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Breaking of Bumbo, The (1970)

Bumbo Bailey (the disarmingly cherubic Richard Warwick), a newly commissioned Ensign of the Household Brigade based in the prestigious Wellington Barracks in London, is idling his way through a life consisting of equal parts ennui and obligation until he bumps into Susie (Joanna Lumley) – a big-haired vision in red snakeskin trousers – and her eccentric coterie of trendy friends at a performance art-style protest.

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The luscious Susie and her friends are bourgeois revolutionaries whose principal occupation is organising anti-war demonstrations.

Sensing Bumbo’s general dissatisfaction with everything they try to manipulate him into a course of action which could have dire consequences for his future.

The Breaking of Bumbo is a time-capsule portrait of military rigour competing with the era’s burgeoning sexual and social freedoms, set against explosive scenes of Swinging-Sixties London. Adapting his bestselling children’s book, director Andrew Sinclair draws on his own youthful experiences as a former Coldstream Guards officer.

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Though posters and brochures were created, The Breaking of Bumbo was denied a theatrical release by EMI on the grounds that it was uncommercial, and the film has only intermittently been shown on television. An excellent soundtrack showcases the

An excellent soundtrack showcases the Graham Bond Organisation, Chris Ellis and a toe-tappingly jaunty theme (Red is London) from Jean Hart.

Bumbo Bailey
Richard Warwick
Susie
Joanna Lumley
Sheila
Natasha Pyne
Billy
Jeremy Child
Jock
John Bird
Jorum
Donald Pickering
Guardsman Matt
Michael Burrell
Bean
Timothy Carlton
Guardsman Andrews
Warren Clarke
Guardsman James
Jon Croft
Guardsman Bart
Ron Davies
Horwood
Edward Fox
Farquhar
George Janson
Debutante
Anouska Hempel

Director
Andrew Sinclair