"Every once in a while a character and an actor fit together so precisely that it becomes hard to imagine one without the other (Sean Connery and James Bond, Jeremy Brett and Sherlock Holmes).... McKern was made to fit the eccentric, irrepressibly snide barrister who is as 'lovable as a grumpy old panda.'" - The Wall Street Journal
Never plead guilty if you expect justice, ahem, to be served.
And so comes another helping of inimitable RUMPOLE OF THE BAILEY tales, where if crime doesn't exactly pay--it's at least a living. Enjoy more lovably dour wisdom from our old Bailey hack, who, between defending a variety of characters, from struggling artists to massage parlor entrepreneurs, puffs away at his damp cheroot while spouting passages from the Oxford Book of English Verse. The second and third seasons come replete with Horace Rumpole's brilliant defenses, his fondness for "plonk," his wonderfully askew wig, and his sly jabs at hypocrisy-not to mention those bloody upper-class nincompoops. At least "She Who Must Be Obeyed" is around to keep things in order.
Available on DVD for the first time, the third and fourth seasons of RUMPOLE OF THE BAILEY include all 12 episodes, perfectly adapted by John Mortimer from his best-selling novels and starring the esteemed Leo McKern (A Man for All Seasons).
DVD Features: Episode Introductions with John Mortimer; Mortimer s Musings--An Interview with John Mortimer; John Mortimer Biography; John Mortimer Bibliography and Selected Credits; About the Old Bailey; Official Executioners of Newgate Prison; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection
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Before there was Quincy and The Practice, there was Rumpole. Rumpole of the Bailey is, quite simply, one of the finest television series, and it has served as a model for all law dramas that followed it. Edgy and satirical, Rumpole is based on John Mortimer's books of the same name. Esteemed actor Leo McKern portrays the antihero Rumpole, a determined and committed criminal defense barrister whose clients have included three generations of the Timson family, among others, at the Old Bailey (criminal court). As champion of the downtrodden, the self-righteous Rumpole loves to get in trouble with his wife, his peers, the head of chambers, and judges, to name but a few. A connoisseur of Wordsworth, cigars, and cheap liquor, McKern's usually disheveled Rumpole belies the character's dry sense of humor and astute skill as a barrister. His wife, the upwardly mobile Hilda, is played by Peggy Thorpe-Bates, known for her Miss Toliver in Alcatraz Island, and Justice Sir Guthrie Fetherston is played by Peter Bowles, known for his Richard DeVere in TV's To the Manor Born.
This four-disc set includes all 12 episodes from seasons 3 and 4. Typical of British drama, production values are low, while the caliber of scriptwriting and acting is unsurpassed. A rare example of a television serial that is as appealing and engaging on its 10th viewing as it is on its first. --Erik Macki
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