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The Knowledge [VHS] [1979]

Nigel Hawthorne , Mick Ford , Bob Brooks    Parental Guidance   VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Price: 14.60
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Product details

  • Actors: Nigel Hawthorne, Mick Ford, Kim Taylforth, Jonathan Lynn, David Ryall
  • Directors: Bob Brooks
  • Writers: Bob Brooks, Jack Rosenthal
  • Producers: Christopher Neame, Verity Lambert
  • Language: English
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Revelation
  • VHS Release Date: 25 Aug 2003
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CJD8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 223,607 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Writer Jack Rosenthal's feature-length comedy about trainee cab-drivers in London. The story centres on a mismatched group of hopefuls as they are put through their paces on 'The Knowledge' - the special, gruelling test system that all black cab drivers have to pass before they can become fully-fledged cabbies. The candidates are ritually humiliated by the sadistic controller, but they each strive to overcome the odds and get their badges.

From the Back Cover

There are over 13,000 taxi-drivers in London. And in order to become taxi-drivers, every single one of them (like every one of their predecessors for over 140 years) has to pass an exam called "The Knowledge of London". The Knowledge is the story of four men and their attempts to become cab-drivers. In the process, they acquire a different kind of knowledge: knowledge of themselves and of those closest to them, of their strengths and weaknesses, of what they want from life – and how knowledge itself is the means of getting it… Starring Maureen Lipman, Lesley Joseph, Nigel Hawthorne and Michael Elphick, the characters in "The Knowledge" are all fictitious – but the official ordeal they undergo and the incidents that occur during the examination process are all entirely factual and true.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JACK ROSENTHAL'S BEST 14 April 2001
Format:VHS Tape
It would be hard to deny that this is Mr Maureen Lipman's best comedy drama. Every real-life London cabbie has seen this film and knows it off by heart. "Manor House to Gipton Square."
Would-be cabbies recite routes verbatim like children learning their times tables. Grown men are reduced to tears in the interrogation sessions, called "appearances." The dry, sardonic humour of Mr Burgess "I won't take offence if anyone here decides to call me 'Sir,'" the examiner, has caused this reader to burst into uncontrolled laughter and replay the appearance scenes over and over again.
This is one film that you will want to watch over and over again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hawthorne at near his best 7 Mar 2011
Let's face it, the film is grainy - this 'made for TV' film was filmed a long time ago - but very watchable and certainly most enjoyable. Nigel Hawthorne (Yes, Minister, Yes Prime Minister, The Madness of King George etc) is near his superb best as the head of London's taxi knowledge examiners. The four supporting cast members who sit for The Knowledge execute their roles to a high standard. If you like British comedy/drama - and this film has both - then it's well-worth seeing. Would have gone to 5 stars but the quality could be better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mopeds & clipboards 13 Feb 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Bought for nostalgic reasons: I saw this film long before moving to London, then when living in London everytime I saw someone on a moped with a clipboard I thought 'The Knowledge!'. Last time I was in London, this summer, I saw the mopeds with the clipboards again and decided I wanted to revive my memory, so I bought the film. It lived up to my expectations, which can't be said for the cabby whom I once asked to drive me home after a late night at work, only to find out that he did not know the address (in South Ken.).
If you like London, you'll like this film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second viewing after many many years! 21 Nov 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I watched this film when it first came out over 30 years ago and recently was in London with my 13 year old Grand-daughter and when she asked why people were riding round London on mopeds with big clip-boards on the handlebars, I told her about this film and resolved to get it for her if possible to watch and I'm really pleased I did. Wonderful depiction and I'm sure by the look of the numbers of people doing the "Knowledge" in London to this day, the same applies.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nigel Hawthorne at his best. 4 Oct 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Essential viewing for the potential "Black Cabbie".So real, a real rollercoaster of life.Comedy, strife and dissappointment.This film has it all.A defininate must see.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 19 Jun 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Great for all cabbies, knowledge boys or the public who need to know what all cabbies go through to get their licence, to ferry you about! Watch it and I'm sure you'll tip your next cab driver very handsomely!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real piece of inspiration 19 April 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A little dated but totally compelling this lovable story about a few characters from various walks of life who decide to become London taxi drivers is a delight to watch and remember. Nigel Hawthorne is at his best as the examiner; it's worth watching the film for his scenes alone. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great humour and brilliant story 15 April 2013
By Ijaz
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
no smoking please if you dont mind...lol.what a way to introduce yourself mr burgess, no applause please haha.loved this film from start to finish
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars For every Londoner
Saw this years ago and was amazed attire training taxi drivers had to go through. But the humour is wonderful and the actors who became big names fascinating, and Nigel Hawthorne... Read more
Published 1 month ago by jove
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story of how to become a London cabbie
As an American, I never knew the tests people had to go through to become a London cabbie. This was a great and informative, funny story. Sir Nigel Hawthorne was the best! Read more
Published 3 months ago by J. Knoke
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and rewarding
Saw this many years ago when I was a teenager and thought at the time it was all about passing the taxi test. Read more
Published 3 months ago by silverbirch
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet but dated.
I first saw this decades ago when it was broadcast by my local public television station in the USA. Read more
Published 5 months ago by --Gene
4.0 out of 5 stars A blast from the past!
My husband is a black cab driver and he originally had this on video, so it was a must to get it on dvd. Read more
Published 6 months ago by D. Middleton
5.0 out of 5 stars the knowledge
brilliant film..as i am currently on the knowledge myself it does make me larf..not bad for an old style fim where the haircuts are as old as the mopeds.. Read more
Published 7 months ago by peter c hiscox
i like jack roshenthalls work in general.
i am an ex cab driver
i would reccomend it to all my taxi driver friends
Published 16 months ago by Miss Linda M. Hodson
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent
This is my favourite ever TV film. I've had a videotape for years, and this DVD is much better, though the quality is still rather limited owing to the age and nature of the... Read more
Published 19 months ago by BillJones
5.0 out of 5 stars More of the same
Jack Rosenthal is a favourite of my husband so I will have to wait till Christmas to see his face to know whether or not this is a hit
Published 19 months ago by Mrs. A. I. Ilsley
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