10 user 5 critic

The Birthday Party (1968)

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



(play), (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Good Times (1967)
Comedy | Musical | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Sonny and Cher spoof many Hollywood classic movie scenes.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Sonny Bono, Cher, Sonny & Cher
Certificate: M Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A naive Amish young woman runs away from her home in Pennsylvania to New York City where she hopes to act in religious stage plays but ends up performing in Burlesque theatre.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Jason Robards, Britt Ekland, Norman Wisdom
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Crime story based on the real armed robbery of the Brink's Building in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 17th, 1950.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Peter Falk, Peter Boyle, Allen Garfield
Rampage (1987)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Liberal district attorney decides to seek the death penalty for a man who slaughtered a family at Christmastime, then drank their blood. He escapes, though, and starts killing again.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Michael Biehn, Alex McArthur, Nicholas Campbell
The Guardian (1990)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Phil and Kate have a baby boy named Jake. They hire a baby-sitter, Camilla, to look after Jake and she becomes part of the family. The Sterling's friend and neighbor, Ned, takes a liking to... See full summary »

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Jenny Seagrove, Dwier Brown, Carey Lowell
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Tempers fray and true selves are revealed when a heterosexual is accidentally invited to a homosexual party.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Kenneth Nelson, Peter White, Leonard Frey
Jade (1995)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A bright assistant D.A. investigates a gruesome hatchet murder and hides a clue he found at the crime scene. Under professional threats and an attempt on his life, he goes on heartbroken because evidence point to the woman he still loves.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: David Caruso, Linda Fiorentino, Chazz Palminteri
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A small time arms dealer in South America to sell weapons to the revolutionaries, winds up negotiating the sale of an experimental plane to the nation's dictator.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Chevy Chase, Sigourney Weaver, Gregory Hines
The People vs. Paul Crump (TV Movie 1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Interview with the director of "M" & "Metropolis"

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: William Friedkin, Fritz Lang
Sorcerer (1977)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Four unfortunate men from different parts of the globe agree to risk their lives transporting gallons of nitroglycerin across dangerous South American jungle.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal
Cruising (1980)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A police detective goes undercover in the underground S&M gay subculture of New York City to catch a serial killer who is preying on gay men.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino, Karen Allen


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


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


G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 December 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Festa de Aniversário  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


(some sequences)| (Technicolor)
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie was a passion project of director William Friedkin who called it "the first film I really wanted to make, understood and felt passionate about". He had first seen the play in San Francisco in 1962, and managed to get the film version funded by Edgar J. Scherick at Palomar Pictures, in part because it could be made relatively cheaply. Pinter wrote the screenplay himself and was heavily involved in casting. "To this day I don't think our cast could have been improved," wrote Friedkin later. See more »


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 »


Version of The Birthday Party (1966) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Ignore the story; adore the actors!
26 March 2006 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

As one of this world's more zealous Robert Shaw fans, I feel obliged to put this gem in every once in a while and follow Shaw's every move. I must say, this film amazes me; it confounds me every time. There's only one emotion that overwhelms my passion for Mr. Shaw's gift in front of the camera--irritation--and it's aimed right straight at the storyline. You will find yourself wondering what's going on and why, as the actors' performances blind you with their shabby, touching directness. Don't let the story creep and seep too far into your brain. The story will cloud your ability to appreciate what this film is full of--brilliant, golden performances. They all shine, especially Shaw as poor Stanley. I enjoy watching films that take me to England in the 60s. The surroundings are dreary and depressing and totally marvelous. This film is well worth seeing; but, once again, I warn you--ignore the story; adore the actors! Oh, and an extra bonus (for what it is worth)-- After watching this film, you'll never look at a newspaper the same way again, I guarantee you. Enjoy!

10 of 18 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