The Knowledge 1981

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(25) IMDb 7.6/10
LOVEFiLM By Post

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.

Starring:
Nigel Hawthorne, Michael Elphick
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 36 minutes
Starring Nigel Hawthorne, Michael Elphick, Kim Taylforth, Maureen Lipman, Gary Holton, Mick Ford
Director Bob Brooks
Genres Comedy
Studio REVELATION FILMS
Rental release 25 August 2003
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By D. V. GATENBY on 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 By JT on 7 Mar 2011
Format: DVD
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 By Ronald H. Spek on 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 By Mr. K. V. Hawkins on 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 By assistantdirector@email.com on 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 By MR ANDREW MARK MATHER on 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 By Colin Millward on 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 By Ijaz on 15 April 2013
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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