At Oxford, Austrian student Anna von Graz (Jacqueline Sassard) is dating fellow student William (Michael York), whom she plans to marry, but she ends up sleeping with two unhappily married Oxford professors instead.
In Nazi-occupied Paris, the immoral art dealer, Robert Klein, leads a life of luxury, until a copy of a Jewish newspaper brings him to the attention of the police, linking him with a mysterious doppelgänger. Will Mr Klein clear his name?
Alain Leroy is having a course of treatment in a private hospital because of his problem with alcohol. Although he is constantly distressed, he leaves the hospital and tries to meet good ... See full summary »
Nicu, a young homeless boy, is adopted by Bruce Lee, the notorious "King of the Underworld" and goes to live with him in the tunnels underneath Bucharest. As Nicu grows up, he starts to realize that he is not the perfect father.
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
About midpoint Tony's girlfriend Susan asks servant Hugo, "What do you want from this house?" It's a direct and pointed question that's ambiguously answered ("I'm just the servant, mum.")
That ambiguity carries the dramatic tension along its murky but intriguing path, as a strange play of power and manipulation unfolds. Yet after a series of quirkly developments transpire and the tables of manservant and master are reversed, what's the real gain?
What was there in the house in the first place that was worth all the fuss and bother to acquire? Satisfaction of taking over the master role?
Whatever the goal, it all seems a tawdry victory. After the shoe's on the other foot and a few points are scored in this cheesy power game, where's the spoil?
What does drive this drama is Pinter's genius for inventing small talk that gives the illusion of grandeur Losey's direction is right on the mark, and the production design, score, photography--and the acting--are all top drawer.
As in his subversive play, "The Homecoming," Pinter manages to hold the attention with his unique pregnant pauses and hypnotic ambiance, which are actually illusionary. It could be a play about something very important or about nothing.
One thing is for certain: once "The Servant" is seen, one never quite forgets it.
This remains Dirk Bogarde's defining cinematic role.
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