic of the seminal television sitcom original, and failing to play interestingly at all with the big screen... you could just about say that this film well represents a Britain entering decline, and more precisely even than that, a *British film industry* entering decline. And that is hardly a recommendation, is it? To be an exemplar of saddening folly...

All that remains after the subtlety of the TV original has been surgically stripped away, by Cliff Owen, Galton and Simpson are: endless, dilapidated musical cues, yawn, from the Ron Grainer theme... bolstered sentimentality (that shoddy, thick-eared ending... how much bolder does the second Steptoe film seem in comparison) an increased seediness - with director and writers seemingly detaching themselves completely - fully applicable to something like the 'misbegotten monstrosity' (yours truly on this site) from 1973, "The Mutations". There is a strangely botched, cut-adrift tone about the scene where Harold is beaten up in a rugby club, that I partly hate and recoil it (so far, as a friend intimated, from the mood of the TV series...), but this at least seems an original slant, and emblematic of tensions just rising to the boil in the Britain of 1972... There is, however, an implied prostitute, aye of a 'heart-of-gold' who turns loose woman-traitor 'pon poor auld 'Arold - and beyond-caricature writing of the 'class' element; not to mention, surprisingly misjudged performances from the usually redoubtable leads. Brambell and Corbett collude with the script, and indeed fail to cure it of an essential ham. What would Anthony Aloysius Hancock have made of it all...? I will merely concede that a few moments just about work - chiefly those where G & S play things a little more carefully and B & C touch tenderer nerves - and it is not on the whole an unwatchable affair.

But, and oh, how this pains me to say it: it is tiresome, boring, both wilfully detached from reality and what made the TV series great, and also fully in tune with the lazy, tawdry, misogynist 'fuck it, that'll do...' actuality of much of what was allowed to pass for mainstream film-making in the Britain of the time.


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