Billy Liar

( 1 )

Overview

One of the prime examples of the British New Wave film explosion of the 1960s, director John Schlesinger's chronicle of the hopelessly in-his-head Billy is given a wonderful rebirth on DVD that will hopefully introduce a whole new generation to the film's wily charms. The remastered black-and-white print (taken from the original fine-grain master) is available in its original widescreen glory of 2.35:1 and it sure looks great. Some of the blacks appear a bit soft at times, but the transfer is miles ahead of any ...
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Overview

One of the prime examples of the British New Wave film explosion of the 1960s, director John Schlesinger's chronicle of the hopelessly in-his-head Billy is given a wonderful rebirth on DVD that will hopefully introduce a whole new generation to the film's wily charms. The remastered black-and-white print (taken from the original fine-grain master) is available in its original widescreen glory of 2.35:1 and it sure looks great. Some of the blacks appear a bit soft at times, but the transfer is miles ahead of any previous video release. The picture has been enhanced for widescreen television as well. The two-channel English mono soundtrack has also been revamped and it sounds fine, keeping dialogue always clear and balanced. Though they are intended for the deaf and hearing impaired, English subtitles have been included for those who find that the thick English accents are a bit too difficult to decipher. A fascinating video excerpt from the BBC program Hollywood U.K.: British Cinema in the Sixties has been included, hosted by Brit Richard Lester. The video helps put into perspective the importance of British film during this time period, as well as putting Billy Liar into its proper historical place. But the best thing on the disc is the commentary track with Schlesinger and stars Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie. Unfortunately each participant was recorded separately. But the tracks have been edited together nicely, making their different takes on the film seem unified without creating too much overlap. Christie's comments tend to be the must illuminating, though the others' views are also worthwhile and interesting. One of the best things about the track is how each participant holds a different view concerning the ending. Great stuff overall and a disc well-worth picking up. Also included is the original theatrical trailer.
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Special Features

New widescreen digital transfer, enhanced for 16x9 televisions; Audio commentary featuring director John Schlesinger and actors Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie; Excerpts from "Northern Lights," an episode of the BBC series "Hollywood U.K.: British Cinema in the Sixties," hosted by Richard Lester; Original theatrical trailer; English subtitles; Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/10/2001
  • UPC: 037429159224
  • Original Release: 1963
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Black & White / Mono / Dolby 5.1
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, monaural
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:38:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tom Courtenay Billy Fisher
Julie Christie Liz
Wilfred Pickles Geoffrey Fisher
Mona Washbourne Alice Fisher
Finlay Currie Duxbury
Ethel Griffies Florence
Rodney Bewes Arthur Crabtree
Helen Fraser Barbara
George Innes Eric Stamp
Leonard Rossiter Shadrack
Godfrey Winn Himself
Ernest Clark Prison Governor
Leslie Randall Danny Boone
Gwendolyn Watts Rita
George Ghent
Patrick Barr Insp. Macdonald
Anna Wing Mrs. Crabtree
Technical Credits
John Schlesinger Director
Richard Rodney Bennett Score Composer
Roger Cherrill Editor
Denys Coop Cinematographer
Willis Hall Screenwriter
Peter Handford Sound/Sound Designer
Joseph Janni Producer
Jack Rix Associate Producer
Ray Simm Production Designer
Keith Waterhouse Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapters
1. "Good Morning Housewives" [:36]
2. Breakfast with the Fishers [6:35]
3. "I have paid" [4:10]
4. Shadrack and Duxbury [4:30]
5. Barbara And Rita [7:30]
6. Liz [4:21]
7. Billy resigns [3:33]
8. A walk with Barbara [9:38]
9. Home Sweet home [8:31]
10. "Victory is within our grasp" [7:22]
11. Billy meets Danny Boon [6:23]
12. The Roxy [1:45]
13. The prime minister and the foreign secretary [9:15]
14. "Grateful" [6:05]
15. Infirmary [3:36]
16. Midnight train [6:55]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play The Movie
   Commentary
   Theatrical Trailer
   Hollywood UK:British Cinema In The Sixties
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Sixties Swing Again

    Billy rules his own empire, fools his employer, has torrid romances, and has his family under his thumb...but only in his daydreams. Just like James Thurber's Walter Mitty character, the audience is treated to the hilarious twists and turns of Billy's fantasy world....When the gorgeous Julie Christie shows up in his life, he has to juggle the reality and the fantasy...which will he choose? For those who like biting satire, British humor, and the swinging 60's...this is your film.

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