The Servant


The Servant

Overview:

A decadent London aristocrat hires a man-servant to attend to his needs. However, the balance of power starts to shift...

Votes 46 (7.3/10)

Runtime: 116 minutes

Release Date 1963-11-01

Tagline: A Terrifyingly Beautiful Motion Picture!

Production company:

  • Associated British-Pathé
  • Elstree Distributors
  • Springbok Productions

Production country:

  • United Kingdom

Genres:

  • Drama

Trailer

Further Information

Hugo Barrett
Dirk Bogarde
Dirk Bogarde
Vera
Sarah Miles
Sarah Miles
Susan
Wendy Craig
Wendy Craig
Tony
James Fox
James Fox
Lady Mounset
Catherine Lacey
Catherine Lacey
Lord Mounset
Richard Vernon
Richard Vernon
Society Man
Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter
Society Woman
Ann Firbank
Ann Firbank
Older Woman
Doris Nolan
Doris Nolan
Bishop
Patrick Magee
Patrick Magee
Jazz Band Leader (uncredited)
John Dankworth
John Dankworth
Younger Woman
Jill Melford
Jill Melford
Curate
Alun Owen
Alun Owen
Writer
Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter
Musical
John Dankworth
John Dankworth
Producer
Joseph Losey
Joseph Losey
Editor
Reginald Mills
Reginald Mills
Director
Joseph Losey
Joseph Losey
Director of Photography
Douglas Slocombe
Douglas Slocombe

John Chard

The Fatales - Homme & Femme. The Servant is directed by Joseph Losey and adapted to screenplay by Harold Pinter from the novelette of the same name written by Robin Maugham. It stars Dirk Bogarde, Sarah Mles, Wendy Craig and James Fox. Music is by John Dankworth and cinematography by Douglas Slocombe. When well-to-do Londoner Tony (Fox) hires Hugo Barrett (Bogarde) as his manservant, he gets more than he bargained for. Especially when Hugo's sister Vera (Miles) also arrives on the scene... The Servant remains as enigmatic today as it was back on its release in the early part of the 1960s. It's a film that defies classification, that rare old cinematic treat that continues to cause debate about not only its worth as art, but also its very meaning(s). A head bothering delight that revels in toying with your perceptions as much as Hugo Barrett enjoys toying with his supposed master. Lets play master and servant - indeed. Set predominantly in the confines of Tony's swanky Chelsea abode, there's a disturbing claustrophobia that pervades the narrative, and this before we even begin to ponder the power of man, his ability to dominate and manipulate, or the reverse side that sees another's lack of ability to not succumb to the downward spiral instigated by a supposed lesser man. Sprinkled over power issues are sexual desires, obtained, unfulfilled or simmering away unspoken. As the literate screenplay comes out in sharp dialogue snatches, breaking free of Pinter's other wise cement ensconced writing, there's evidence that this is a psychological study as opposed to the class system allegory that many thought it was way back then. This really isn't about role reversal, the finale tells us that. Visually it's a box of atmospheric tricks as well. Losey and Slocombe use deep angular black and white photography to enforce the chilly dynamics at work in the story, the longer the film goes on, as it gets to the nitty gritty, the more jarring the camera work becomes - delightfully so - the house no longer an affluent person's residence, but a skew-whiff place of debauchery and mind transference. And mirrors - reflections, important and used to great effect. Some scenes are striking and rich. Hugo at the top of the stairs standing in the bedroom doorway, in silhouette, an overhead shot of Hugo and Tony playing a childlike ball game on the stairs, a sex scene on a leather chair that we don't see but understand totally. And many more as Losey finds the material that allows him to show his skills. Cast performances are across the board terrific, particularly Bogarde who gives a visual acting master class, and Fox who beautifully shifts a gear from toff twit into dependant dead beat. While Dankworth's musical accompaniments add flavour to the unfolding machinations. 9/10

Dr. No
Dr. No
Votes 934 (6.8/10)
Release Date 10/4/1962

Details »

From Russia with Love
From Russia with Love
Votes 755 (6.9/10)
Release Date 10/11/1963

Details »

You Only Live Twice
You Only Live Twice
Votes 527 (6.5/10)
Release Date 6/12/1967

Details »

The Living Daylights
The Living Daylights
Votes 435 (6.2/10)
Release Date 6/29/1987

Details »

For Your Eyes Only
For Your Eyes Only
Votes 487 (6.3/10)
Release Date 6/23/1981

Details »

Live and Let Die
Live and Let Die
Votes 528 (6.4/10)
Release Date 7/5/1973

Details »

The Man with the Golden Gun
The Man with the Golden Gun
Votes 519 (6.4/10)
Release Date 12/1/1974

Details »

The Spy Who Loved Me
The Spy Who Loved Me
Votes 503 (6.6/10)
Release Date 7/7/1977

Details »

On Her Majesty's Secret Service
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Votes 453 (6.5/10)
Release Date 12/12/1969

Details »

A View to a Kill
A View to a Kill
Votes 505 (6/10)
Release Date 5/24/1985

Details »

Tomorrow Never Dies
Tomorrow Never Dies
Votes 920 (6/10)
Release Date 12/11/1997

Details »

About a Boy
About a Boy
Votes 602 (6.6/10)
Release Date 4/26/2002

Details »

Bridget Jones's Diary
Bridget Jones's Diary
Votes 1345 (6.5/10)
Release Date 4/13/2001

Details »

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Votes 3208 (7.1/10)
Release Date 7/23/2015

Details »

Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible
Votes 2609 (6.7/10)
Release Date 5/22/1996

Details »

The BFG
The BFG
Votes 994 (6/10)
Release Date 6/1/2016

Details »

Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad
Votes 7374 (5.9/10)
Release Date 8/2/2016

Details »

The Conjuring 2
The Conjuring 2
Votes 1913 (7/10)
Release Date 5/13/2016

Details »

Ballet Shoes
Ballet Shoes
Votes 98 (6.3/10)
Release Date 8/26/2008

Details »

Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
Votes 271 (6.7/10)
Release Date 9/23/2005

Details »