MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,096 this week

The Birthday Party (1968)

6.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 314 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

The down-at-heel lodger in a seaside boarding house is menaced by two mysterious strangers, who eventually take him away.

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 470 titles
created 08 Dec 2012
 
a list of 9998 titles
created 25 Jul 2013
 
a list of 349 titles
created 7 months ago
 
list image
a list of 27 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 44 titles
created 3 weeks ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Birthday Party (1968)

The Birthday Party (1968) on IMDb 6.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Birthday Party.
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Bug (2006)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An unhinged war veteran holes up with a lonely woman in a spooky Oklahoma motel room. The line between reality and delusion is blurred as they discover a bug infestation.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick Jr.
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An attorney defends an officer on trial for ordering his troops to fire on civilians after they stormed a U.S. embassy in a third world country.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Guy Pearce
The Guest (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Aston (Robert Shaw), a quiet, reserved man, lives alone in a top-floor cluttered room of a small abandoned house in a poor London district. He befriends and takes in Mac Davies (Donald ... See full summary »

Director: Clive Donner
Stars: Alan Bates, Donald Pleasence, Robert Shaw
The Hunted (2003)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An FBI deep-woods tracker captures a trained assassin who has made a sport of hunting humans.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Benicio Del Toro, Connie Nielsen
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In a dreary North London flat, the site of perpetual psychological warfare, a philosophy professor visits his family after a nine-year absence and introduces the four men - father, uncle and two brothers - to his wife.

Director: Peter Hall
Stars: Ian Holm, Paul Rogers, Cyril Cusack
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Behind-the-scenes look of Barbra Streisand taping an album of Broadway tunes.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: William Friedkin, David Geffen, Sydney Pollack
Killer Joe (2011)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a debt puts a young man's life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple
C.A.T. Squad: Python Wolf (TV Movie 1988)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  
Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Joe Cortese, Jack Youngblood, Steve James
The Bold Men (TV Movie 1965)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Van Heflin
The People vs. Paul Crump (TV Movie 1962)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Paul Crump, age 22, was caught up in a failed robbery with four other black men and was sentenced to die in the electric chair. Friedkin so believed in Crump's innocence that he made The People vs. Paul Crump in order to save his life.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Major James Harris, Mary Alice Harris
The Painter's Voice (Video 2007)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Paintings conservators at the Getty Center reveal details of their craft as they restore two large paintings by French master Jean-Baptiste Oudry.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Mark Leonard, Tiarna Doherty
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Patrick Magee ...
Dandy Nichols ...
Sydney Tafler ...
Moultrie Kelsall ...
Helen Fraser ...
Edit

Storyline

Based on Harold Pinter's enigmatic play about a border in a British seaside dwelling who is visited by two strangers. They torment him verbally, ask him idiotic unanswerable questions, force him to sit down and stand up, and give him a "party." Then, eventually, they take him away, a tongue-tied idiot. The trivial becomes the terrible, and with it a certain wonder, a certain pity. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 December 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Festa de Aniversário  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(some sequences)| (Technicolor)
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Stanley Webber: How would you like to go away with me?
Lulu: What?
Stanley Webber: How would you like to go away with me?
Lulu: Where would we go?
Stanley Webber: Nowhere...
Lulu: Well that's a charming proposal.
Stanley Webber: There's nowhere to go, so we could just go, it wouldn't matter.
Lulu: We might as well stay here.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Impressive, really.
18 January 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I must say I will take a little umbrage at the meagre critical reception this film has got; it seems to have largely been just written off as "well acted, *but* not suited/adapted to film". I would have to say it's a good thing to try and broaden the audience for what is undeniably a fine play in my opinion, by making a film. The film sticks very closely to the dramatic text, and it's a critical truism to say that the immediacy of theatre performance is lost. It may well be that Pinter is particularly good on stage (certainly judging by a recent run of "The Collection" that I saw in September), but he's also been very effective cinematically, in the adaptations of "The Servant" and "Accident". This is certainly a more constrained film than "Accident", and a little more so than the claustrophobic "The Servant"; one could say the director and others involved with the film are playing it safe, but that's no problem really, as the formula was excellent to begin with. Certain exterior shots do add a lot I feel, as does the subtle, suggestive opening in the car. For a film as "theatrical" as this is claimed to be, it has good camera sense, and handles the dialogue neatly. The scene where it shifts to monochrome in the dark light I did like. I feel that the scotched, grim, mundane colour stock of the film is certainly in tune with the play and the though.

Most important perhaps, in a performance of Pinter on film, are the performances, and I must declare them to be excellent and overlooked. Robert Shaw, an actor I always enjoy ("A Man for all Seasons" and "From Russia With Love" making up a decidedly contrasting threesome of Shaw films I've seen...), is proficient as Webber, the absurd "mystery man" laying low in a seaside boarding house. Most impressive to my mind though, are Dandy Nichols, Patrick Magee and Sydney Tafler. Nichols certainly plays the darkly hilarious role of the unknowing, deluded Meg to a veritable tee. Magee and Tafler define the roles of Goldberg and McCann, the sinister, well-versed double-act, to such an extent that I'll definitely think of them in the roles from now on, when I think of the play. Magee is a foreboding, but often unwittingly droll presence in the film, timing his acting brilliantly. His Irish tones contrast finely with Goldberg's sophisticated Jewish-London accent. Tafler is an absolute marvel in this role, walking away with the film in many ways, embellishing another elusive, odd Pinter character, the most erudite in the play. He fills the screen amply and times the dialogue perfectly; a stunning performance, by a somehow obscure actor. The chap who played Petey Boles is also good, in a small but certainly necessary part.

Of course, one unfamiliar with Pinter may be bemused by the oddball plot, struggle to come up with instant meanings and then describe it as weird and incoherent, as if those were bad things... Of course, it isn't truly incoherent; there are meanings and interpretations to be made if one pays close attention to the dialogue. And it is the dialogue, that, as ever with Pinter, dazzles. Suffice to say, I am not truly in a position to analyze and describe why his dialogue is so brilliant in a mere film review such as this is, but trust me, his dialogue is remarkable; making the banal seem rich and sinister, and the rich seem banal and ritualistic (in Goldberg's case). A worthy effort really, this film, I'd say, as it captures so much of the Pinter brilliance.

Rating:- ****/*****


18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
your interpretations Jrangerjb2
Another Version?? salthoen
Discuss The Birthday Party (1968) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page