The Servant

1963

Directed By

Joseph Losey

Synopsis

Considered by many to be one of the greatest British films of the last century, Joseph Losey’s The Servant features BAFTA-winning performances from Dirk Bogarde and James Fox as servant and master in this taut drama exploring class conflicts and sexual tensions in a west London townhouse in 1960s London.

Marking the first of three collaborations between director Joseph Losey and celebrated playwright Harold Pinter, The Servant was adapted from Robin Maugham’s short story and features stunning black & white cinematography by Douglas Slocombe (The Lavender Hill Mob, Kind Hearts & Coronets, Indiana Jones) and a fantastic soundtrack by composer John Dankworth (The Avengers, Darling). Sly, seductive manservant Barrett (Bogarde: The Blue Lamp, Darling, Accident) worms his way in to the affections of foppish aristocrat Tony (Fox: Performance, A Passage to India). His awe-inspiring efficiency cleverly masks his true intentions, ultimately giving way to a suspicious and insidious control where the roles of master and servant are reversed.

Cited by Bong Joon Ho as one of five films that influenced his Oscar-winning masterpiece Parasite, The Servant is considered ahead of its time for its ambitious cinematography and its exploration of class and sexual politics, and is a thrilling and ingenious British classic that’s not to be missed.

Cast
Dirk Bogarde, James Fox, Wendy Craig and Sarah Miles
Other Credits

Based on the short story by Robin Maugham
Screenplay by Harold Pinter
Cinematography by Douglas Slocombe
Soundtrack by composer John Dankworth

Release Date
20 September 2021
extras
  • New Video essay with Matthew Sweet and Phuong Le
  • New Location featurette with Adam Scovell
  • New Trailer
  • James Fox interviewed by Richard Ayoade
  • Interview with Wendy Craig
  • Interview with Sarah Miles
  • Interview with Stephen Woolley
  • Harry Burton on Harold Pinter
  • John Coldstream on Dirk Bogarde
  • Audio interview with Douglas Slocombe conducted by Matthew Sweet
  • Joseph Losey & Adolphus Mekas at the New York Film Festival in 1963
  • Harold Pinter Tempo Interview
  • Joseph Losey talks about The Servant
  • Stills Gallery
  • New 64-page booklet with essays from Peter Bradshaw & Anna Smith
Restoration Details

Scanned from the original negative on the ARRI 4K, the restoration was completed at Silver Salt, taking 450 hours. In-depth manual repair was undertaken on certain reels, some requiring significant stabilising and dirt clean-up work and sections of the film were wet-gate scanned and scratch fixed. The film was also graded in Dolby Vision in order to capture more detail and contrast than ever before.

Pressbook

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