'The Servant' used to be shown on telly - a lot. It seemed to crop up just about every school holiday - on BBC2, where it was shown at a 'respectable' hour when young minds could not possibly be corrupted by it.
As I child, I loved it. I knew it virtually off by heart, without really understanding a word of it.
Thirty years later, and rather more grown up, I rejoiced at its release on dvd. Douglas Slocombe's stunning black and white photography looks infinitely finer than it ever looked on telly, and the nasty little world that Joseph Losey and Harold Pinter have created from Robin Maugham's novel is compelling viewing.
There are some magical moments of pure Pinter, both tragic and very amusing, and for my money this film is vastly superior to the rather tedious 'Accident'. The performances are remarkable, with the crown of course going to Dirk Borgarde, whose creepy Barratt manages to act everyone off the screen without upsetting the balance.
'The Servant' sums up an era, and the hard winter of 1963 is shown to great effect. The rain and snow over a bleak London are obviously the real thing - and every bit as chilly as the emotions of the characters portrayed.
This film is one for the collection. Enjoy (if that's the right word!)