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Babs (2017)

A drama about the life and career of actress Barbara Windsor.

Director:

Dominic Leclerc

Writers:

Tony Jordan, Barbara Windsor (based on book by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Samantha Spiro ... Babs
Charlie Archer Charlie Archer ... Scott Mitchell
Nick Moran ... John Deeks
Honor Kneafsey ... Teen Barbara
Leanne Best ... Rose Deeks
Florence Keen ... Child Barbara
Nathan Harmer Nathan Harmer ... Brian Mickey
Marty Cruikshank Marty Cruikshank ... Aida Foster
Peter Hamilton Dyer Peter Hamilton Dyer ... Producer
Matthew Bates Matthew Bates ... Rosie's Lawyer
Robert East ... Divorce Judge
Lewis Kirk ... Johnny Brandon
Cally Lawrence Cally Lawrence ... Wardrobe Mistress
Jaime Winstone ... Barbara
Sue Elliott-Nichols ... Shoe Shop Manageress
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Storyline

In 1993 middle-aged actress Barbara Windsor sits on a stage, conversing with John Deeks, the dead father who recognized her talent as a child but disappeared from her life after her parents divorced, her mother giving her her stage name. From stage school Barbara starts singing at Ronnie Scott's club, where she meets the charming but crooked Ronnie Knight, ending up a pregnant prisoner's wife, in need of an abortion. Things look up when she joins Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop group and gets a part in Lionel Bart's 'Fings Ain't Wot They Used to Be'. Film and television parts slowly come in, notably the 'Carry On' franchise, and despite Joan's warning that Barbara may be type-cast as the perpetual dumb blonde Barbara is smart enough to exploit the persona, acquiring a handsome young husband and becoming a national treasure. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Genres:

Biography | Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 May 2017 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Samantha Spiro first played Barbara Windsor in 1998 at the Royal National Theatre in Terry Johnson's "Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick". When Johnson adapted the play for television, as Cor, Blimey! (2000), Spiro reprised the role. See more »

Connections

References Carry On Spying (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Carry on Babs
7 May 2017 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

Barbara Windsor may had a complex relationship with her father but I am sure it was not like it was presented in this biographical drama.

Tony Jordan, a long time writer for Eastenders wrote this biopic which unlike Miss Windsor's chest felt a bit flat.

The framing device of an older Babs (Samantha Spiro) talking to her father about various aspects of her life is not new. It just did not work for me and made the drama episodic as we jumped around various stages of her life.

We see the child Barbara starting out on the stage with the help of her mother who disappears later on. The younger Babs (Jaime Winstone) realizes she has the assets to turn men's heads. We see her having a relationship with the crooked Ronnie Knight, both had affairs, she also had abortions. Barbara tries to break into serious acting with the Joan Littlewood theatre workshop. For a time she enjoyed success in the New York stage and even attracted the attention of Warren Beatty.

The Carry On years were quickly glossed over and we see an older Barbara Windsor still trying to understand her relationship with her father. Now with a toyboy and doing stage work for a pittance, she does not know it yet, but there is a juicy role in Eastenders just round the corner which will brighten her career and fortunes.

At one point even the real Barbara Windsor turns up which confuses matter further. I think this film just needed a straightforward narrative that was bubbly as the subject in her various happier times.


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