The Servant (1963)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  16 March 1964 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 5,717 users   Metascore: 93/100
Reviews: 54 user | 42 critic | 8 from

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)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

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



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  

The Oxford professor of philosophy Stephen has two favorite pupils, the athletic aristocrat William and the Austrian Anna von Graz. Stephen is a frustrated man, with a negligent wife, ... See full summary »

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  

Tale of torrid and forbidden love between Christie and Bates in the English countryside.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Margaret Leighton
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
Victim (1961)
Crime | Drama
    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
The Damned (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The dramatic collapse of a wealthy, industrialist/Junker family during the reign of the Third Reich.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Ingrid Thulin, Helmut Griem
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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An ex-con who's taken part in the robbery of a racetrack is caught and sent back to prison, but he won't tell his fellow gang members where he's stashed the loot. The gang kidnaps his ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Stanley Baker, Sam Wanamaker, Grégoire Aslan
Eva (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A raw Welsh novelist in Venice is humiliated by a money-loving Frenchwoman who erotically ensnares him.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Stanley Baker, Virna Lisi
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
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A penniless woman meets a strange girl who insists she is her long-lost mother, and becomes enmeshed in a web of deception, and perhaps madness, in this powerful psychological thriller.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Mitchum, Mia Farrow
Don Giovanni (1979)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Screen adapatation of Mozart's greatest opera. Don Giovanni, the infamous womanizer, makes one conquest after another until the ghost of Donna Anna's father, the Commendatore, (whom ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Ruggero Raimondi, John Macurdy, Edda Moser
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After a chance meeting at a hotel in 1957, a Holocaust survivor and the Nazi officer who tortured her resume their sadomasochistic relationship.

Director: Liliana Cavani
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Charlotte Rampling, Philippe Leroy


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?


Wendy Craig replaced Vanessa Redgrave who was to make her feature debut but had to drop out because she was pregnant with her elder child (Natasha Richardson). See more »


When Barrett first enters the house, Tony takes his legs down twice before standing up. 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 »


Referenced in The Dirties (2013) See more »


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.

45 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
homo erotic elements digibeet
Funniest line in The Servant... BillyFisher
Bogarde's acting coolfast84
Oscar Wilde karenrita
Now while I love you... alone Shilpot7
At the end...... (spoilar) CDyk
Discuss The Servant (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: