Butley

1974

Drama / Romance

0
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 64%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 726

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
September 22, 2021 at 02:24 AM

Director

Cast

Derrick O'Connor as Irishman in pub
Michael Byrne as Reg Nuttall
Jessica Tandy as Edna Shaft
Alan Bates as Ben Butley
720p.BLU
363.85 MB
1280*738
English 2.0
NR
29.97 fps
12 hr 39 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by B24 10 / 10

Bates at his best

The late Alan Bates had many "bests" (if one may be permitted to say so)because of the constant intensity he brought to every role. He made acting something of a physical sport. In this case, his neurotic Butley uses language as a fencer's epee, yielding nothing to putative antagonists in the tight confines of an English department office in a major university as the camera follows him doggedly thrusting and parrying without pause. I especially liked the puns and double entendres (obviously). This sort of thing is not for everyone, of course, and I do not blame the viewer who is easily bored by such verbal jousting.

Did I mention the superb camera work? It is a tour de force to take a stage play like this one and make it come alive on film. Great acting and great direction would be lost without due attention to the medium, and this one has it par excellence. As depressing as the theme may be, and as unlikeable the fictional characters, this production succeeds in demonstrating just how powerful a film can be in spite of itself. It reminded me instantly of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" in that regard. And it is uncanny in its recognition of all the unhappy details found in any college English department office.

The nicest touch, of course, was in making Butley a T. S. Eliot specialist, with a photo of the lugubrious poet pinned to the wall. Much comic relief if one knows how to spot it.

Reviewed by desperateliving 10 / 10

10/10

A movie like this works as a small-setting exercise in actor virtuosity -- Bates grabs the individual words, twirls them around, and pitches them at his enemies with a high-pitched, womanly cackle -- and it works brilliantly on that level. But it also works on a larger level of a man who uses words as an evasive tool. Of course no one really talks like this, no one is this witty, but more than just entertaining dialogue (and some of it is very funny) the writing does serve an emotional purpose. Bates' performance, as a professor who avoids his contemporaries and who tries to dig into the mind of his young male lover, is incredibly good; it's like he's tap-dancing on top of himself with the exuberant joy of performance. And I loved the smart, youthful, innocent-patient tenderness in O' Callaghan's performance as the lover he shares an office with (where the majority of the film takes place).

Butley the man can't quite be explained, even though certain facets of his personality are obvious -- he's coated in irony, yet that can't hide his failings: he's jealous of the woman who's getting published while he's not, he can't stand students who just want to learn, and he's resentful of the man stealing his boyfriend from him. But yet he desperately goes chasing after people down the hall, just to get the last word in; he almost literally hangs off the doorknob while various characters come into his office; he screeches at the top of his lungs just to see if his leaving visitor will stop and come back. Butley does so often talk in the false hypothetical -- that type of grandstanding where he mentions something abstractly that specifically refers to someone -- that at times it's difficult to pinpoint who, exactly, he's referring to. (When he talks to Reg, the man stealing his boyfriend from him, does he use words like "queer" and "fairy" intending to mock himself to shock Reg, or to mock Reg in the guise of innocently questioning him?) While I didn't quite catch all the literary references -- just about the only drawback for me -- this is one of the most satisfying movies I've seen about the handling of a dying relationship. 10/10

Reviewed by carol_robinson 10 / 10

Just the best.

When I first saw this film, Ben Butley fascinated me (my cousin, who saw it with me, hated him). I've seen the film many times since then--I bought the video before I had a VCR to play it on--and it remains my favorite movie. And Alan Bates remains my favorite actor, although he's not at all like Butley. I wouldn't recommend the film to everybody, because it's a filmed play, totally in one room, all talk. Ah, but what talk, what dynamics between characters, what vicious game-playing and ruthlessness and humor. Simon Gray's never written a better play.

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