THE BARGEE is a warm-hearted and likeable British romantic comedy; the fact that I enjoyed it speaks volumes, given that I tend to avoid this genre of film at all costs. Harry H. Corbett, in a performance which feels like a dry run for his most famous role, plays the titular character, a canal-boat Casanova who spends his time romancing the pretty girls living as lock keeper's daughters and the like along the canals he plies his trade. Corbett is excellent here, as he usually was, and given fine comedy support from a young Ronnie Barker in a star-making turn. The film is episodic, which is no bad thing, and has an old-fashioned charm in its depiction of Britain's waterways and behaviours that have long since vanished. The cast is very good indeed, the highlight being Hugh Griffith as the intolerant lock keeper.
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Hemel Pike is a canal-barge Casanova, aided and abetted by his illiterate cousin Ronnie. Hemel has a girl in every town along his route, and each one is intent on marriage. He is finally caught when one of the girls, Christine, falls
November 4, 2021