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REVIEW – The Bargee (1964)

April 1, 2010

Videovista have my review of Duncan Wood’s The Bargee.

Given that the film stars Harry H. Corbett, Ronnie Barker and Eric Sykes you might expect this to be a knock-about 1960s British comedy and, to a certain extent, it is.  However, the writers of the film were Ray Galton and Alan Simpson who made their name with Steptoe and Son, a sitcom best remembered for its social realism and its confrontation of the British class system.  The Bargee is very much a film in this tradition as beneath the rather lightweight comedy lurks a drama about the final working months of the British canal network and the culture of canal workers and lock keepers that depended upon it.  Ultimately flawed, the film is still a fascinating look at a now extinct culture.

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