Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Servant (1963) Film Review - Dirk Bogarde

Plot Summary - Unusual UK drama about a well-to-do young bachelor, Tony (James Fox), just returned from Africa, who hires a live-in manservant named Barrett (Dirk Bogarde) to work for him in his newly acquired London apartment. Barrett, seemingly the perfect gentleman's gentleman, takes pride in his cooking (especially his souffles), is knowledgeable on decorating (so advises on the decoration process for the new digs), is well groomed and well dressed. But as the film progresses, you oh so subtly see a sort of dark side to Barrett. Soon a conflict arises between Barrett and Tony's rather bitchy fiancee (Wendy Craig) who is really pretty rude to Barrett and wishes he could "live out". Barrett brings his "sister" Vera (Sarah Miles) in as the new maid, but it's pretty obvious that she's not exactly sisterly towards him - meanwhile, sexy Vera seduces vulnerable Tony and he's completely smitten, but when Vera and Barrett get caught in the act together, in Tony's bedroom no less, they are sacked. Barrett is not one to give up easily and soon has begged and lied his way back to work as Tony's manservant - and soon a very odd relationship has developed between the two men as the roles of master and servant have seemingly flipped.

Review - Filmed in black and white, with interesting, stylish photography (a number of shots taken into mirrors, stuff like that). Dirk Bogarde gives a great performance in this film - well, he's always good! One of my favorite actors - and very handsome to look at, I must say. The print of this, as screened on TCM, looked very good. Rating - 9/10 stars

1 comment:

Kate Gabrielle said...

Great review! I love this movie! :) So glad I just found your blog!!