12 user 11 critic

Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War (2002)

After her husband's death, woman starts looking for independence.


Ian Sharp


Vernon Coleman (book), Malcolm Stone (adaptation)

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1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pauline Collins ... Thelma Caldicot
Peter Capaldi ... Derek
Anna Wilson-Jones ... Veronica
Gwenllian Davies Gwenllian Davies ... Audrey
Sheila Reid ... Joyce
Frank Mills ... Leslie
Frank Middlemass ... Bernard
John Alderton ... Hawksmoor
Isla Blair ... Matron
Paul Freeman ... Jenkins
Martin Jarvis ... JB
Tony Robinson ... Nick Reid
Terence Rigby ... Henry Caldicot
Wanda Ventham ... Victoria
Angela Bruce ... Gina


Not so aged widow Thelma Caldicot is coerced into a resthome by her manipulative son and daughter-in-law after the death of her bullying husband. Apathy turns to anger and then action as the medication is discarded and Thelma discovers her mettle. She and her aged cohorts stage a rebellion but the result is something nobody envisaged. Written by Taita

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

31 January 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Guerra do Repolho See more »

Filming Locations:

Windsor, Berkshire, England, UK See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Evolution Films See more »
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Technical Specs



Color (Fujicolor)
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Did You Know?


In the scene where everyone is watching the TV interview from the hotel room, there is a reflection in the silver serving trays of the studio lighting rig. Something moves back and forward, possibly a boom mic. See more »


[Hawksmoor bursts in on the residents and some of the nurses dancing while Bernard plays the organ, in memory of Edith who died earlier on]
Bernard: Uh-oh. Bandit at nine o'clock.
Hawksmoor: [picks up a bottle of wine] Clear this drink away. Where's Matron? Lost your tongues, have you? Whose idea was this?
Thelma Caldicot: It's Edith's wake. We felt she needed a good send off.
Hawksmoor: Who says so?
Thelma Caldicot: I do.
Bernard: So do I.
[others join in, supporting Thelma]
Thelma Caldicot: It's all right, folks. I take full responsibility. I felt it was something you would have ...
See more »


Composed by Harry von Tilzer (as Harry Von Tilzer), Andrew B. Sterling, Russel Hunting and Percy Krone
Published by B. Feldman & Co. Ltd and Redwood Music Ltd
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User Reviews

Shirley Valentine grows old
25 September 2002 | by taitaSee all my reviews

A daring title that may well put a lot of people off but this film is definitely worth a look.

The movie starts with strong overtones of 'Shirley Valentine' (though not as good) as an older Pauline Collins again plays the part of a much put upon not to say bullied wife and mother with no life of her own. There is a small undertone of rebellion even before the fateful day when her husband is laid out for duck or should I say for want of a duck.

Mrs Caldicot finds she does indeed have a mind of her own and starts a small rebellion in the twilight rest home where she has been parked by her son, baulking at the harsh regime and standover tactics of the management.

The story then moves on to an oft repeated scenario of old folks locked away, drugged to the eyeballs to keep them subdued as selfish offspring fulfil their own needs at the expense of the parent. Unfortunately it wont prick the conscience of those guilty of these deeds in real life for two reasons, they wouldn't be able to see themselves up there and they probably wouldn't watch or appreciate a movie of this calibre.

It was fun to see John Alderton up there as an antagonist of Pauline Collins which would have made for some interesting and fiery rehearsals at home I'm sure. Parts of the movie were a little far fetched but added to the overall fun of it. I hope the message got through to viewers about the quality of life for the older generation because there are going to be a lot more of them in the future with the improved health habits and mobility of most aging people. I certainly plan to be one! It may be distressing of course for those who don't have any choice about the long term care of their aged relations, knowing that they may be experiencing these same degrading practices.

Overall a very pleasant 100 minutes of humour, pathos and reckoning and I shall be heartily recommending that my own aged in-laws go and see it.

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