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Family love

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Family love

Postby callous_little_bleeder » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:01 am

Sorry if this has been posted before, as it probably has.

We all love it when Albert and Harold get into a vicious slanging match, calling each other 'bleeders' and 'toe-rags' but one of the things that I'm really growing to appreciate with Steptoe & Son is the family love they have for each other deep down.

Where do I begin? In 'Those Magnificent Men And Their Heating Machines', there is a rather touching scene after Harold finds Albert with his head in the oven. While it is equally funny as it is touching, the dialogue exchange between the two after Albert's revival is so moving that it really tugs at the heart strings. Something along the lines of: "It's nice to think that you care, Harold. I might not say it often but I respect you not only as a son, but as a man." Forgive me if I'm inaccurate with the exact dialogue.

Another one is in 'Sixty-Five Today' when Albert gets upset reading Harold's birthday card poem. And in 'Upstairs, Downstairs...' (there's probably many more but these are all off the top of my head) when Albert asks Harold how they will run the business with him being bedridden. The simple reply is with a warm smile: "We'll manage. We always do."

Seriously, this is absolutely first class acting! Simply reading the above text doesn't get the scenes across in the way I'm trying to explain (you guys know anyway), but I don't think a single sitcom, perhaps drama even, has shown me such a convincing display of emotion between two male actors. It really is a testament to their work.

I don't know if I'm just getting soft in my old age or what. :wink:
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Postby PhilGlass » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:20 pm

I totally agree - that is the magic of Steptoe and Son.

Someone recently asked me what Steptoe was about. I said it's about whether you can love someone you hate.

A brilliant episode which sums it up for me is 'Steptoe and Son - And Son!'. There are several bits - where Albert agrees to give Harold the £500 and Harold refuses it. Also, when she says to Harold 'he might grow up to hate you'... Harry was such a good actor that when he replied with 'To hate me?', it can be read two ways...

On one hand he could be saying 'how could a boy ever hate his father?'. On the other he could be saying 'I don't want him to hate his dad as much as I do'. He lets the audience decide what that actually means.

That's why the characters are believable, because they love each other. We have all said things like 'I'm going to kill you' to our family, or made fun of them when they've had a silly haircut or something... but god help anyone outside the family who do it.

A well thought out topic, very interesting!
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Postby Archie » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:29 pm

I had a lot of arguments with my old man, but when he died 6 years ago I was devastated.

I still miss him terribly :cry:
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Postby bob » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:13 pm

Nice postings and some deep thoughts going on.

Sorry to hear about your Dad archie, my sutuation is more like the Steptoe's I have seen my Dad for well over 10 years.

Time to go and read Phillip Larkin's "This be the Verse"
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Postby callous_little_bleeder » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:54 am

PhilGlass wrote:A well thought out topic, very interesting!

Cheers, mate.

Archie wrote:I had a lot of arguments with my old man, but when he died 6 years ago I was devastated.

I think I said in another thread that a 'death in the family' recently (no pun, but then again maybe it is, LOL) was one of the reasons for my hiatus.

Swear words forthcoming (censored).

Me and my grandmother have always had a Harold and Albert relationship in a way. We always called each other names but it was never taken seriously. For example, if I was at her house I always say "Where's my f**king dinner, you silly old cow?" This may sound a tad harsh but really it is totally acceptable in my family. Not one member of our family tree finds those words remotely offensive because that's the way we were all brought up. A joke, y'know?

My mum lived with my grandmother and became her carer when nana lost the ability to be functional. Sometimes I would help mum because she is semi-disabled due to a stroke she suffered a few years ago.

I was staying at mum's house one night (good home cooked grub, you know how it is) and she asked me to help nana into her bed. Nana was a tad troublesome that night and it almost seemed deliberate (which it was 99% of the time, trust me she was the female Albert Steptoe in every way) and I said to her in frustration: "For f**ks sake nana, move yourself back and get in that f**king bed bed, you useless old c**t!"

"Alright, lairy Larry!!!" was the reply from nana.

The following morning she was dead. I'm happy I was there that night because mum would not have been able to cope with it. But I've always been a bit sad that my last words to nana contained the 'c' word.

A proper 'bogeys round the teacup' and 'false teeth in yer bathroom sink' woman. You know what though, I can almost hear her from beyond the grave calling me all the names under the sun. She was a good ol' Millwall girl too, Bob. :wink:

I'm into heavy metal and punk, and once played her a concert by Slayer on VHS. Her exact words were: "a bunch of long-haired yankie POOFS!"

Bless her cotton socks.
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