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As Stan, Robert Shaw is mesmerising in his descent to animal-like submission. Sydney Tafler's Goldberg and Patrick Magee 's McCann make a truly terrifying double act. Cult television fans will appreciate an early appearance by Helen Fraser (these days best known as a sadistic prison warder in Bad Girls) as the easily seduced neighbour. Now that Friedkin's film is itself over 30 years old, the scent of mothballs ought to be even more pronounced. Its decrepit seaside boarding house setting and the drabness of the peripheral players are redolent of the distinctly non-swinging side of the 1960s in which it was made. But more than anything, The Birthday Party is about unspecified terror and the sort of inner demons that lurk in all of us.
On the DVD: Excellent sound quality helps to make this a compellingly theatrical experience: never has the noise of tearing newspaper been more menacing. And the picture quality retains the grainy authenticity of the original print. Special features include brief backgrounders on the history of the play and Friedkin's career, and a slide show of still s from key scenes. --Piers Ford
A great cast takes on this classic play. Very useful for my University course.Published 1 month ago by spencear
The only other Pinter play I've seen is The Homecoming. I have, however, seen quite a few documentaries about Pinter (which had clips of his plays) and features about Pinter and... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Bodnotbod
If you are a Pinter fan, then you will love this version of one of his most well-known plays. All six characters are skilfully portrayed and the balance between humour and menace... Read morePublished on 19 Feb. 2013 by M.R. Wooderson