8.4/10
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Rumpole of the Bailey 

The cases of a portly and eccentric criminal law barrister.
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7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1992   1991   1988   1987   1983   1980   … See all »
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...  Horace Rumpole 43 episodes, 1978-1992
...  Henry 38 episodes, 1978-1992
Julian Curry ...  Claude Erskine-Brown / ... 36 episodes, 1978-1992
Marion Mathie ...  Hilda Rumpole 24 episodes, 1987-1992
Richard Murdoch ...  Uncle Tom 24 episodes, 1978-1991
Maureen Darbyshire ...  Dianne / ... 24 episodes, 1978-1991
...  Samuel Ballard Q.C. / ... 22 episodes, 1983-1992
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Storyline

Horace Rumpole is an "Old Bailey Hack," one of the underpaid barristers who ply the courtrooms of the Old Bailey, London's criminal court. Rumpole refused to handle most suits and will never prosecute. He always defends. Each of his trials has both a victory and a defeat in them, his clients who are acquitted often angrier than those who are found guilty. There is always at least one and often two subplots. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

12 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rumpole von Old Bailey  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Horace Rumpole was originally given a moustache for the Season 1 episodes that took place prior to 1974 to give him a more 'retrospective' look. For the stories set in 1974 and after (and also to bring his image in line with how he had looked in the original Play for Today: Rumpole of the Bailey (1975) ) he was clean shaven, and remained so throughout Season 2 also. For Rumpole of the Bailey: Rumpole's Return (1980) and the remainder of the series, the moustache returned. A possible reason for this was that Rumpole was invariable depicted in publicity images and artwork (including the show's opening title caricatures) wearing the moustache, therefore the character was made to match the popular image of him. See more »

Quotes

Horace Rumpole: An Englishman's gin bottle is his castle!
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Connections

Referenced in Comedy Connections: To the Manor Born (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Played to perfection
13 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

Rarely has television fit a role and an actor together as perfectly as Rumpole and Leo McKern. (A couple of other examples would be Vic Morrow in "Combat!" and Derek Jacobi in "I, Cladius".) The singular pleasure these episodes afford is watching McKern act as the mildly cynical, but resolutely libertarian, barrister. It is easy to see why McKern came to loathe playing the part since it is the ultimate case of typecasting. One can less think of McKern sans Rumpole than he can Connery sans Bond. Better to rewatch Rumpole than the colorless blather on Court TV.

The scripts and additional cast are good enough to make repeated watching of McKern worthwhile.


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