LENGTH: 78 min
YEAR: 1970
GENRE: Classic
FORMATS: 35mm & Retail DVD
DIRECTOR: Anthony Friedmann
CAST: Paul Scofield, John McEnery, Thorley Walters, Colin Jeavons, Raymond Mason, Charles Kinross, Neville Barber, Robin Asquith, Tealady Hope, John Watson
CREW: PRODUCER: Rodney Carr-Smith & Anthony Friedmann; Based on the novella by Hermin Melville; CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ian Wilson; EDITOR: John S. Smith; MUSIC: Roger Webb


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Updated to 1970s London, this faithful adaptation of Herman Melville’s classic follows a young accounting clerk rebelling against his employer by responding to demands to do work by saying, “I prefer not to.” This is carried on ad absurdum until the office is in chaos because the other employees must do Bartleby’s work. His boss is unable to fire or help him and eventually has him placed in a mental hospital. Paul Scofield (A Man for All Seasons), John McEnery (The Duellists) and Thorley Walters (TV’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”) star in this impeccably mounted study of employment, insanity, and the rigors of everyday life from one of literature’s most acclaimed geniuses.


The New Republic

“John McEnery in the title role achieves such intense inner concentration that his immobility, amidst a rushing world, is perfectly convincing. Paul Scofield catalyzed by this Bartleby, seems to make his thoughts speak.”