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The Plumber (1979)

Not Rated | | Horror, Thriller | TV Movie November 1981
A young couple, living in a campus apartment complex, are repeatedly harassed by an eccentric plumber, who subjects them to a series of bizarre mind games while making unnecessary repairs to their bathroom.


Peter Weir


Peter Weir, Harold Lander (story editor)




Complete credited cast:
Judy Morris ... Jill Cowper
Ivar Kants ... Max
Robert Coleby ... Brian Cowper
Candy Raymond Candy Raymond ... Meg
Henri Szeps Henri Szeps ... David Medavoy
Yomi Abioudan Yomi Abioudan ... Dr. Matu (as Yomi Abiodun)
Beverley Roberts Beverley Roberts ... Dr. Japari
Bruce Rosen Bruce Rosen ... Dr. Don Felder
Daphne Grey Daphne Grey ... Caretaker's Wife
Meme Thorne Meme Thorne ... Anna (as Mémé Thorne)
David Burchell David Burchell ... Professor Cato
Paul Sonkkila ... Reg the Cleaner
Pam Sanders Pam Sanders ... Ananas
Rick Hart Rick Hart ... Detective
Giovanni Giglio Giovanni Giglio ... Italian Singer


In Adelaide, the wife of Dr. Brian Cowper, Jill Cowper, is writing her thesis at home for her Master's in Anthropology. When the plumber, Max, arrives unexpectedly to do a routine check and maintenance of the the bathroom pipes, Jill is stuck alone at home with the strange, talkative stranger. That day, he mentions spending some time in prison, frightening Jill. She talks about this to her friend Meg, her husband Brian and the superintendent's wife, but they all believe the plumber to be a simple, but nice man. Jill does not agree. There is a problem in the bathroom that brings Max back again, this time even longer. Over time, the tension between them increases. Finally, Jill finds a way to get rid of the plumber. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Peter Weir's "The Plumber" will scare you... challenge you... and haunt you. [DVD Australia] See more »


Horror | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Third film that director Peter Weir made with the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC). The first was Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) and the second was The Last Wave (1977). The SAFC pulled-out of two of Weir's later pictures, Gallipoli (1981) and The Year of Living Dangerously (1982). See more »


In the last shot of the plumber playing his guitar, there is music but he isn't moving his hands. See more »


Max: [Multiple pipes have burst, flooding the Cowper's bathroom] We meet again, eh?
Jill Cowper: How long this time?
Max: A week, ten days... maybe longer. Who knows? Tricky job, this. We're just going to have to learn to get along with each other. Aren't we?
See more »


Referenced in The Killing Floor (2007) See more »


Revolving Patterns
Music by Keith Mansfield
Bruton Music Ltd
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User Reviews

One of My Personal Favorites
9 August 2004 | by schadenfreude2See all my reviews

Hearing about this great little film from many people, I spent tireless hours on retail sites tracking a VHS copy down. Finally I caught a cheap copy on Half.com and it came several days later, (cut to one month later, when Weir's "Cars that Ate Paris" debuted on easily-accessible DVD format with "The Plumber" as a double feature. Go figure.) But I sat down to watch it and proceeded to laugh for quite some time.

The story is basically about this Aussie anthropologist studying Aboriginal tribes as her boring nutritionist husband is constantly talking shop. She's constantly left to her solitude and values her privacy, which makes it all the more irritating when a strange plumber invades her life. Somewhat threatening and somewhat a misunderstood doof, this plumber spends hours holed up in her bathroom doing nothing but lounging around, hammering shower tiles, writing folk songs and ripping pipes from the walls.

It's a precursor to "The Cable Guy," but don't let that discourage you, (I liked "Cable Guy" myself). It's funny as hell and has a great ending. I'll even forgive it for the nutritionist's ponderous subplot that goes nowhere. It's only 79 minutes--whaddaya got to lose?

Movie: A

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Release Date:

November 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le plombier See more »


Box Office


AUD150,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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