7.5/10
4,675
67 user 44 critic

Billy Liar (1963)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 16 December 1963 (USA)
A lazy, irresponsible young clerk in provincial Northern England lives in his own fantasy world and makes emotionally immature decisions as he alienates friends and family.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 6 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After his girlfriend's pregnancy forces him to marry her, a young man must adjust to his new life and contend with his domineering mother-in-law.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Alan Bates, June Ritchie, Thora Hird
Darling (1965)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A beautiful but amoral model sleeps her way to the top of the London fashion scene at the height of the Swinging Sixties.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde, Laurence Harvey
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A rebellious, hard-living factory worker juggles relationships with two women, one of whom is married to another man but pregnant with his child.

Director: Karel Reisz
Stars: Albert Finney, Shirley Anne Field, Rachel Roberts
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A juvenile offender at a tough reform school impresses its governor with his running ability and is encouraged to compete in an upcoming race, but faces ridicule from his peers.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Tom Courtenay, Avis Bunnage
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A pregnant teenage girl must fend for herself when her mother remarries, leaving the girl with only a new male friend for support.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Rita Tushingham, Dora Bryan, Robert Stephens
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Divorced working woman Alex and well-to-do Jewish family doctor Daniel Hirsh share not only the same answering service but also the favours of young Bob Elkin who bed-hops between them as ... See full summary »

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Peter Finch, Glenda Jackson, Murray Head
Billy Liar (1973–1974)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Stars: Jeff Rawle, George A. Cooper, Pamela Vezey
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Despite success on the field, a rising rugby star senses the emerging emptiness of his life as his inner angst begins to materialize through aggression and brutality, so he attempts to woo his landlady in hopes of finding reason to live.

Director: Lindsay Anderson
Stars: Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, Alan Badel
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An ambitious young accountant plots to wed a wealthy factory owner's daughter, despite falling in love with a married older woman.

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Laurence Harvey, Simone Signoret, Heather Sears
Certificate: GP Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A tale of torrid and forbidden love between a couple in the English countryside.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Margaret Leighton
Petulia (1968)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An unhappily married socialite finds solace in the company of a recently divorced doctor.

Director: Richard Lester
Stars: Julie Christie, George C. Scott, Richard Chamberlain
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Wilfred Pickles ...
Geoffrey Fisher
...
...
Grandma Florence
...
Duxbury
Gwendolyn Watts ...
Helen Fraser ...
Barbara
...
Liz
...
...
George Innes ...
Stamp
Leslie Randall ...
Danny Boon
...
Insp. MacDonald
Ernest Clark ...
Prison Governor
Godfrey Winn ...
Disc Jockey
Edit

Storyline

A young British clerk in a gloomy North Country undertaker's office, Billy is bombarded daily by the propaganda of the media that all things are for the asking. This transparently false doctrine, coupled with the humdrum job and his wild imagination, leads him on frequent flights to "Ambrosia," a mythical kingdom where he is crowned king, general, lover or any idealized hero the real situation of the moment makes him desire. His vacillating commitment and post-adolescent immaturity have created situations which make Ambrosia all the more attractive. He's succeeded in becoming engaged to two different girls, simultaneously, while in love with a third, Liz. He's in hot water with his employer, having spent a rather large sum of postage money on his personal frivolities. And last, but not least, his dream of becoming a highly-paid, famous scriptwriter in London seems doomed to failure. The only person in his life capable of bringing him down to earth is Liz, and she's having a difficult ... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

one guy... three girls... one ring!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lažov Bili  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,785 (USA) (19 November 2000)

Gross:

$35,609 (USA) (3 December 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Just a coincidence, but the name in the film of the fictional English comedian Danny Boon is virtually the same as the stage name of the real French comedian known as Dany Boon. See more »

Quotes

William Terrence 'Billy' Fisher: You've start coming in at night, I'm not having you gallivanting about all hours!
William Terrence 'Billy' Fisher: Who are you having gallivanting about?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 'Doctor Zhivago': The Making of a Russian Epic (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Scherzo from Concerto Symphonique No. 4, Op. 102
(uncredited)
Written by Henry Litoff
Performed by Clifford Curzon, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Adrian Boult (conductor)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

better than the play
30 May 2002 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I saw 'Billy Liar' on stage in London, with Albert Finney, no less, in the role of Billy Fisher. As good as Finney was (check out Frear's 'Gumshoe' for starters), in the role, Tom Courtney, is better. Finney was too laconic. He had the wrong

'build'. Courtney, however, IS Billy Fisher. I can't quite put it into words, but that dour face of his, the pursed lips, and his loopy smile... who else but Tom

Courtney in the role. The plot is simplicity itself. Billy lives in a world of his own making. He's not connected with everyday events - he's a Yorkshire version of Walter Mitty - and who doesn't daydream every now and then? Director, John

Schlesinger (who gave us Darling & Midnight Cowboy), adds some surreal

touches (one comes to mind: Billy's reaction to another of his father's lectures). Julie Christie plays Liz. She understands Billy - thing is, Billy doesn't quite understand her, or if he does, it frightens the pants off him. For all Billy's posturing, he's a home boy at heart. "Billy Liar" is one of the truly great British films of the sixties. It's not often it appears on late night T.V., or on cable. If it does, or you see it on video at your local video store, get it out. See it. then wind it back and see it again!!


30 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Here We Go: Welcome to "The IMDb Show"

Kevin Smith weighs in on Justice League and the future of DC and Marvel, and answers fan questions. Plus, we battle with fans over who played the greatest Batman of all time.

Here we go