Rhubarb (1969 film)
|Directed by||Eric Sykes|
|Produced by||Jon Penington|
|Written by||Eric Sykes|
|Music by||Brian Fahey|
Avalon Productions Ltd
|Distributed by||Warner-Pathé (UK)|
|Running time||37 minutes|
Rhubarb was a 1969 British short film written and directed by Eric Sykes, starring Sykes and Harry Secombe. The dialogue consisted entirely of repetitions of the word "rhubarb", all the characters last names were "Rhubarb", and even the license plates on vehicles were "RHU BAR B". A baby "spoke" by holding a sign with the word "Rhubarb" written on it.
Rhubarb is a radio idiom for unintelligible background speech. Typically extras would mutter the word over and over to provide ambience for a crowd or party scene. In The Goon Show the cast was usually only the three principals, who would pretend to try to sound like a larger group by repeating "rhubarb" very quickly but clearly, with outbreaks of "Custard!" for good measure. Sykes was a close collaborator and friend of the Goons. He remade the piece in 1980 for Thames Television, as Rhubarb Rhubarb.
A Police Inspector and a vicar play a round of golf. The Police Inspector has a Constable help him to cheat by removing his golf ball from awkward situations, and the vicar ultimately requests divine intervention.
- Kenneth Connor ... Mr Rhubarb
- Jimmy Edwards ... Police Constable Rhubarb
- Hattie Jacques ... Nurse Rhubarb
- Ann Lancaster ... Mrs Rhubarb
- Anastasia Penington ... Baby Rhubarb
- Gordon Rollings ... Artist Rhubarb
- Harry Secombe ... Vicar Rhubarb
- Johnny Speight ... Gents Rhubarb
- Graham Stark ... Golfer Rhubarb
- Eric Sykes ... Police Inspector Rhubarb
- Sheree Winton ... Girl Rhubarb
- Rhubarb Rhubarb, the 1980 remake of Rhubarb.
- Other Eric Sykes short silent films in similar style: The Plank (1967), The Plank (1979 remake of the 1967 film), It's Your Move (1982), Mr. H Is Late (1988) and The Big Freeze (1993).
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