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Billy Liar (1963) Poster

(1963)

Trivia

Considering the film's uses of 'pissed', 'bastard' and numerous 'bloody's it was passed with an 'A' (now PG) cinema certificate by the BBFC after the removal of one line of dialogue. This was "What you wanted me to do that night" and is said by Liz to Billy during their walk in the park. The line was later restored in all video and DVD releases.
Topsy Jane was cast as Liz but became ill during filming and was replaced by Julie Christie
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Topsy Jane can still be seen in long-shot in some sequences, notably when Billy and Liz wave to the people of Ambrosia from the balcony.
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Just prior to his arrival on the set Finlay Currie lost his last surviving daughter. He was understandably distraught and asked for a day off to attend the funeral. According to director Schlesinger, Currie was distracted and had trouble with his lines.
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Tom Courtenay, Ethel Griffies and Mona Washbourne recreated their original stage roles. Courtney reminisced that Griffies would remove her dentures before playing a scene.
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Albert Finney originated the title role of "Billy Liar" before it was taken over by Courtney.
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First feature film of George Innes.
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Keith Waterhouse wrote the novel "Billy Liar" inspired by the cartoon story "Walter Mitty" by James Thurber.
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This film made a star of Julie Christie, even though she's only in the film for a total of 12 minutes.
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John Schlesinger chose Tom Courtenay over Albert Finney who had originated the part of Billy Liar on stage, mainly because Courtenay was a less physically imposing figure than Finney and therefore more believable as a dreamer.
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The audience's first introduction to the character of Liz was shot on the street, verite style. More often than not, the turned heads of the passers-by are genuine as John Schlesinger filmed their reactions to Julie Christie.
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Julie Christie was mainly in a panic throughout shooting as she was convinced that she was miscast.
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Muriel Day mimes to the song "Twisterella", replacing the original vocalist who had fallen pregnant and was unable to fulfill her obligations.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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