7.9/10
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68 user 58 critic

The Servant (1963)

Unrated | | Drama | 16 March 1964 (USA)
Trailer
2:40 | Trailer
Upper-class Tony hires servant Hugo Barrett, who turns out to have a hidden agenda.

Director:

Joseph Losey

Writers:

Harold Pinter (screenplay), Robin Maugham (novel)
Won 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dirk Bogarde ... Barrett
Sarah Miles ... Vera
Wendy Craig ... Susan
James Fox ... Tony
Catherine Lacey ... Lady Mounset
Richard Vernon ... Lord Mounset
Ann Firbank ... People in restaurant: Society Woman
Doris Nolan ... People in restaurant: Older Woman (as Doris Knox)
Patrick Magee ... People in restaurant: Bishop
Jill Melford Jill Melford ... People in restaurant: Younger Woman
Alun Owen Alun Owen ... People in restaurant: Curate
Harold Pinter ... People in restaurant: Society Man
Derek Tansley Derek Tansley ... People in restaurant: Head Waiter
Brian Phelan Brian Phelan ... Man in Pub
Hazel Terry Hazel Terry ... Woman in Bedroom
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Storyline

The aristocratic Tony (James Fox) moves to London and hires the servant Hugo Barrett (Sir Dirk Bogarde) for all services at home. Barrett seems to be a loyal and competent employee, but Tony's girlfriend Susan (Wendy Craig) does not like him, and asks Tony to send him away. When Barrett brings his sister Vera (Sarah Miles) to work and live in the house, Tony has a brief hidden affair with her. After travelling with Susan and spending a couple of days in a friend's house outside London, the couple unexpectedly returns and finds Barrett and Vera, who are actually lovers, in Tony's room. They are fired and Susan breaks with Tony. Later, Tony meets Barrett alone in a pub and hires him back, and Barrett imposes his real dark intentions in the house, turning the table and switching position with his master. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

subtly, fascinatingly...corruption by corruption...the servant becomes master... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Fox (Tony) received an "Introducing" credit. See more »

Goofs

When Tony and Susan arrive at Tony's house in the Mercedes, with an extended visit in mind, they both go into the house and Tony leaves the car's lights on. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hugo Barrett: Excuse me, sir. My name is Barrett, sir.
Tony: Oh God, of course. I'm so sorry. I fell asleep. We've got an appointment.
Hugo Barrett: Yes, sir.
Tony: What time?
Hugo Barrett: 3'o clock, sir.
Tony: And what time is now?
Hugo Barrett: 3'o clock, sir.
Tony: Uh, it was too many beers at lunch, that's what it is. Do you drink beer?
Hugo Barrett: No. No, I don't sir.
[...]
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Connections

References The Rules of the Game (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

All Gone
Cleo Laine sings
Music by John Dankworth (uncredited)
Lyrics by Harold Pinter (uncredited)
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User Reviews

Subtleties
16 January 2005 | by david-pollockSee all my reviews

If you watch closely you will find that not only does the internal decoration of the house change (in ways not included in the plot) to become gradually darker as Tony is gradually undermined and seduced by Barrett but also the excellent (but very much of its time) soundtrack by Johnny Dankworth & (surely - or is my recollection wrong?) Cleo Laine - though the same LP is put on the turntable many times, the arrangement of the same theme is different. (I did not notice this at first but found it pointed out in a special issue of the Oxford University magazine Isis at the time the film was released that was entirely devoted to it.) The film has recently reappeared in England as a stage work: Play without Words, seen at the National Theatre, is (was, I guess, is more accurate) a superb piece of dance theatre in which the ambiguities of the characters' motivations, or the discrepancies between their thoughts and actions, are portrayed by having more than one dancer per character. Sometimes only one is seen, sometimes they move in unison, sometimes in separate ways. It is extremely effective.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 March 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Servant See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,859, 28 July 2013

Gross USA:

$36,463

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$36,515
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Springbok Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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