The Servant (1963)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  16 March 1964 (USA)
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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 »



(screenplay), (novel)
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Won 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine Lacey ...
Lady Mounset
Richard Vernon ...
Lord Mounset
Ann Firbank ...
Society Woman
Older Woman (as Doris Knox)
Patrick Magee ...
Jill Melford ...
Younger Woman
Alun Owen ...
Harold Pinter ...
Society Man
Derek Tansley ...
Head Waiter
Brian Phelan ...
Man in Pub
Hazel Terry ...
Woman in Bedroom


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


A Terrifyingly Beautiful Motion Picture!




Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 March 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Diener  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


$35,748 (USA) (6 September 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Joseph Losey's 10th film shot in the UK after he was blacklisted in Hollywood. See more »


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 »


[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 »


References The Rules of the Game (1939) See more »


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

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User Reviews

16 January 2005 | by (London England) – See all my reviews

If you watch closely you will find that not only does the internal decoration of the house change (in ways not included in the plot) to become gradually darker as Tony is gradually undermined and seduced by Barrett but also the excellent (but very much of its time) soundtrack by Johnny Dankworth & (surely - or is my recollection wrong?) Cleo Laine - though the same LP is put on the turntable many times, the arrangement of the same theme is different. (I did not notice this at first but found it pointed out in a special issue of the Oxford University magazine Isis at the time the film was released that was entirely devoted to it.) The film has recently reappeared in England as a stage work: Play without Words, seen at the National Theatre, is (was, I guess, is more accurate) a superb piece of dance theatre in which the ambiguities of the characters' motivations, or the discrepancies between their thoughts and actions, are portrayed by having more than one dancer per character. Sometimes only one is seen, sometimes they move in unison, sometimes in separate ways. It is extremely effective.

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