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Bartleby (2001)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Mystery  -  10 March 2001 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,468 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 34 user | 31 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

A clueless boss has no idea what to do with his mundane office worker whose refusal of duties only gets worse each passing minute.

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Title: Bartleby (2001)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Rocky
...
Frank Waxman
...
Book Publisher
...
The Mayor
Greta Danielle Newgren ...
Boss's Date
...
Landlord
Josh Kornbluth ...
Nick Scoggin ...
Street Philosopher
Stoney Burke ...
Soup Kitchen Server
Terry Allen Jones ...
New Tenant
Stu Klitsner ...
Professor Bum (as Stuart Klitsner)
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Storyline

At a public records office, a seemingly normal boss has hired a new employee named Bartleby. Bartleby however, is eccentric and with each passing day, he begins to refuse his boss' orders which only gets worse. Eventually, the boss finds himself clueless as to what to do about Bartleby as he discovers even stranger things about him. Written by Mystic80

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I would prefer not to.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 March 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bartleby at the Office  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,599 (USA) (24 May 2002)

Gross:

$141,367 (USA) (23 August 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dick Martin's final acting performance. See more »

Goofs

When the boss's date is straddling him in his office, sometimes her hair is wrapped in a scarf and sometimes it's not. See more »

Quotes

Bartleby: I don't drive.
The Boss: You don't drive? Well, then how did you get here? Did you walk? There are no sidewalks!
[speaks into the intercom]
The Boss: Vivian, can you take a bus here?
Vivian: [speaking through the intercom] Ah... yes. From my house I would take the 36 to the terminal in town. Then transfer there to the 80 and get off at the shopping center then catch the 48. There's only one - at 7:10 AM. The ride is roughly an hour and a half from the mall, so to get here by nine, I have to leave the house by 4:45. My car ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the opening credits begin, viewers are given a portrait and short biography of Herman Melville, upon whose story the film is loosely based. See more »

Connections

Version of Bartleby (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Preludes
Written by Claude Debussy (as Debussy)
Background music on piano by Nancy Spottiswoode
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Melville and Co-dependency
9 August 2003 | by (Arizona) – See all my reviews

The film touches on some parts of the original story very aptly. I thought the Chaykin-Piscopo match was very close indeed to what Melville intended. As to Crispin Glover, no other movie actor of his stature is creepy enough and palpably slow-witted enough to fit the role -- not even the younger editions of a Brando or Hopper or Walken, who would overact monstrously in one form or another.

Most viewers seem to surrender to the misconception that the story is all about Bartleby. In fact, the narrator undergoes the most profound change within its context. And in that sense this film version fails because the Paymer character is made out to be a complete sap, rather than the seriously introspective and well-educated man of the original.

No one in 1853 knew anything of co-dependency in relation to addictions and other mental disorders, but Melville was prescient in that regard. The apparent despondency of Bartleby (characterized in the original as late of the Dead Letter Office) has no bounds, but it is in his employer's character we are led to see that this relatively new concept involving an excess of identification with the subject person can result in similar debilitation on the part of the caregiver.

It falls as well into the category of feature-length films based on short stories destroyed by too much padding and extraneous activity we used to call "stage business." It should be as spare as the slowly emptying mind of Bartleby himself.


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

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