Nearest and Dearest (film)

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Nearest and Dearest
"Nearest and Dearest" (1972 film).jpg
UK theatrical poster
Directed by John Robins
Produced by Michael Carreras
Written by Roy Bottomley
Tom Brennand
Starring Hylda Baker
Jimmy Jewel
Music by Derek Hilton
Cinematography David Holmes
Edited by Chris Barnes
Hammer Films
Granada Special Comedy
Distributed by Anglo-EMI (UK)
Release date
1972 (UK)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Nearest and Dearest is a 1972 British comedy film starring Hylda Baker and Jimmy Jewel as feuding brother and sister Nellie and Eli Pledge, owners of "Pledge's Purer Pickles". A spin-off from the long running TV sitcom of the same name, it was produced by Hammer Films in conjunction with a film making arm of Granada TV. As well as starring in the film, Hylda Baker also sings the title theme song.[1][2] Despite the popularity of the TV series, the film version failed to match that success at the box office.[3]


On their father's death, Eli and Nellie Pledge inherit a pickle factory in Colne, in the north of England. The warring siblings struggle to keep the decrepit "Pledge's Purer Pickles" afloat, hampered by severe lack of funds, zero business acumen and by having inherited a workforce that is a decade beyond retirement age. While Nellie works hard to keep the business going, Eli prefers to indulge in the delights of beer, cigarettes, gambling and women. The annual Summer holiday is soon upon them and the entire factory is closed down. Nellie takes Eli to a Blackpool boarding house run by landlady Mrs. Rowbottom, whose eyes light upon bachelor Eli. Eli though, only has eyes for the younger Freda. Eli's attempts to further his financial ambitions by marrying off Nellie to a colleague in the pickling business are challenged when Vernon Smallpiece is snatched from the altar by bailiffs for non-payment of his debts.[4][5][6]


Critical reception[edit]

Sky Movies said, "a kind of bumper bundle of seaside postcard jokes, with acting honours going to Jimmy Jewel, underrated as a character actor, and Yootha Joyce, who pops up as Mrs Rowbottom."[1]


  1. ^ a b "Nearest and Dearest - Sky Movies HD". 2003-04-01. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  2. ^ Baker - Nearest and Dearest / The More You Laugh (1969)
  3. ^ "Nearest and Dearest". Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  4. ^ "Nearest and Dearest | BFI | BFI". Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  5. ^ (2008-04-21). "Nearest and Dearest". Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  6. ^ "Nearest And Dearest". Retrieved 2014-02-22. 

External links[edit]