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Bartleby [2001] [DVD]

Crispin Glover , David Paymer , Jonathan Parker    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 19.99
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Product details

  • Actors: Crispin Glover, David Paymer, Glenne Headly, Maury Chaykin, Joe Piscopo
  • Directors: Jonathan Parker
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Mandrake
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Oct 2004
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000639WMI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,088 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Office comedy starring David Paymer. The Boss (Paymer) hires Bartleby (Crispin Glover) to help with the filing and verification of claims. At first the model employee Bartleby begins to utter a simple but power refrain 'I would prefer not to'. This wreaks havoc on the sane world of his workplace, a tiny institution founded on conformity and unmitigated compliance.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie - good price 2 Oct 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The UK release of this offbeat arthouse movie is hard to come by and is expensive. Yet here it is on Amazon for well under a tenner. I bought a copy and really enjoyed watching this weird flick once again, having last seen it in Liverpool around 2004.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An obscure little gem 23 Jun 2005
By Ernie
The head of a public records office advertises for a new employee. Only one person responds, Bartleby. A former postal worker who at first works like a man possessed, then for no reason lapses into sloth like apathy and later into an almost catatonic ghost like state. To both the amusement and bemusement of his fellow workers, Bartleby stands all day looking at an air vent in the ceiling and responding to every request from his boss and co-workers with, 'I would prefer not to.' Lost as to how to handle the situation the boss retaliates with passive-aggressive acts aimed at getting rid of the man. Till the very end, however, Bartleby remains an enigma, who refuses to give up his secrets. The film itself is visually striking, with a comic book technicolor feel almost looking like a black and white film which has been artificially colourised. And the surreal angles and spooky theremin soundtrack just add to the overall deadpan quirky feel of the movie. Mix this in with a unique story, subtle satire on corporate life, and the driving attempts to put right those who are outside of the norm, Bartleby is a very interesting and engaging film.
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I'd prefer not to give a review. However the movie is like a colourful US office sit com is interrupted by the glorious oddness of Crispin Glover- in fine form. The awkwardness of these two worlds colliding is compelling, funny and questioning.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 7 Oct 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was a fan of Crispin Glover and wanted to watch a few of his films. I enjoyed this one a lot. Very moving and emotional at times but also had some highlights as well. Great condition and fast delivery. Thank you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Odd movie, but interesting nonetheless 16 Jun 2004
By David - Published on
I was originally NOT going to give Bartleby 5 stars, but with all the bad reviews here, I thought I would even things out a bit. I think a lot of people just didn't get it, although granted the short story by Herman Melville that Bartleby is based on is certainly a lot easier relate to. The movie was sort of parody thereof. It been suggested that Bartleby is suffering from soul sickness. That he is dead inside from all the years spent at the dead letter office. He is just existing on existence's most minimalist level. He'd "prefer not to" because he realizes the futility of it all. I think the biggest problem with the movie was that they were trying to turn something heavy into a "comedy" when clearly the label doesn't apply.

The acting I thought was great especially Crispin Glover and Glenne Headly. Also the colors that they used were fantastic, Crispin Glover was literally black and white , in fact I am sure they used makeup on Crispin, there is no way he is that pale.

Overall highly recommend if you are looking for something a bit different.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead Letter Office 22 Sep 2003
By T. L. McCullough - Published on
"Bartleby" is an odd film... strangely unsettling and sad and yet funny at once. The over-bright, almost out-of-place colors and eerie score combined with Crispin Glover's performance give the film an almost haunting quality. This is the kind of movie that really sticks with you. Personally I thought it was quite funny, but the humor is rather off-beat and might not appeal to everyone. The ending was phenomenal in my opinion but again might not strike the right cord for everyone. However I fully recommend this film for fans of the tragic and the surreal.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this movie is just awesome! 13 April 2013
By Marco A. Ramierz - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
first of all it was delivered in a timely fashion and in the advertised condition. secondly the movie is hypnotic and mesmerizing. splendidly directed and shot. crispin glover is the tits! and does a stupendous job portraying the socially awkward bartleby. it is a modernized take on the mellville classic and while the characters have been renamed and rehashed it stays quite true to the spirit of the original short story. hope this helps;^)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Story 10 April 2012
By Andrew Kear - Published on
If you enjoyed Office Space there is a good chance that you will find Bartleby amusing. The film perfectly captures the futility of most office work. Bartleby is hired because the office manager sees the need for more help. The morose looking Bartleby (played by Crispin Glover) is a model employee who at first causes resentment from the other office workers due to his diligence. He even makes the flirtatious secretary concerned enough to be overly attentive to the boss.

However, things take a drastic turn when Bartleby suddenly refuses to do simple tasks in the office. When asked to do something Bartleby simply says, "I prefer not to". Soon Bartleby refuses to do any work at all and repeats the same phrase, "I prefer not to" anytime he is asked to work. Soon the only thing that appeals to Bartleby is staring at the ceiling fan.

Some have said that Bartleby is simply rebelling against the corporate establishment and is refusing to be a cog in the wheel. I don't really agree with this conclusion, because there are far more effective ways to rebel against the establishment. Bartleby's obstinacy is more of a personality trait. Maybe Herman Melville, who wrote the story in the 19th century, was actually describing an autistic person before there was a definition of one. In some ways Bartley is like a computer slowly shutting down, much in the way Hal was lobotomized in 2001. Soon the most basic functions elude Bartleby.

The boss, played sympathetically by David Paymer eventually follows Bartleby to a homeless refuge under a bridge. He tries to bring him food only to find Bartleby has starved to death. I think Melville is leaving it up to the audience to figure out what caused Bartleby's eventually demise.

You could look at the movie and novel as a tragedy, but many will see it as a satire on modern corporate life.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Odd and nervy. I loved it! 28 Jan 2005
By Chibi-Cub - Published on
I'LL KEEP THIS REVIEW SHORT AND SIMPLE. Bartleby has become one of my most favorite indie films to date. It's so bizzare and different, it truely stands out from any movie I've ever seen. I used to work in an office like this and its painfully realistic in my opininon. Granted, the characters in this movie are exaggerated for entertainment purposes but I can totally recall past co-workers in this film. This movie is bound to become a cult classic. If you enjoy dark and oddball comedies, this movie has your name all over it.
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