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4.4 out of 5 stars69
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 9 December 2012
Perhaps not a very original title for the review of a most original film which far surpasses he play of the same name.
Great performances from all actors, both the leads Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie and all other members of the cast.
Amusing and moving - a must see for a nostalgic revisit or a first time viewing.
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The film that first introduced Ms Julie Christie to our attention. I was 15 when I skipped a school cross country race to go and watch this in a local Cheltenham fleapit. My English teacher saw me leaving the cinema in the late afternoon and turned me into a sadistic headmaster who got his kicks giving me six hefty whacks in front of the school assembly next morning. Even today, I reckon is was a lot better than running over the muddy hills getting soaked. Now available on DVD this charming light comedy still makes me smile, I think a lot of us could see something of ourselves in Tom Courtnay's Billy Liar character, and how many fell in love with the bohemian Ms Christie? A film that I feel was very ahead of it's time given the usual fare of the British Film Industry during the early sixties.. Not expensive, buy it, a great addition to any serious collection.
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on 8 December 2007
This is without doubt the greatest film ever filmed in Yorkshire - Bradford and a bit of Leeds ( and a short scene in Oxford Street). It has no faults, so rare for any film.

This was the film that made Julie Christie into a star, however she was not the first choice. The first Liz was played by Topsy Jane who became ill during the shoot and had to be replaced. Julie Christie was chosen because she was the first person they asked who was free to go to Bradford that week.
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on 20 June 2015
Brilliant old black and white film. One of the classics from the early 60s. The extras on the DVD where Tom C and his leading lady are interviewed and talk about the making of the film is very good and entertaining.
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on 27 May 2014
An absolute classic. Albert Finney played the role in the Theatre and Tom Courtney was his understudy. Tom is excellent but Julie Christie steals the movie. It was one of her first roles and she shone like a diamond.
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on 26 August 2015
This is my first time i have ever seen this movie and found this very funny indeed,like most films of this era it is filmed in monochrome ok black & white with good sound and image quality....
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on 2 March 2015
Excruciating and hilarious. A painful story of a Peter Pan who represents ordinary folk for the adventurous side of the Sixties passed them by.
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Tom Courtenay stars as Billy, an unhappy clerk who still lives at home with his impatient family. To escape the drudgery of his life, Billy passes the time telling outrageous lies and fantasizing about his very own country where he is the beloved ruler and war hero.

I must admit I didn't know this movie was considered a comedy until I read some reviews. While the fantasy sequences are certainly amusing, Billy's day-to-day existence is lonely, unfulfilling, and depressing. I found Tom Courtenay to be adequate but dull and unsympathetic. On the other hand, Julie Christie is remarkably confident, mature, and charismatic and the screen really lights up during her few scenes. The black and white movie was one of the first in the sixties to feature the working class in all it's gritty glory.

The movie is similar to Danny Kaye's The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, but the humour is much more subtle. I thought the dramatic scenes lacked heart-felt pathos and I never liked or felt sorry for Billy. Watch it for its place in British film history and for the screen debut of the lovely Miss Christie.
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on 14 May 2010
Good book adaptation I suspect but not similar to the play. Depends what you are looking for.
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on 18 January 2002
Billy Liar still makes me laugh out loud every time I see it.There are very few film adaptations which equal the original book but this one makes the grade and more. Tom Courtenay is brilliant as the helpless Billy whose carefully crafted fantasy world starts to fall to pieces around him. All the action takes place within one Saturday - giving the film a real pace. By the end of it you're on the edge of your seat willing him to get on that train!
Excellent supporting cast including a pre likely lads Rodney Bewes and a wonderfully oily and sinister Leonard Rossiter as Shadrack, the undertaker with tact and tradition, perspex coffins and radio controlled hearses!
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