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Servant (1963) [DVD] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Top Customer Reviews
More recently, I had the chance of seeing "The Servant" on the big screen and my hopes were very highly set. I could at last see the whole of the film and understand what had lead to the situation I knew and expected.
My impressions were somewhat different this time. There is undoubtedly a difficult claustrophobic feel about the film, but there is also comedy - a dark, bleak and grotesque comedy - that makes this work all the more richer for the ambiguity it instores. One shifts between extremes, between the heaviness and unhealthiness of the interlocked lives of the protagonists, the staleness and decadence of the house, the perverse demonstration of strength throttling weakness, of the servant inversing roles and finally taking the upper hand against his master, who ends up crawling very low indeed; and on the other hand, the numerous comic dialogues, the very funny situations bred out of the master's ineptitudes to live independently...
The homosexual element is also of great (and grave) importance. It is constantly slipping about in undertones (one must not forget that homosexuality was not legal in Britain at the time), seeping in at the fringes and thriving at the very core of what is going on between the two characters.Read more ›
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!)
I have this Studio Canal release. Fact: it has over 3 and a half hours of extras on it, including umpteen interviews and several documentaries. And it has been exhaustively remastered frame-by-frame, so that it bears not a speck of print damage or instability, and in all likelihood never looked this good in cinemas.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Essential viewing, this film was a milestone in the fusion of film and theatre when it was made. Many other excellent reviews have praised the performances, several of which run... Read morePublished 3 months ago by M. J. A. Brough
Classic that still holds up. Unnerving drama, dirk bogarde at his bestPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This DVD is great because of its content and the marvellous acting of Dirk Bogarde and James Fox. British cinema at its bestPublished 5 months ago by gilbert thom mcdonnell
Fabulous, Dirk's portrayal of the devious servant hell bent on taking over the house is one of his best performances. A real treat.Published 5 months ago by booklover
Its was alright, of its time and stylishly set in the sixties.
Hoping for a Brief Encounter-esque experience but didn't quite deliver.
Rather feeble ending.