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 »
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.
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
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!!
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