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Billy Liar (1963)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A lazy, irresponsible young clerk in provincial Northern England lives in his own fantasy world and makes emotionally immature decisions as he alienates friends and family.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Tom Courtenay, Julie Christie, Wilfred Pickles
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

At Miss Sophie's 90th birthday dinner, her butler James must fill in for her four departed friends - and that includes lots of drinks before every course!.

Director: Heinz Dunkhase
Stars: Freddie Frinton, May Warden, Heinz Piper
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A rebellious youth, sentenced to a boy's reformatory for robbing a bakery, rises through the ranks of the institution through his prowess as a long distance runner. During his solitary runs... See full summary »

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Tom Courtenay, Avis Bunnage
Drop the Dead Donkey (1990–1998)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Political satire about a TV news company.

Stars: Neil Pearson, Jeff Rawle, David Swift
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The trials and misadventures of the staff of a country veterinary office in 1940's Yorkshire.

Stars: Christopher Timothy, Robert Hardy, Peter Davison
The Dresser (1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An effeminate personal assistant of a deteriorating veteran actor struggles to get him through a difficult performance of King Lear.

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, Edward Fox
Are You Being Served? (1972–1985)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The misadventures of the staff of a retail floor of a major department store.

Stars: Mollie Sugden, John Inman, Frank Thornton
The Bill (1984–2010)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Episodes follow uniform officers and detectives from an inner London police station as they enforce law and order on a day to day basis.

Stars: Graham Cole, Trudie Goodwin, Jeff Stewart
Dad's Army (1968–1977)
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

During WW2,in a fictional British seaside town,a ragtag group of Home Guard local defense volunteers prepares for an imminent German invasion.

Stars: Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young wife decides to complete her education and take her exams. She meets a professor who teaches her to value her own insights while still being able to beat the exams. The change in ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Michael Caine, Julie Walters, Michael Williams
Emmerdale (TV Series 1972)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A soap opera set in a fictional village in the Yorkshire Dales.

Stars: Lucy Pargeter, Elizabeth Estensen, Charley Webb
Dinner for One (TV Short 1963)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An elderly upper-class woman celebrates her birthday, with her butler standing in for her deceased friends.

Director: Franco Marazzi
Stars: Freddie Frinton, May Warden
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Billy Liar (27 episodes, 1973-1974)
George A. Cooper ...
 Geoffrey Fisher / ... (27 episodes, 1973-1974)
Pamela Vezey ...
 Alice Fisher / ... (27 episodes, 1973-1974)
May Warden ...
 Grandma / ... (27 episodes, 1973-1974)
Sally Watts ...
 Barbara (27 episodes, 1973-1974)
...
 Mr. Shadrack / ... (18 episodes, 1973-1974)
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Comedy

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Release Date:

2 November 1973 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Billy il bugiardo  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(25 episodes)

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Geoffrey Fisher: I will knock your head clean off your shoulders.
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Connections

Followed by Billy (1979) See more »

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Waterhouse's watershed
16 June 2006 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

Following the huge success of Keith Waterhouse's 'Billy Liar' as a novel, stage play and film, it was inevitable that this 'oop North' Walter Mitty character would star in a television series. I saw 'Billy Liar' when it was originally transmitted. While never quite attaining 'Fawlty Towers' heights of hilarity, this programme was consistently funny, with at least two or three solid belly-laughs per episode. To the best of my knowledge, 'Billy Liar' has never been repeated in Britain, nor shown in America. If the original tapes still exist, I can't imagine why they're being suppressed ... unless perhaps Keith Waterhouse has some legal reason for suppressing them. However, as he was head writer for this sitcom, I can't guess what his objections might be.

Newcomer Jeff Rawle was perfectly cast as callow Billy Fisher, whose imagination far outstrips his achievements. Much of the substantial humour in this sitcom sprung from the interaction between Billy and his sarcastic father Geoffrey, or between Billy and his long-suffering employer, Mr Shadrack the undertaker.

Perhaps what's discouraged programmers from repeating this sitcom is the extreme 1970s look of the series. Waterhouse created Billy Liar in the 1950s and saw him through the swinging Sixties, yet Jeff Rawle's interpretation of Billy Liar is firmly trapped in the 1970s, and that naff decade's definition of manliness. Rawle is emaciated, clean-shaven, wistful, with flares and longish hair ... looking almost like a girl, in other words. Not effeminate, yet somehow almost feminine. By way of contrast, Billy's father Geoffrey is played by George Cooper with absolutely no hair at all. It may well be that slap-headed Geoffrey Fisher's resentment of his son is down to his own baldness versus his son's excess of hair. On the vocal front, Rawle's accent was just a shade too Brum for this North Country character, but Cooper's broad Northern vowels were spot-on.

I never identified with Billy Liar, me -- my own lies were of a different sort, told for a different reason -- but this series aired during a troublesome time in my own life ... and I'd be delighted to see these episodes again, partly on their own merit but largely because of the memories they would summon regarding my own troubles at this time. I'll rate 'Billy Liar' 7 out of 10.


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