Steptoe and Son (1972) Movie Review

Steptoe and Son (1972)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Harry H. Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell in Steptoe and Son (1972)

Till Death do they Part

After another day of working together as rag and bone men Harold (Harry H. Corbett - Silver Dream Racer) and his old man, Albert (Wilfrid Brambell - A Hard Day's Night), head down the football club as there is a strip show on. Harold, with his aspirations of being more than just a rag & bone man, ends up scoring a date with Zita (Carolyn Seymour), one of the strippers. One date leads to another and before long Harold and Zita are getting married and she is moving in which doesn't go down well with Albert who sets about getting rid of her before it's too late. The question is will Harold end up with Zita or stuck with his father for ever.

I've mentioned it before, as a Brit born at the start of the 70s I have many a recollection of those sitcoms from the era although admittedly don't really remember ever really being a huge fan of them. As such I remember watching bits and pieces of "Steptoe and Son" with its tragi-comedy about Harold living with his dirty old man of a father, with them being at each other's throats but when push comes to shove Harold never being able to abandon the comically crafty Albert. And of course that is what you get in "Steptoe and Son" the movie version of the British sitcom, just at 98 minutes a big dose of it.

The thing is that whilst "Steptoe and Son" the movie works with the balance there so you get the storyline of Harold planning on marrying a stripper and Albert being crafty enough to try and get rid of her, it still feels drawn out. Basically if you were to remove all the bits of the storyline surrounding Harold's relationship with Zita you would probably still be left with an hour of comedy surrounding Harold and Albert's way of living with jokes ranging from Harold's bath having wheels on to Albert bathing in the kitchen sink. It isn't that this stuff isn't funny as all these jokes work but it is a case that after 98 minutes of it you are kind of happy it is over. Although it is also worth saying that whilst some of the movie spin-offs of 70s British sitcoms have dated poorly this one has held up remarkably well.

What this all boils down to is that "Steptoe and Son" the movie is still a lot of fun and has aged surprisingly well but it feels like it is drawn out and comes close to out staying its welcome.

Tags: British TV Shows & Their Movies