Rhubarb (1969 film)

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"Rhubarb" (1969).jpg
Directed by Eric Sykes
Produced by Jon Penington
Written by Eric Sykes
Starring Harry Secombe
Eric Sykes
Music by Brian Fahey
Cinematography Arthur Wooster
Edited by Anthony Sloman (as Anthony B. Sloman)
Avalon Productions Ltd
Distributed by Warner-Pathé (UK)
Release date
  • 1969 (1969)
Running time
37 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Rhubarb was a 1969 British short film written and directed by Eric Sykes, starring Sykes and Harry Secombe.[1] The dialogue consisted entirely of repetitions of the word "rhubarb", all the characters last names were "Rhubarb", and even the number 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.


Critical reception[edit]

Allmovie wrote, "sight gags and pantomime dominate this engaging 37 minute feature."[2]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]