An English professor finds his life crumbling around him.

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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
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Storyline

A day in the life of Ben Butley. But definitely not a day to remember for this T.S. Eliot scholar at the University of London! Let's take for example Anne, his already estranged wife: today is the day she has chosen to tell him she is leaving him for good. And for a man Butley despises into the bargain! And what about Joey Kingston, whose close friendship Ben is losing, maybe forever today...? Decidedly, all the odds are against him. Will Butley, the bitter misanthropist, the unrepentant alcoholic, the teacher who bullies his students, his friends and his colleagues - in other words the self-destructive nihilist -, survive this horrible day? Written by Guy Bellinger

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Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

April 1976 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Simon Gray's Butley  »

Company Credits

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)
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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.
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User Reviews

 
A bit staged but great dialogue
20 March 2006 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

This really plays much like a filming of a play. The direction is almost minimal. That's probably for the good given that what remains is a great bit of showmanship.

Alan Bates is stunningly good as the lead Butley. He's a brilliant professor and writer at the end of his career. There is some amazing scheming between his character and younger more promising acolytes that he is jealous of.

The only reason to watch this is for the dialogue which is sharp and literate -- one wonders what became of this. The version I saw was a film version of the play. Not much of production value but the playwright's craft is still preserved. Even mentioning all of this, it's amazing how well this holds up almost 40 years later. That's probably due to Bates' bravura performance.


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