User 'Cosmo-Bongo' and his wife must have led very sheltered lives if they found this film 'horribly upsetting'. For millions of British working class people at that time, this was their way of life; cobblestones, tin baths, outside toilets, and all. If I were you, sir, I'd stay well clear of 'A Clockwork Orange'. It'll most likely give you a stroke! The boom in films-based-on-British-sitcoms started in 1969 with 'Till Death Us Do Part and ended in 1980 with 'George & Mildred'. In between there was 'Dad's Army', 'On The Buses' ( three films in fact ), 'Man About The House', 'Please Sir!', and 'For The Love Of Ada' to name but a few. 'Steptoe & Son', while not a patch on the television series, is nevertheless an above average movie. Harold and Albert go to a stag night at the local rugby club, where the former is smitten by the vivacious stripper Zita ( Carolyn Seymour ). So smitten, in fact, that he proposes to and marries her. Of course the 'dirty old man' does not like this one little bit. When the couple go to Spain on honeymoon, he goes along with them, but gets food poisoning, and demands to go home. Harold is forced to leave his bride behind, where she is easy prey for the randy hotel manager...Being a film this is of course ruder than the series. Harold uses bad language, there's nudity ( even Albert gets to display his bare bottom ), and lots of frank talk about sex. The conflict between the Steptoes escalates into full-scale war. Carolyn Seymour is terrific. No wonder she was later asked to strip in workingmen's clubs for real! Also in the cast are Mike Reid ( who went on to become a star through 'The Comedians' television series ) and Perry St.Clare ( an alias for female impersonator Patrick Fyffe, later to become 'Dame Hilda Bracket' ). The film is a bit like 'The Bargee' ( also by Galton & Simpson, and starring Corbett ) in that it too moves from comedy to tragedy and back again. Corbett and Brambell are on sparkling form, particularly when they debate the future of the strange baby they've found in their stable. Only the scene near the end where Harold is beaten up by drunken Old Wendovians doesn't work. Favourite bit? The old man bathing in the kitchen sink. You don't want to know where he puts the dish brush. Standing up, he accidentally exposes himself to a neighbour ( Patsy Smart ).The film did well enough for a superior sequel two years later, entitled 'Steptoe & Son Ride Again'.
It was something of a trend in the 70s to make film versions of popular sit-coms of the day. With one or two exceptions these were cheaply made, second-rate efforts intended to cash in on the success of a popular TV show and were therefore largely embarrassing to watch. The first Steptoe and Son movie does, however, work fairly well.The grit and seediness of the Steptoe's environment transfers very well to film and we get a valuable glimpse of a part of London which was grey, dilapidated and depressing...something we are never privy to in the TV series. With film censorship being slightly more relaxed than what could be seen or heard on television we get some hilarious outbursts from Harold and Albert, liberally peppered with swear words.Of course the TV version of Steptoe is a sit-com and while this is funny in places the genuine tragedy of Harold and Albert's situation takes centre stage. Harold ends up getting hitched to a stripper but the match is doomed from the start due to his mixed feelings: all he wants to do is get away from his father and make something of himself yet abandoning him is the one thing he cannot do. We really do sympathise with Harold's plight in this movie and despise Albert's deviousness and thwarting him at every turn.Of course, such sombre elements existed in the TV programme but due to them being mixed with relatively rapid comedy in 25 minute slots we accepted the character's situation without dwelling on it too much. This time round, with a longer running time and the tragi-drama fleshed out it sometimes makes for uncomfortable viewing.All the leads perform well and this is a better example of how TV sit-coms could work as cinema spectaculars. Indeed, even if the characters weren't known from TV this has the potential to function well as a stand-alone movie.See it and be pleasantly surprised.
Steptoe And Son ran for eight series on BBC TV and even spawned two feature films. Such was the series' popularity in the mid-1960s that the cast specially recorded several episodes for BBC radio. Here, collected together for the first time, are all episodes from the fifth and sixth radio series, scripted by Hancock's Half Hour creators Ray Galton and Alan Simpson.
Steptoe and Son Ride Again is a 1973 British comedy film. It is a sequel to the film Steptoe and Son (1972) based on the television series. As usual, the film starred Wilfrid Brambell and Harry H. Corbett.
The show was noted for being a lot more gritty and down-to-earth than most other sitcoms of the age, focusing on two obviously poor, working class and downtrodden men, with most of the humour coming from the interactions between the characters rather than farce and slapstick, and their situation providing a great deal of pathos for the two characters. Picked up from a pilot episode in the Anthology Series Comedy Playhouse, it had two runs on The BBC (1962–65 and 1970–74note The later run was made in colour, but many episodes from 1970–72 only survive in black and white copies), and was adapted to radio as well as two feature films. More recently, there was a stage play called Steptoe and Son in Murder at Oil Drum Lane, in which Harold returns to the junkyard in 2005, and is confronted by the ghost of Albert.
This is a collection from Alexander Street Press of 500 hours (8,000 individual items) of newsreels (filmed news for cinema release) from Japan, France, the Netherlands and the USA, including wartime propaganda newsreels and a complete run of the important The March of Time series in its American edition (the British release version was slightly different). Most of the films have been fully transcribed, with transcriptions available in synchronisation presentation alongside the video. The contents include:
Films at the Bodleian History Faculty LibraryThe Library has a number of feature and documentary films on DVD available for use in the Library (you can also borrow headphones) or for members of the University to borrow. All films are catalogued on SOLO. Examples include: 2b1af7f3a8