Rhubarb, Rhubarb, 1980
Like ‘The Plank’ before it this was a Television remake of a 1969 Eric Sykes film of the same name.
Made by Thames Television as a one off, it featured an all star cast. There was no speech in this short film there are various references to Rhubarb, for example, the golf game takes place at the Royal Rhubarb golf course, and at one point a character is seen reading a newspaper called the Daily Rhubarb whose headlines consist entirely of the word ‘rhubarb’. The word itself appears only once but is repeated many times.
The film is tinged with a little sadness in that Hattie Jacques died between the making and transmission.
When a police inspector becomes so intent on winning a round of golf against a vicar, despite his lack of ability at the game, he employs his constable to furtively disentangle his ball from the odd spots in which it usually comes to rest – while his opponent looks for help from a higher power…
Said help takes on an increasingly miraculous appearance, to the extent of inanimate objects appearing to move in order to block the inspector’s shots. However, when the vicar attempts to lie about the number of shots it took to free his ball from a sand trap he gets his comeuppance from a bolt of lightning.
In the final scene the entire game is revealed to have been a dream that the vicar had during a brief nap in church.
Eric Sykes …. Police Inspector/Groom
Jimmy Edwards …. Police Officer
Bob Todd …. Vicar
Charlie Drake …. Golf Club Pro
Bill Fraser …. Golf Club Secretary
Hattie Jacques† …. Nanny
Roy Kinnear …. Home Owner
Beryl Reid …. Home Owner’s Wife
Norman Rossington …. Church Organist
April Walker …. Lady Golf Pupil/Bride
Nicholas Bond-Owen …. Little Boy
Robert Carter …. Baby
Written and Directed By: Eric Sykes
Produced By: David Clark
Original Transmission Date: 15th December 1980