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The Old Crowd (1979)

George and Betty, a middle-class English couple, have just moved into a big Edwardian house in London and are throwing a party to celebrate. Unfortunately, after ten days none of their ... See full summary »


Lindsay Anderson


Alan Bennett


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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Moffatt ... George
Isabel Dean ... Betty
Philip Stone ... Harold
Frank Grimes ... Glyn
Peter Jeffrey ... Rufus
Rachel Roberts ... Pauline
Jill Bennett ... Stella
Peter Bennett Peter Bennett ... Dickie
Valentine Dyall ... Oscar
Cathleen Nesbitt ... Mother
Adele Leigh Adele Leigh ... Female Entertainer
David King David King ... Male Entertainer
Elspeth March ... Totty
Jenny Quayle ... Sue
Martin Jacobs Martin Jacobs ... Peter (as Martyn Jacobs)


George and Betty, a middle-class English couple, have just moved into a big Edwardian house in London and are throwing a party to celebrate. Unfortunately, after ten days none of their furniture has arrived, having been sent to Carlisle by mistake, three of the four toilets don't work and cracks are starting to appear in the ceiling. However, nothing can dent their determination to have a good time. Written by Peter Brynmor Roberts

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

27 January 1979 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

La vecchia folla See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK


Box Office


GBP25,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Alan Bennett kept a diary detailing his work on the script with Lindsay Anderson and the filming process, which was published in his 1994 anthology "Writing Home". See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits were seen on an in-shot television that the mother watches. See more »

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User Reviews

Lindsay and Bennett make for a highly interesting and enjoyable odd couple
13 January 2017 | by runamokprodsSee all my reviews

A highly entertaining, occasionally brilliant, and almost impossible to see satirical broadside against "The Old Crowd" who dominate Britain.

It's an intriguing meeting of two genius creative figures – director Lindsay Anderson and writer Alan Bennett – who wouldn't seem a natural match. Anderson was at his best in the weird, surreal and wildly entertaining films "If…" and "O Lucky Man". Bennett's long history of brilliant writing tended to be much more grounded in reality, much less blatant in it's outrage (and metaphors). He's a far more subtle presence.

But the two go well together, each pushing the other's boundaries. I wonder if Bennett's script was full of such out there ideas as constantly panning away from the spectacle of this group of haughty and silly well-to-do aging insiders to reveal the real film crew just a few feet away recording the farce. But it's a brilliant device, reminding us of how artificial these people and the insulated world they've created to live in really are. (And how blind they are to what's right in front of their eyes).

There's not much in the way of a plot, just a series of very odd, mostly quite funny and odd events and encounters over the course of a dinner party. The actors are terrific, wonderfully walking the line between absurdist cartoons and being just real enough to inspire some level of human interest.

It's not perfect. Some ideas are just too repeated, hammered home, and on the nose (those giant cracks growing in the ceiling anyone?) . But I was thrilled to finally see it, a fascinating piece in the history of two of England's most important dramatic presences from the 2nd half of the 20th century.

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