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Bartleby (1970)

PG | | Drama | 17 May 1973 (Hungary)
An asocial and enigmatic office clerk refuses to do his work, leaving it up to his boss to decide what should be done with him.


(as Anthony Friedmann)


(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Anthony Friedmann) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview:
The Accountant
Thorley Walters ...
The Colleague
Raymond Mason ...
Charles Kinross ...
Neville Barber ...
First Client
Office Boy
Hope Jackman ...
Hilda - Tealady
John Watson ...
Christine Dingle ...
Rosalind Elliot ...
Miss Brown - Secretary
Tony Parkin ...
Dickinson - Clerk


Updated to 1970s London, this faithful adaptation of Herman Melville's classic follows a young accounting clerk rebelling against his employer by responding to demands to do work by saying, "I prefer not to." This is carried on ad absurdum until the office is in chaos because the other employees must do Bartleby's work. His boss is unable to fire or help him and eventually has him placed in a mental hospital. Paul Scofield (A Man for All Seasons), John McEnery (The Duellists) and Thorley Walters (TV's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy") star in this impeccably mounted study of employment, insanity, and the rigors of everyday life from one of literature's most acclaimed geniuses. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

17 May 1973 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

O apokliros  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Version of Bartleby ou Les hommes au rebut (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
27 September 2010 | by See all my reviews

A dry and deadpan tragicomedy of nihilism based on a novella by Herman Meville. BARTLEBY demonstrates what happens when, "I would prefer not to", becomes the answer to every action and reaction. A similar motif is also found in the more profound film, VAGABOND, by Agnes Varda. These works seem to critique the capitalist economic model without proposing the usual socialist reply, but offer up something more akin to complete non- acceptance. Although Anthony Friedman, director of BARTLEBY, has chosen a significantly different storyline from that of Melville (the film is set in late 1960's London), the tale does encapsulate his theme of the dehumanization of the modern workplace and presents a whimsical, yet unwise response.

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