Bert & Dickie

Synopsis: In 1948 a London beset by rationing and austerity measures has six weeks to go before the first Olympic Games after the war. With athletes having to supply their own kit the Labour government is desperately hoping the games will attract foreign tourists and their money. Working class Bert Bushnell is anxious for selection in the single sculls event and is upset when former Olympian medallist and innovative organizer Jack Beresford pairs him with journalist Dickie Burnell, whose privileged background he despises. Their initial poor performance sees them at odds but, after Bert has convinced Dickie that their boat needs alterations, their prowess and mutual respect increases. On the eve of the games a nervous Dickie is given confidence by Bert's father and applies a little of his own cunning to ensure a path to the finals. Ultimately Bert also seeks Dickie's father's reassurance, both elders having a secret of their own, and the pair go on to beat the favoured Danish duo and win Olympic
Director(s): David Blair
  2 nominations.
89 min

You're off, then?

Yes, I, er... We did agree.

It's Henley. They're going

to select the Olympic team.

And I'm bang up to date.

Mr Bushnell, you are never anything

other than up to date.

I'm merely lamenting that your...


does not match your diligence.

And that you do not take as much

pleasure from your employment

as you do from rowing your boats.

I scull them. I beg your pardon?

I'm a sculler, sir.

A rower's a bloke who has one oar.

I have both. So...

I'm really not that interested,

Mr Bushnell!

And nor is anyone else,

if you read today's Daily Mail.

A rather perceptive editorial...

I'll make my time up, of course, sir.

What? In lieu...

You can rest assured. Only...

I should be heading off.

Let's just hope you're selected now!

For goodness' sake! Sorry!

What time do you call this?


I thought I'd miss you...

Mr Bushnell.

I just wanted to wish you luck.


I've got to get back anyway...

Yeah... I, erm...

Thanks for coming, though.

I appreciate it.

Do your best!

Has she finished at secretarial

college, then?

Margaret? Is that how come

I'm seeing so much of her?

You aren't seeing so much of her!

She only stopped off to wish me luck.

Well, you're going to need it,

by the time we get there.

That isn't her fault!

That's Hawkin's...

keeping me in

to the last bloody second!

God, you don't know

what I'd give to leave him, Dad,

come and work with you. Yeah, well,

you can't. You know that!

Look at it! It's a complete

wasteland still.

Everything is rationed.

But we've already agreed!

What Lord Aberdare means, sir,

is that we gave our word

to the International Olympic


We said, unequivocally, that

we could still stage the Games.

Why? Because the bloody Yanks

were after it!

What? They said they could step

in to help us out.

Rather as they had done in the war.


I... I wasn't sure if you

wanted me to say anything, sir.

This is Harold Wilson. He's

my Secretary for Overseas Trade

and somewhat of your persuasion.

Tell me again...

Tourism, sir!

We will never have a better


to develop our tourist trade

than this.

We need hard currency

to stimulate the economy.

And I firmly believe that

the 1948 Games could bring that in!

The treasury is bare...

Remember that!

'Passing the mile signal,

'Winstone and Burnell

'of Kingston and Leander.

'Just maintaining their lead

'ahead of...'

Bert, where have you been?

Albert, don't you start, please!

Right, well, I won't, then.

She's all ready.

Me and Frank have got her perfect.

You just get limbered up

for your big moment!

No pressure, obviously.

'The result of the final of

the double sculls challenge cup...'

I'm sorry, Richard.

'..beat RF Winstone and

RD Burnell of Kingston Rowing Club

'and Leander Club by two lengths.

'Time seven minutes, 54 seconds.'



Bad luck, old boy!

Are you all right? Not really.

It was a damn fine effort.

That's the proof.

You should shower.

I'll buy you a drink. Cheers.


Beresford. Richard, this is...

Jack Beresford. Of course.

It's an honour.

And congratulations.

I gather you're to oversee

the training

of all the British Olympics?

Indeed. A great honour,

as well as chairing our final

selection panel.



Well, I'm sorry Dick and I won't

be featuring in your deliberations.

We've been rather off colour

all summer.

I should shower.

That's the thing, though, Mr Burnell!

I'm looking for the best oarsmen,

not necessarily any existing


I believe that our greatest chance

of winning medals

will come not from sticking

with what is familiar but...

rather by trying out

one or two new formations.

Placing the best with the best.

Do you see?

'The results of the

Diamond Challenge Sculls.

'MT Wood of Australia beat BH Bushnell of Maidenhead Rowing Club.'

Great race, mate! Jeez,

the way you went off,

I thought you'd be in the bar

before I was halfway down!

See you back here

in five or six weeks, eh?

It's unbelievable!

Suddenly discovering reverse gear

in an Olympic trial.

And that was Margaret's fault,

was it?

You know, she was waiting for him,

after work,

even after he promised

he'd stop seeing her.

I don't remember that.

That's because I never said it!


He's been looking to have a go at her

ever since he picked me up.

Oh. And I wonder why! Stop it

both of you, for goodness' sake...

What's done is done.

He can call round for half an hour,


He knows he can't stay out

all night.

He's got work in the morning.

"Come Per Me Sereno"

by Maria Callas

Got it! It was by the oven!

You see. I do not throw

everything out.

I do not have a mania for cleaning.

See you later.

Father. Richard! How lovely!

I was just passing by...

Sorry, are you rushing?

Do you mind?

I, erm... forgot my copy.

The editor's screaming blue murder.

Of course.

They said at your office

you were frantic.

So... You weren't just passing by,


You were looking for me?

I wondered if you'd had

any further thoughts.

All of that... chopping and changing

that Beresford was mentioning.

You know, I was thinking on the way

over, "Poor old Winstone...

"If only he knew he might be

about to be sacrificed

"at the altar of modern sport."

Yeah, I know! I'm a relic, Richard.

Time moves on.

I'm well aware of that.

Oh, take no notice of me, old boy.

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William Ivory

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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