8.0/10
6,705
57 user 42 critic

The Servant (1963)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 16 March 1964 (USA)
The aristocratic Tony moves to London and hires the servant Hugo Barrett for all services at home. Barrett seems to be a loyal and competent employee, but Tony's girlfriend Susan does not ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Accident (1967)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

At Oxford, Austrian student Anna is dating fellow student William whom she plans to marry but she ends up sleeping with two unhappily married Oxford professors instead.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Stanley Baker, Jacqueline Sassard
Certificate: GP Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A tale of torrid and forbidden love between a couple in the English countryside.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Margaret Leighton
Victim (1961)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A prominent lawyer goes after a blackmailer who threatens gay men with exposure (homosexual acts still being illegal). But he's gay himself...

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Sylvia Syms, Dennis Price
Mr. Klein (1976)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Paris, 1942. Robert Klein cannot find any fault with the state of affairs in German-occupied France. He has a well-furnished flat, a mistress, and business is booming. Jews facing ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Alain Delon, Jeanne Moreau, Francine Bergé
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During World War I, an army private is accused of desertion during battle. The officer assigned to defend him at his court-martial finds out there is more to the case than meets the eye.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Tom Courtenay, Leo McKern
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In UK, after pulling a racetrack robbery, repeat offender Johnny Bannion hides the loot in a farmer's field but the police and the local mob come looking for Johnny and for the money.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Stanley Baker, Sam Wanamaker, Grégoire Aslan
Certificate: GP Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In this adaptation of the Thomas Mann novel, avant-garde composer Gustave Aschenbach (loosely based on Gustav Mahler) travels to a Venetian seaside resort in search of repose after a period... See full summary »

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Romolo Valli, Mark Burns
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Vera
...
Susan
...
Tony
Catherine Lacey ...
Lady Mounset
...
Lord Mounset
...
Society Woman
...
Older Woman (as Doris Knox)
...
Bishop
Jill Melford ...
Younger Woman
Alun Owen ...
Curate
...
Society Man
Derek Tansley ...
Head Waiter
Brian Phelan ...
Man in Pub
Hazel Terry ...
Woman in Bedroom
Edit

Storyline

The aristocratic Tony moves to London and hires the servant Hugo Barrett for all services at home. Barrett seems to be a loyal and competent employee, but Tony's girlfriend Susan does not like him and asks Tony to send him away. When Barrett brings his sister Vera to work and live in the house, Tony has a brief hidden affair with her. After traveling with Susan and spending a couple of days in a friend's house outside London, the couple unexpectedly returns and finds Barrett and Vera, who are actually lovers, in Tony's room. They are fired and Susan breaks with Tony. Later, Tony meets Barrett alone in a pub and hires him back, and Barrett imposes his real dark intentions in the house, turning the table and switching position with his master. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Terrifyingly Beautiful Motion Picture! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 March 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Diener  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,426 (USA) (23 August 2013)

Gross:

$35,748 (USA) (6 September 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The first of Harold Pinter's three film collaborations with Joseph Losey. The other two were Accident (1967) and The Go-Between (1971). See more »

Goofs

when the two main characters play in the stair, the servant shots a vase with the ball, it falls down and breaks on the floor. The next shot, you can see the bottom of the wrecked vase on the shelf it was on the first place (the rest of the vase is downstairs). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hugo Barrett: Excuse me, sir. My name is Barrett, sir.
Tony: Oh God, of course. I'm so sorry. I fell asleep. We've got an appointment.
Hugo Barrett: Yes, sir.
Tony: What time?
Hugo Barrett: 3'o clock, sir.
Tony: And what time is now?
Hugo Barrett: 3'o clock, sir.
Tony: Uh, it was too many beers at lunch, that's what it is. Do you drink beer?
Hugo Barrett: No. No, I don't sir.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in London - The Modern Babylon (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

All Gone
Music by John Dankworth
Lyrics by Harold Pinter
Performed by Cleo Laine
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Superb, sinister movie
25 November 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This is a superb, sinister movie of the very highest class. Unlike the character Tony (James Fox) who is upper class without being high class, if you get my drift. You cannot really sympathise with Tony, who toys with some high falutin' development projects but basically is a wastrel just waiting to be ponced off. Tony is a later-day Bertie Wooster. The sinister element comes from the servant (Dirk Bogarde), who is no Jeeves. Barrett, like Jeeves , is a gentleman's gentleman or valet (not a butler as suggested in some other comments on this film). Tony needs a valet because he is incapable of doing anything much without help. Barrett and his accomplice Vera (Sarah Miles) take Tony to the cleaners, sweeping aside the fiancee Susan (Wendy Craig) in their wake.

Harold Pinter has written the screenplay in similar vein to the superb movie The Accident, also a Losey piece, which I also commend. The cinematography in both movies is simply excellent. The subject matter of The Servant suits Pinter, although much of the screenplay is not really in Pinter's voice. However, there is one scene, set in a restaurant, which includes a tiny cameo by Pinter himself and which contains a short Pinteresque exchange between two women. There is also one tense exchange between Susan and Barrett "do you wear deodorant" etc. which is very reminiscent of a scene in The Caretaker "you stink from arsehole to Thursday" etc. Indeed the story of The Servant resembles The Caretaker in many respects, except that in The Servant the interloper, Barrett, is on top and stays there, whereas in The Caretaker the interloper, Davies, lacks the skill and circumstances to dislodge the incumbent.

There is a homoerotic undercurrent to the film and this works so well because it is an undercurrent (in 1963 there could have been no more than an undercurrent even if they had wanted more). The overt debauchery with Vera and the orgy party towards the end of the film is the only bit of the film that has aged without grace. But I quibble.

This is a truly great film and it deserves to be more widely known.


49 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?