From the Back Cover
Winner of three British Academy Awards including Best Actor to Dirk Bogarde. In this landmark drama of class struggle and moral decay, a pampered playboy (James Fox) acquires an elegant townhouse complete with a dedicated man servant (Dirk Bogarde). But when the young man's fiancée (Wendy Craig) becomes suspicious of the servant's intentions, he and his "sister" (Sarah Miles) thrust the household into a sinister game where seduction is corruption and power becomes the most shocking desire of all. The Servant marked the first of three brilliant film collaborations between director Joseph Losey and playwright Harold Pinter, and was nominated for eight British Academy Awards including Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Film, Best Cinematography and Best Screenplay.
Top Customer Reviews
Harold Pinter and Losey worked in other themes like Accident but I've never seen any other film with the only exceptions of Mephisto and Vatel such kind of perversion level.
Losey never before directed so well any other film. It deserves to mention a very usual forgotten film of Losey : Mr. Klein where Losey intends a close approach but the script doesn't help him due its predictableness.
Bogarde as the servant makes the greatest role of his winner career; James Fox also shares honors and Wendy Craig is worthy too.
Losey made a celebration film ; not only you remember Welles (The stranger) ,the sinister shadows of the glorius age of german expressionism (Murnau and Wiene) but the employement of the famous crossed mirror image sequence , so many times adapted for a lot of film makers of second rate.
This is not only a cult movie; it's a reference example for all those people interested in how to make a film, but also a must for those cinema lovers and even a sociological study of the fall of the will and slow process of moral decay in any age; it's a no mercy view of the brittish society in that unusual decade.
It's not for all tastes, but you are in front (in my personal opinion) of the most sinister movie made in the sixties and one of the best in Brittish filmography ever filmed.
Dirk Bogarde stars as the butler who responds to rather foppish architect James Fox's advertisement to find a servant. Enter Sarah Miles, and a complicated love triangle ensues. Order eventually descends into chaos as servant-master roles become blurred in this riveting allegory of social disintegration.
It is the sheer brilliance of the ensemble here that makes this film a true classic: Much of the credit must go to the skillful black-and-white photography of Douglas Slocombe, one of the most talented British cinematographers of all time. Stylistically, this is quintessential sixties British realism. Also noteworthy are John Dankworth's jazz-oriented score and Harold Pinter's screenplay. It cannot be denied, however, that the film stands or falls on the strength of the performances, and the cast here are on top form, especially Bogarde in perhaps his finest role.
Like Kubrick's "Lolita," "The Servant" was made at a time when it was possible for filmmakers to flirt with previously forbidden topics (pedophilia in the first, sadomasochism in the second) as long as they suggested more than they showed. The indirection works to the advantage of both. "The Servant" is an insidious movie that works on your imagination far more effectively than an explicit exploration of the subject. The relationship between Hugo and his master Tony is never much more than a gradual, vaguely deepening dependency. That makes the action much more plausible and frightening. As Hugo slowly takes control of Tony's life, we watch in horrified fascination, desperate to stop it, but powerless to do so.
Much like Alfred Hitchcock, Losey's films exploit fear as much as desire, although that's where the similarities end. Hitchcock makes you nervous, but you always know the cause of the trouble, and you're ultimately brought safely home. Losey's films rarely locate their source of fear, and you're seldom let off the hook. Hitchcock alternates bravura suspense sequences with sophisticated comedy.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The cast are all great in their roles. The pace of the movie starts out slow & gradually picks-up throughout the length of the movie. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Clive - Edmonton, Canada
Still waiting for 'The Servant' ....even though I have sent repeated e-mails I have still to receive my order....reason unknown !!! Read morePublished on Sept. 24 2013 by michel soliman
What a creep fest! This film is fantastic.
The idea of having a manservant, like the main character does, is frightful in itself- I certainly wouldn't want anyone lurking... Read more