In this landmark drama of class struggle and moral decay, a pampered playboy acquires an elegant townhouse complete with a dedicated man servant. Trouble ensues when the young man’s girlfriend begins to get suspicious of the servant.
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It wasn't until his appearance in 'The Servant' that Bogarde really came into his power as an actor. It was the merging of his talents with Joseph Losey and Harold Pinter that really proved powerful. Everything about this film is superb: the cinematography, the acting, and the music. It plays a bit like a melodrama, but the main focus is class and power. We pretend that it doesn't exist here. Contd.
A proto-Polanskian gobsmacker. It would've been easy to coast on the excellence of the script, which is prime Pinter, but Losey brings to it a masterful sense of space, roaming the interior of the house with long, mobile takes and mapping the characters' shifting power relations visually. Bogarde and Fox are tip-top, too.
Generally tight, if a highly strung, character study which veers into tawdry melodrama towards the end and is rather too oblique on the homosexual subtext. Nevertheless it's a sharply executed chamber piece on that perenially favourite topic of British cinema: class.
Games of moral corruption, sexual appetites, blackmail, social class scaling, subjugation and conformism; to a certain extent all tabu themes of its time period, explored with subtle elegance and perfectly drawn tension. Hypnotic use of angles and lightning. powerful dramatic performances.
Brilliant psychological drama with a first class script by Harold Pinter and a top notch cast. Dirk Bogarde is superb as Hugo Barrett and Sarah Miles, Wendy Craig and James Fox are also very impressive.