Rhubarb The Film, 1969 and Rhubarb, Rhubarb, TV, 1980

Like ‘The Plank’ before it Rhubarb was an Eric Sykes short film that had a Television remake of a similar name.

The original Rhubarb went on general release in 1969 and was written by Eric Sykes.

In 1980 Eric Sykes re-made Rhubarb for Thames Television as Rhubarb, Rhubarb. a one off TV movie, again 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 TV 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.


Here’s a link to the original Rhubarb




Cast (Film)

Harry Secombe – Vicar Rhubarb
Eric Sykes – Police Inspector Rhubarb
Jimmy Edwards – Police Constable Rhubarb
Kenneth Connor – Mr Rhubarb
Ann Lancaster – Mrs Rhubarb
Hattie Jacques – Nurse Rhubarb
Anastasia Pennington – Baby Rhubarb
Graham Stark – Golfer Rhubarb
Sheree Winton – Lady Pupil Rhubarb
Gordon Rollings – Artist Rhubarb
Johnny Speight – Gents Rhubarb


Cast (TV)

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

Details (Film)

Written and Directed By: Eric Sykes
Produced By: Jon Pennington
Year Of Release: 1969

Details (TV)

Channel: ITV
Written and Directed By: Eric Sykes
Produced By: David Clark
Original Transmission Date: 15th December 1980




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