Search - Bartleby on DVD

Actors: Paul Scofield, John McEnery, Thorley Walters, Colin Jeavons, Raymond Mason
Director: Anthony Friedman
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
PG     2003     1hr 18min

A young accountant slowly refuses to perform tasks and refuses to leave the office forcing his boss to move his company's location.


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Movie Details

Actors: Paul Scofield, John McEnery, Thorley Walters, Colin Jeavons, Raymond Mason
Director: Anthony Friedman
Creators: Ian Wilson, John C. Smith, Rodney Carr-Smith, Herman Melville
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Anamorphic
DVD Release Date: 06/17/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1970
Theatrical Release Date: 00/00/1970
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 18min
Screens: Color,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Very Good Rendering!
Billyjack D'Urberville | 04/01/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The cheesy television drama music score doesn't do wonders, to a mostly wonderful adaptation of Melville's story.
The only other drawback is that the moviemakers didn't have the guts to develop the two supporting co-worker characters, who were perhaps the most memorable part of that story. Melville was tremendous at developing lesser characters the same way Shakespeare paid attention to such details.
But the two main characters, Bartleby and his boss, are marvelously portrayed. They really hit the nail on the head and didn't change their characters from the story at all. Those two characters and the actors who play them make this movie very much worthwhile."
Eerily Successful
Billyjack D'Urberville | USA | 06/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This shot at one of Melville's best known stories is both a startling short film and on target as to it source. Moved to that banal modern London that Prince Charles is always grumbling about, it turns those plain buildings and awful alleys into the sort of wierd surrealistic beauty that is food for Bartleby's unfathomable spirit. A bold filmic choice, while this locale does not totally explain why he "prefers not to" do much of anything but faceless jobs, and then only half-heartedly, it sets him and gives him gritty and explicable context.

Here an auditor rather than Melville's copyist, Bartleby is taklen in by a small firm's unfailingly decent head marvelously portrayed by Paul Schofield. The battle of wills ensues, a fable of the modern world still appropriate and telling, funny and monumentally frightful. One nows sees that Melville here was a harbinger of Ionesco and Beckett in this relentless experiment in minimalism and ambiguity. This film is a must see for any devotee of America's greatest author, whose facets continue to prove an unexplored goldmine."
Interesting movie-if you have the patience...
Cat | Southern California | 12/14/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This films' product description gives a fairly accurate idea of what you're in for but what's interesting is how this movie is able to motivate itself while we watch a truly unmotivated person. Bartleby is somewhat of an odd but curiously intriguing man. At first I found him amusing when we would tell his boss he'd "prefer not to" do whatever is asked of him. His boss' reactions are priceless. Gradually, I become as annoyed and frustrated as his boss. We wonder: what is Bartleby's problem? Is he insane? Did he snap? He's so sincere and unemotional it is unbelievable how such a milksop of a man can create such havoc wherever he goes. John McHenry had his work cut out for him as an actor. How does an actor play a character who seems to want nothing and do nothing but simply exist? We all have to want something. What I wanted more than anything while watching this movie is to know what point it was trying to make. Is the point of "Bartleby" merely to demonstrate that we cannot exist by doing what we want, when we want but have very little human contact? The dilemma I feel when I watch this is trying to decide if Bartleby is insane for just wanting to live a non-violent life the way he wants or are we insane for keeping people from this freedom? The film is frustrating to watch but that's not the fault of the movie or the story, I simply don't understand its theme. However, I would recommend this film-mostly for the first rate performances but also because it was very thought-provoking. It asks a lot of it's audience however. For it to be successful you have to give it a chance and be willing to engage yourself in it's themes. I was not truly fond of this film as a whole, but I appreciate it's ambiguity."