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The Servant (1963)

 -  Drama  -  16 March 1964 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 5,150 users   Metascore: 93/100
Reviews: 52 user | 39 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

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 »

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Title: The Servant (1963)

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Won 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally planned as a film by a different director, Michael Anderson. It was he who commissioned Harold Pinter to write the script, in 1961. When Anderson dropped out of the project, Joseph Losey took over and insisted that Pinter's script be extensively rewritten. This led to what Losey claimed was their only quarrel in over twenty years of close friendship (but Pinter did do the rewrites). See more »

Goofs

When Barrett is bringing Susan and Tony their meal, the cameraman's reflection can be briefly seen in the shiny silver lid on the tray. 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

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Fighting for Power in the British Class Warfare
17 May 2007 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The aristocratic Tony (James Fox) moves to London and hires the servant Hugo Barrett (Dirk Bogarde) for all services at home. Barrett seems to be a loyal and competent employee, but Tony's girlfriend Susan (Wendy Craig) does not like him and asks Tony to send him away. When Barrett brings his sister Vera (Sarah Miles) to work and live in the house, Tony has a brief hidden affair with her. After traveling with Susan for 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.

While watching the quite unknown "The Servant", at least three points called my attention. The first one is the impressive cinematography and the camera work and movements, shooting in unusual angles inclusive with a great use of mirrors. The second one is the stunning performance of Dirk Bogarde, in the role of a sinister, amoral and cynical character that plots a Machiavellian dark plan to achieve power in the British class warfare. Last but not the least, the ambiguous screenplay, with eroticism and insinuations that Tony is actually bisexual, missing the "services" of his servant. I do not know if my mind is quite dirty with the sexual liberty of the present days, but I saw many elements indicating that Tony's connection with Barrett is actually sexual attraction. In 1963, I believe the censorship would be strong regarding sex and drugs and the screenplay is open to more than one interpretation. Sarah Miles is extremely beautiful in this highly recommended movie. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O Criado" ("The Servant")


29 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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