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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" (1969).jpg
Directed byEric Sykes
Produced byJon Penington
Written byEric Sykes
StarringHarry Secombe
Eric Sykes
Music byBrian Fahey
CinematographyArthur Wooster
Edited byAnthony Sloman (as Anthony B. Sloman)
Avalon Productions Ltd
Distributed byWarner-Pathé (UK)
Release date
  • 1969 (1969)
Running time
37 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

"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 receptionEdit

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

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Rhubarb". BFI.
  2. ^ "Rhubarb (1970) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast - AllMovie". AllMovie.

External linksEdit