• Film ID:
  • 20815
  • Availability:
  • DVD Available from Shop
  • Film cert:
  • Running time:
  • DVD=102 min.
  • Nationality(ies):
  • Britain.
  • Primary Language(s):
  • English.

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 pregnant. Her protective father, a 'larger than life' character, who holds the canal record for drinking 29 pints of 'Brown and Mild' in a single session, is understandably upset by his daughter's situation. The film is unique in that it attempts to portray working life on the English canals as it really was in the 1960s, without the affected prettification of most accounts. The bargees are workmen, Hemel (Corbett) the ladies man trapped by a pretty girl, and propelled to the altar on the end of a shotgun, and Ronnie (Barker) his none too bright right hand man. The film is set immediately before the end of the way of life that it portrays, as commercial narrowboat carrying came to an end on Britain's waterways. At the time of its release, this was a very recent memory, the trade having been finally killed off by the severe winter of 1963.

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