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Rising Damp (film)

Rising Damp is a 1980 comedy film based on the British situation comedy Rising Damp, which aired on ITV from 1974 to 1978. The television series was, in turn, adapted from Eric Chappell's stage play The Banana Box. Chappell adapted the play to television, and wrote the screenplay for this feature film. The film's director was Joseph McGrath.

Rising Damp
"Rising Damp" (film).jpg
UK theatrical poster by Tom Beauvais
Directed by Joseph McGrath
Produced by Roy Skeggs
Screenplay by Eric Chappell
Based on Rising Damp
by Eric Chappell
Music by David Lindup
Cinematography Frank Watts
Edited by Peter Weatherly
Distributed by
Release date
  • 3 May 1980 (1980-05-03) (United Kingdom)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United Kingdom

Leonard Rossiter plays Rupert Rigsby, the middle-aged landlord of a decrepit townhouse. Rigsby has fallen for his only female tenant, Ruth Jones (Frances de la Tour). Ruth, however, prefers Philip, who is much younger, more attractive, and more sophisticated than either Rigsby or her. Philip (Don Warrington) is not especially interested in Ruth, but he eggs Rigsby on in order to humiliate him.

In adapting the television series to film, the setting was changed from Yorkshire to inner-city London.

For her performance as Ruth Jones, Frances da la Tour received an Evening Standard British Film Award in the category of "Best Actress".



Critical receptionEdit

A reviewer for Time Out wrote that the film "[demonstrates] that moderately droll TV boarding-house sitcoms ought not to be stretched to 98 minutes."[1]

David Parkinson wrote in the Radio Times, "the absence of Richard Beckinsale does much to sap the enjoyment of this decent movie version of the enduring television sitcom. Eric Chappell...overwrites to compensate and the film suffers from too many padded scenes and too few hilarious situations. Newcomer Denholm Elliott looks a tad out of place alongside regulars Frances de la Tour and Don Warrington, but he makes a solid foil for the magnificent Leonard Rossiter, who pursues his romantic quest with a seedy chivalry that both disgusts and amuses."[2]

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