Butley

One of the American Film Theatre series of filmed plays, which racked up a considerable amount of transcribed contemporary drama in the early '70s before the experiment dried up in the face of audience indifference. Simon Gray's account of an academic with rather too much wit, acerbity and withering honesty than is good for him follows a predictable course, in which one is allowed to enjoy Butley's lacerations of those around him until the play shows its moral side by revealing Butley to be a hopelessly self-deceived bastard who has cut himself to pieces in the process. A tour de force, as these things are evidently stacked to be, for Alan Bates.

Release details

Duration: 130 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Harold Pinter
Screenwriter: Simon Gray
Cast: Alan Bates
Jessica Tandy
Richard O'Callaghan
Susan Engel
Michael Byrne
Georgina Hale
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