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The Servant (1963)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 16 March 1964 (USA)
An upper-class man hires a servant who turns out to have a hidden agenda.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)

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Won 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Alain Delon, Jeanne Moreau, Francine Bergé
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Vera
...
Susan
...
Tony
...
Lady Mounset
...
Lord Mounset
...
Society Woman
...
Older Woman (as Doris Knox)
...
Bishop
Jill Melford ...
Younger Woman
Alun Owen ...
Curate
...
Society Man
Derek Tansley ...
Head Waiter
Brian Phelan ...
Man in Pub
Hazel Terry ...
Woman in Bedroom
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Storyline

The aristocratic Tony moves to London and hires the servant Hugo Barrett for all services at home. Barrett seems to be a loyal and competent employee, but Tony's girlfriend Susan does not like him and asks Tony to send him away. When Barrett brings his sister Vera to work and live in the house, Tony has a brief hidden affair with her. After traveling 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 | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 March 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Diener  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,426 (USA) (23 August 2013)

Gross:

$35,748 (USA) (6 September 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Joseph Losey was hospitalized for two weeks during this shoot, Dirk Bogarde continued filming assisted by minute, daily instructions over the phone from Losey's hospital bed. When Losey returned to the set he did not re-shoot any of the script, much to the relief of cast and crew. See more »

Goofs

When Barrett first enters the house, Tony takes his legs down twice before standing up. 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
Music by John Dankworth
Lyrics by Harold Pinter
Performed by Cleo Laine
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User Reviews

 
Fighting for Power in the British Class Warfare
17 May 2007 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The aristocratic Tony (James Fox) moves to London and hires the servant Hugo Barrett (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 traveling with Susan for 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.

While watching the quite unknown "The Servant", at least three points called my attention. The first one is the impressive cinematography and the camera work and movements, shooting in unusual angles inclusive with a great use of mirrors. The second one is the stunning performance of Dirk Bogarde, in the role of a sinister, amoral and cynical character that plots a Machiavellian dark plan to achieve power in the British class warfare. Last but not the least, the ambiguous screenplay, with eroticism and insinuations that Tony is actually bisexual, missing the "services" of his servant. I do not know if my mind is quite dirty with the sexual liberty of the present days, but I saw many elements indicating that Tony's connection with Barrett is actually sexual attraction. In 1963, I believe the censorship would be strong regarding sex and drugs and the screenplay is open to more than one interpretation. Sarah Miles is extremely beautiful in this highly recommended movie. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O Criado" ("The Servant")


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