MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 5,128 this week

Butley (1974)

 -  Drama  -  April 1976 (UK)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 478 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 11 critic

An English professor finds his life crumbling around him.

Director:

Writers:

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

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

ON DISC

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

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

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 06 Nov 2011
 
a list of 71 titles
created 27 May 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 22 Oct 2013
 
a list of 46 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Butley" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Butley (1974)

Butley (1974) on IMDb 7.2/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Butley.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In a Yorkshire mining town, three educated brothers return to their blue-collar home to celebrate the 40th wedding anniversary of their parents, but dark secrets come to the fore.

Director: Lindsay Anderson
Stars: Alan Bates, Brian Cox, Gabrielle Daye
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Success has James Brewster's name written all over it, and he also has his heart set on his boss's daughter. A con artist hires him to help out on a bank scheme, but then again, James will ... See full summary »

Director: Clive Donner
Stars: Alan Bates, Denholm Elliott, Harry Andrews
The Guest (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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
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
The Servant (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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 »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Sarah Miles, Wendy Craig
Three Sisters (1970)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Olga, Masha, and Irina Prozoroff lead lonely and purposeless lives following the death of their father who has commanded the local army post. Olga attempts to find satisfaction in teaching ... See full summary »

Directors: Laurence Olivier, John Sichel
Stars: Jeanne Watts, Joan Plowright, Louise Purnell
Women in Love (1969)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The battle of the sexes and relationships among the elite of Britian's industrial Midlands in the 1920s. Gerald Crich and Rupert Berkin are best friends who fall in love with a pair of ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Alan Bates, Oliver Reed, Glenda Jackson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After his girlfriend's pregnancy forces him to marry her, a young man must adjust to his new life and contend with his domineering mother-in-law.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Alan Bates, June Ritchie, Thora Hird
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An industrialist (Joseph Cotton) and a pianist (Joan Fontaine) meet on a trip and fall in love. Through a quirk of fate, they are reported dead in a crash though they weren't on the plane. ... See full summary »

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Joseph Cotten, Françoise Rosay
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An uptight English writer traveling to Crete on a matter of business finds his life changed forever when he meets the gregarious Alexis Zorba.

Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, Irene Papas
Drama | Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Robert Shaw, Patrick Magee, Dandy Nichols
An Englishman Abroad (TV Movie 1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Actress Coral Browne travels to Moscow, and meets a mysterious Englishman. Turns out he's the notorious spy, Guy Burgess. Based on a true story, with Ms. Browne playing herself.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Alan Bates, Coral Browne, Charles Gray
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Ben Butley
...
Edna Shaft
Georgina Hale ...
Carol Heasman
...
Reg Nuttall
Susan Engel ...
Anne Butley
Simon Rouse ...
Gardner
Richard O'Callaghan ...
Joey Keyston
Oliver Maguire ...
Man in the Tube
Darien Angadi ...
First Student
Colin Haigh ...
Second Student
Edit

Storyline

An English professor finds his life crumbling around him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His wife just left him for another man. And so did his boy friend.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

April 1976 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Simon Gray's Butley  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "Butley" written by Simon Gray opened at the Morosco Theater in New York on October 31, 1972, ran for 135 performances and was nominated for the 1973 Tony Award for the Best Play. Alan Bates recreated his 1973 Tony Award winning performance Best Actor in Play in this filmed production based on the Simon Gray play and on the Simon Gray screenplay. See more »

Quotes

Ben Butley: You know how it exhausts me to teach books I haven't read.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The brilliance of Alan Bates, who was Simon Gray's "muse and alter-ego"
24 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Simon Gray's extremely talky, darkly comic 1971 play is cinematized here, direct from the text, for television's American Film Theatre.

Doughy-faced and feckless-looking Alan Bates gives a bravura, nonstop performance as the eponymous sloppy, over-literate, misanthropic, washed-up English professor at the University of London. He is an unlikeable character, so there's no sympathizing with him; it's more like watching a train wreck.

But Bates inhabits the role fiercely, and makes him entertaining and lively -- and at times funny -- enough to hold our attention for the two-hour performance, 95% of which takes place in a single room. The room is Butley's office, which he shares with his longterm young lover Joey, now an assistant lecturer.

"Butley" feels a bit like Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", written nine years prior to Gray's play. Butley's verbal diatribes go for the jugular, but in allusive, literary or nursery-rhymey, uber-rhetorical, abstract, indirect, and bitterly sarcastic ways. It's a lot to pay attention to -- especially the literary quotes and allusions. And sometimes it's a bit much watching a man go through a slow meltdown in the guise of skewering anyone and everyone around him: Joey, his ex-wife, his students and colleagues, Joey's new love interest, and anyone who even tries to get close to or talk reason to him.

What seems like it might become unrelieved verbal cruelty is thankfully mitigated from time to time by the thoughtful, intelligent, gentle integrity of Joey (wonderfully played by Richard O'Callaghan, who, like Bates, originated his role), and by some real laugh-out-loud moments, and by a character or two who seem for a time to beat Butley at his own cruel mind games.

In the end, the play seems to come full circle metaphorically, giving the audience at least a sense of symmetry and unity and finally quietude before it closes. A worthwhile watch if you like cinematized plays or want more of the very impressive Alan Bates.


4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
American Film Theatre chicago85
Discuss Butley (1974) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?