The Birthday Party (film)
The Birthday Party is a 1968 British drama film directed by William Friedkin, starring Robert Shaw, based on the 1957 play The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter. The screenplay for the film was written by Pinter as well; the film, the play, are considered examples of "comedy of menace", a genre associated with Pinter. The film was a passion project for Friedkin, a fan of the play, he remained proud of the film after its release, though it was a box office disappointment. A man in his late 30s named Stanley is staying at a seaside boarding house, when he is visited by two menacing and mysterious strangers, Goldberg and McCann. Stanley's neighbour, brings him a parcel, which contains a boy's toy drum, presented to Stanley as his "birthday present." Goldberg and McCann offer to host Stanley's birthday party after his landlady, tells them that it is Stanley's birthday, although Stanley protests that it is not his birthday. Through the course of the party, the actions of Goldberg and McCann break down Stanley, they take him away from the house, purportedly to get medical attention in their car.
Meg's husband Petey calls after Stanley: "Stan, don't let them tell you what to do". Meg, still somewhat hung over, is unaware that Stanley has been taken away, since Petey has not told her, she tells him that she was "the belle of the ball." The movie was a passion project of director William Friedkin who called it "the first film I wanted to make and felt passionate about". He had first seen the play in San Francisco in 1962, managed to get the film version funded by Edgar Scherick at Palomar Pictures, in part because it could be made cheaply. Pinter wrote the screenplay himself and was involved in casting. "To this day I don't think our cast could have been improved," wrote Friedkin later. There was a ten-day rehearsal period and the shoot went smoothly. Friedkin says the only tense exchange he had with Pinter in a year of working together came when Joseph Losey saw the movie and requested through Pinter that Friedkin cut out a mirror shot as it was too close to Losey's style. Max Rosenberg, best known for his horror movies for Amicus Productions, had been called in by Palomar as line producer.
In his film review, published in The Nation on 6 January 1969, critic Harold Clurman described the film as "a fantasia of fear and prosecution," adding that "Pinter's ear is so keen, his method so economic and so shrewdly stylized, balancing humdrum realistic notations with suggestions of unfathomable violence, that his play succeeds in being both funny and horrific". The reviewer of the Evening Standard observed, in a description of the film published on 12 February 1970, that the film, like the play, is "a study of domination that sows doubts, shuddering illuminations and terrifying apprehensions inside the four walls of a living-room in a seaside boarding-house where Stanley, the lodger, has taken refuge from some guilt, treachery, in fact Some Thing never named"; the film earned rentals of $50,000 in $350,000 in other countries. After all costs were deducted, it recorded an overall loss of $725,000. However, Friedkin said it was "a film of which I'm proud; the cast played it to perfection.
With the exception of an occasional over-the-top directorial flourish I think I captured Pinter's world. The time I spent with him and the many conversations we had were the most invaluable and instructive of my career." Harold Pinter bibliography "Films by Harold Pinter: The Birthday Party 1967" at HaroldPinter.org – The Official Website of the International Playwright Harold Pinter The Birthday Party on IMDb The Birthday Party at AllMovie The Birthday Party at Rotten Tomatoes
The Heat of the Day
The Heat of the Day is a novel by Anglo-Irish Elizabeth Bowen, first published in 1948 in the United Kingdom, in 1949 in the United States of America. The Heat of the Day revolves around the relationship between Stella Rodney and her lover Robert Kelway, with the interfering presence of Harrison in the tense years following the Blitz in London. Harrison, a British intelligence agent, convinced that Robert is a German spy, uses this knowledge to get between the two lovers and neutralise Robert. Stella finds herself caught between counterspy; the narrative reveals the "inextricable knitting together of the individual and the national, the personal and the political." The novel opens in a London park where a concert is taking place. Present at the concert are Louie, a young woman whose husband is fighting in the war, Harrison, an English counterspy. Louie attempts to flirt with Harrison. After the concert, Harrison goes to the flat rented by Stella Rodney, a middle-aged woman who works for the government.
Harrison has been pursuing her for years. Harrison now tells Stella of his suspicions, he promises not to report Robert to the government. Stella rejects Harrison's offer, but considers the possibilities. At this time her son, visits her on leave from his army training; the novel recounts how Roderick has inherited Mount Morris, the Irish estate owned by his father's Cousin Francis. Francis, an elderly and wealthy man, had died while visiting his wife, Nettie, at a home for the mentally infirm, it was at Francis's funeral. Stella continues her relationship with Robert, meeting his eccentric family and holding off Harrison, she leaves for Ireland to visit Mount Morris and take care of affairs for Roderick. Her time there reminds her of her youth. Stella resolves to ask Robert about Harrison's accusations. Back in England, Robert denies the accusation, he proposes that they get married. Roderick visits his Cousin Nettie to learn. Nettie displays a sound presence of mind, revealing that she has feigned mental illness to live life on her own terms.
She tells Roderick that, contrary to universal belief, Stella had not initiated her divorce. Roderick's father had begun the proceedings. Roderick confronts his mother with this information, to which she responds that everyone has always assumed she was the guilty party. A phone call from Harrison interrupts the conversation, Stella accepts his dinner invitation to avoid her son. At dinner, a still-startled Stella talks with Harrison about her past, she admits that she lied about her role in the divorce to prevent other people from thinking of her as her husband's fool. Harrison reveals, he tells her. Before Stella can respond, Louie notices interrupts their conversation. Stella uses the opportunity to indirectly mock Harrison, she seems to hurt his feelings, when she implicitly offers to have sex with him to prolong Robert's life, he declines. Robert becomes aware that the government is converging on him, he goes to Stella to confess about his previous lies. He admits that he spies for Nazi Germany, explaining that freedom provides humanity with nothing but an opportunity to destroy itself.
Stella is repulsed by his beliefs. Robert tells her that he must leave before they learn to hate each other, he kills himself by throwing himself from the roof of Stella's building. The narrative gives a sweeping overview of the next few years of the war. Roderick decides never to learn more about his father, instead resolving to live peacefully at Mount Morris. Harrison visits Stella again during another bombing, he tells her. The resolution of their relationship is left ambiguous. Louie gets pregnant in the course of her extramarital affairs, but her husband dies in combat without knowing. Louie leaves London to give birth to her son, she retires with him to her hometown, with the intent to raise him as if he were her heroic husband's child. Stella Rodney: Stella is the novel's protagonist, an attractive and independent woman, she is middle-aged, but is "young-looking—most because of the impression she gave of still being on happy sensuous terms with life." She works for a government agency called XYD, the sensitive nature of her job leads her to be guarded.
She is not inquisitive. Her patriotism is shaped by the fact that her brothers died serving in World War I. Stella has clear class prejudices, being herself descended from gentry. Robert Kelway: Robert is an attractive man in his late thirties who remains in London during the war after being wounded at the Battle of Dunkirk. Robert limps from this wound, but only when he feels "like a wounded man." His identity is in constant flux throughout the course of the novel as Stella's investigation of his potential espionage unfolds. Robert's fascist sympathies are due to a combination of his wounding at Dunkirk and his growing up under the rule of his authoritarian mother and the example of his emasculated father. Harrison: Harrison is a counterspy for England, his eyes are described as being
Turtle Diary is a 1985 British film directed by John Irvin and starring Glenda Jackson, Ben Kingsley, Michael Gambon. Based on a screenplay adapted by Harold Pinter from Russell Hoban's novel Turtle Diary, the film is about "people rediscovering the joys of life and love"; the film contains elements of romance and drama and has been described as a romantic comedy. Two lonely Londoners - Neaera Duncan, a children's author, William Snow, a bookstore assistant - find common ground when visiting the sea turtles at London Zoo. Independently, each perceives that the turtles are unnaturally confined, they hatch a plan with the assistance of zookeeper George Fairbairn to smuggle them out and release them into the sea, their release of the turtles is a metaphor for their escape from their inhibitions. Glenda Jackson, as Neaera Duncan, a "Popular children's author … fearing her creative talents have evaporated, escapes into the dreamy world of sea turtles seeking inspiration in their beauty and grace."
Ben Kingsley, as William Snow, "a humble assistant in a bookstore where he, dreams of the turtles." Richard Johnson, as Mr. Johnson, a neighbor of Neaera Duncan Michael Gambon, as George Fairbairn, the zookeeper charged with caring for the turtles Jeroen Krabbé, as Mr. Sandor, a neighbor of William Snow Rosemary Leach, as Mrs. Charlie Inchcliff, another neighbor of Neaera Duncan Eleanor Bron, as Miss Neap, a neighbor of William Snow Harriet Walter, as Harriet Simms, a colleague of William Snow at the bookstore Nigel Hawthorne, as the Publisher of books by Neaera SnowHarold Pinter has a cameo role as a man in the bookshop where William and Harriet work. In his 1985 Sunday Telegraph review of the film, Castell observes that Pinter's screenplay concentrates on developing dialogue and plot, leaving clues for the actors to convey their characters' subtle emotional and psychological development: "It is hard to think of two actors better matched to play Pinter than Glenda Jackson and Ben Kingsley.
They milk every nuance, point up every missed beat and relish each irony and repetition in the script. … Turtle Diary is a fine film that charts movingly the unnoticed despair of everyday lives, the sufferings of those who endure loneliness in silence."The film grossed $2.2 million in its U. S. theatrical release. The film was released on videocassette in 1986 by Vestron Video; the film has not yet been released on DVD. Castell, David. Review of Turtle Diary. Sunday Telegraph 1 Dec. 1985. Rpt. in HaroldPinter.org. Harold Pinter, 2000–2003. Accessed 22 March 2009. Turtle Diary on IMDb Turtle Diary at Rotten Tomatoes Turtle Diary at Box Office Mojo "Films by Harold Pinter: Turtle Diary, 1984" at HaroldPinter.org – The Official Website of International Playwright Harold Pinter baileylewis
The French Lieutenant's Woman (film)
The French Lieutenant's Woman is a 1981 British romantic drama film directed by Karel Reisz, produced by Leon Clore, adapted by playwright Harold Pinter. It is based on the eponymous 1969 novel by John Fowles; the music score is by the cinematography by Freddie Francis. The film stars Jeremy Irons. Other featured actors include Hilton McRae, Peter Vaughan, Colin Jeavons, Liz Smith, Patience Collier, Richard Griffiths, David Warner, Alun Armstrong, Penelope Wilton, Leo McKern; the film received five Academy Award nominations. Streep was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, Pinter for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay; the film intercuts the stories of two affairs. One is a Victorian period drama involving the gentleman palaeontologist Charles Smithson and the complex and troubled Sarah Woodruff, known as "the French lieutenant's woman." The other story is between actors Mike and Anna, playing the lead roles in a modern filming of the story. In both segments, Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep play the lead roles.
John Fowles's The French Lieutenant's Woman had multiple endings, the two parallel stories in the movie have different outcomes. In the Victorian story, Charles enters into an intensely emotional relationship with Sarah, an enigmatic and self-imposed outcast he meets while visiting his fiancée Ernestina in Lyme Regis. Charles and Sarah meet secretly in the Lyme Regis Undercliff, have sex in an Exeter hotel; this leads to Charles' breaking his engagement, but Sarah disappears. In social disgrace after being sued for breach of promise, Charles searches for Sarah, fearing she has become a prostitute in London. After three years, who has a job as a governess in the Lake District, contacts Charles to explain that she needed time to find herself. Despite Charles's initial anger, he forgives her, the two are reconciled, they are seen boating on Windermere. In the modern story, the American actress Anna and the English actor Mike, both married, are shown as having an established affair during the making of the Victorian film, in which Anna plays Sarah and Mike portrays Charles.
As filming concludes, Mike wishes to continue the relationship, but Anna becomes cool about the affair and avoids Mike in favour of spending time with her French husband. During the film's wrap party, Anna leaves without saying goodbye to Mike. Mike calls to Anna from an upstairs window. Harold Pinter and Karel Reisz worked on the script in 1979, with Leon Clore as producer, with whom Reisz worked in their company Film Contracts, formed many years earlier. Leon had produced Reisz' Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment; the film was shot in 1980 on location in Lyme Regis, London docks, Lake Windermere. Studio sets were built at London's Twickenham Studios to Assheton Gorton's period-perfect designs; the opening shot in the film establishes the dual stories by having the assistant director mark the shot with a clapper board, run out of the shot to reveal the Victorian seaside front, with Charles' and Ernestine's taking the air. The audience is given alternating sequences of a rigid Victorian society, the more relaxed modern life of a working film crew, revealing the great moral divide between past and present.
Prostitution, Considered in Its Moral and Sanitary Aspects, an 1857 book by William Acton, is referenced in the film when Streep's character mentions that in 1857 there were 80,000 prostitutes in the London and that one house in 60 functioned as a brothel. The book was published in 1969, its transfer to the big screen was a protracted process, with film rights changing hands a number of times before a treatment and cast were finalized. Malcolm Bradbury and Christopher Bigsby approached Fowles to suggest a television adaptation, to which Fowles was amenable, but producer Saul Zaentz arranged for the film version to be made. A number of directors were attached to the film: Sidney Lumet, Robert Bolt, Fred Zinnemann, Miloš Forman; the script went through a number of treatments, including one by Dennis Potter in 1975 and by James Costigan in 1976, before Pinter's final draft. Actors considered for the role of Charles Smithson/Mike included Robert Redford and Richard Chamberlain, Sarah/Anna included Francesca Annis, Charlotte Rampling, Gemma Jones, Fowles's choice Helen Mirren.
The award-winning music was composed by Carl Davis and performed by an unidentified orchestra and viola soloist Kenneth Essex. The French Lieutenant's Woman holds a rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 19 reviews. NominationsBest Actress in a Leading Role: Meryl Streep Best Art Direction-Set Decoration: Assheton Gorton, Ann Mollo Best Costume Design: Tom Rand Best Film Editing: John Bloom Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium: Harold Pinter WinsAnthony Asquith Award for Film Music: Carl Davis Best Actress: Meryl Streep Best Sound: Don Sharp, Ivan Sharrock, Bill RoweNominationsBest Film: Leon Clore Best Actor: Jeremy Irons Best Cinematography: Freddie Francis Best Costume Design: Tom Rand Best Direction: Karel Reisz Best Editing: John Bloom Best Production Design/Art Direction: Assheton Gorton Best Screenplay: Harold Pinter WinBest Actress: Meryl StreepNominationsBest Motion Picture – Drama: Leon Clore Best Screenplay: Harold Pinter Evening Standard British Film Award Best Film: Karel Reisz David di Donatello Awards: Best Screenplay for Foreign Film: Harold Pinter Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards: Best Actress: Meryl Streep Gale, Steven H. Sharp Cut: Harold Pinter's Screenplays and the Artistic Process.
University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-2706-8. Bayer, Gerd. "On Fi
Family Voices is a radio play by Harold Pinter written in 1980 and first broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 22 January 1981. Family Voices exposes the story of a mother and dead husband and father through a series of letters that the mother and son have written to one another and that each speaks aloud; the son is surrounded by odd characters and circumstances. The mother, who never receives her son's letters, questions angrily why her son never responds to her letters, brings news of his father's death. Towards the end of the play, the father speaks as it were from the grave, "Just to keep in touch". A series of interlocking monologues spoken by three Voices, Family Voices exposes themes involving difficulties of communication, the vicissitudes of memory and the past, family dysfunction familiar from Pinter's other dramatic works, employing some of Pinter's well-known stylistic traits; the peculiar circumstances of the characters evoke the Theatre of the Absurd. The mother and son continually have trouble communicating with each other, resulting in more intense attempts at communication that only serve to make the situation more absurd.
PremièreIt was first broadcast as a radio play directed by Sir Peter Hall and performed by Michael Kitchen, Peggy Ashcroft, Mark Dignam on BBC Radio 3 on 22 January 1981. Subsequently, it was presented in a "platform performance" directed by Hall at London's Cottesloe Theatre with the same director and cast. In October 1982, it was presented again as part of Other Places, along with two of Pinter's other works, a one-act play A Kind of Alaska and a shorter play Victoria Station directed by Hall. For this production, the cast included: Nigel Havers – Voice One Anna Massey – Voice Two Paul Rogers – Voice ThreeOther theatre personnel were: John Bury and Lighting John Caulfield, Stage Manager Kenneth Mackintosh, Staff Director Jason Barnes, Production ManagerIt was given lunchtime stage performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Theatre in February and April 1987, with Mark Dignam repeating his role of Voice Three, but with Anton Lesser as Voice One and Ruby Head as Voice Two.
Another theatrical trilogy entitled Other Places, with Pinter's then-newer play One for the Road instead of Family Voices, was directed by Alan Schneider, in New York City. The play was first published in the United Kingdom in a spiral binding by Next Editions in 1981, with illustrations by artist Guy Vaesen, a family friend of Harold Pinter and Vivien Merchant, Pinter's first wife. In 1983, it was published in a volume entitled Other Places, along with A Kind of Alaska and Victoria Station, by Grove Press, Pinter's American publisher, in both hardback and paperback editions. Harold Pinter: A Bibliographical History. Compilers: Baker, William. London and Delaware: The British Library and New Castle: Oak Knoll Press. 2005. ISBN 978-1-58456-156-9. Billington, Michael. Harold Pinter. London: Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-23476-9. Pinter, Harold. Other Places: Three Plays. New York: Grove Press. P. 63–83. ISBN 978-0-8021-5189-6. Pinter, Harold. Other Places: Four Plays. New York: Dramatists Play Service. ISBN 978-0-8222-0866-2.
Family Voices – 1982 platform performances at the Cottesloe Theatre. Family Voices – 1987 stage performances at the Barbican Theatre. Other Places – Listed in "Plays" section of haroldpinter.org. Other Places: Four Plays by Harold Pinter. Google Books
One for the Road (Pinter play)
One for the Road is an overtly-political one-act play by Harold Pinter, which premiered at Lyric Studio, Hammersmith, in London, on 13 March 1984, was first published by Methuen in 1984. Pinter's One for the Road is not to be confused with the Willy Russell play of the same name. One for the Road, considered Pinter's "statement about the human rights abuses of totalitarian governments", was inspired, according to Antonia Fraser, by reading on May 19, 1983, Jacobo Timerman's Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number, a book about torture on Argentina's military dictatorship; the year following the publication, Pinter would visit Turkey with Arthur Miller "to investigate allegations of the torture and persecution of Turkish writers". Due to the tolerance and support of such human rights abuses by the governments of Western countries like the United States, Pinter emphasizes in One for the Road how such abuses might happen in or at the direction of these democracies too. In this play the actual physical violence takes place off stage.
The effects of the violence that takes place off stage are, portrayed verbally and non-verbally on stage. Though in the interview, Pinter says that he himself "always find agitprop insulting and objectionable now, of course I'm doing the same thing", he observes that "when the play was done in New York, as the second part of a triple-bill, a goodly percentage of people left the theatre when it was over. They were asked why they were going and invariably they said,'We know all about this. We don't need to be told.' Now, I believe. They did not know about it and did not want to know"; the play takes place in "A room" in a house during the course of one day, but the location of the room is unspecified. The furniture in the room, a "desk" and a "machine" used as a telephone intercom, the bars on the windows, as illustrated by the premiere production photographs, suggests that the room in a domestic house has been converted into an office and that the house functions as a prison The use of some common English colloquial expressions implies that the action could take place in Great Britain or America, or another English-speaking country among "civilised" people.
Victor and his wife Gila, who have been tortured, as their "clothes" are "torn" and they are "bruised", their seven-year-old son, are imprisoned in separate rooms of a house by a totalitarian regime represented by an officer named Nicolas. Though in control locally—"I can do anything I like" —he is not the final arbiter of power, since he refers to outside sources to validate his actions: "Do you know the man who runs this country?". But the play reveals that Nicolas is insecure and that he overcompensates by aggressive gestures and words, threatening both Victor and Gila with a peculiar gesture and jabbing his "big finger" and his "little finger both at the same time" before their eyes. Pinter highlighted Nicolas' insecurities in his own performance of the role as directed by Robin Lefèvre in 2001, adding stage business at the start. How many times? How many times have you been raped? Pause. How many times?" "How many times have you been raped?"Though Nicolas chats in an ostensibly-innocuous manner with Victor's and Gila's seven-year-old son Nicky about whether the child "Would like to be a soldier" when he grows up, he bullies the little boy: "You like soldiers.
Good. But you spat at my soldiers and you kicked them. You attacked them." After Nicky says, "I didn't like those soldiers", Nicolas replies menacingly: "They don't like you either, my darling."Victor's and Gila's specific "offences" go unnamed. Nicolas accuses Gila of mentioning her father when she responds to a question about where she met her husband by saying that she met him in "a room", in her "father's room". In his final exchange with Victor, Nicolas' use of the past tense signifies that the soldiers have killed Nicky and portends his parents' similarly
The Caretaker (film)
The Caretaker is a 1963 British drama film directed by Clive Donner and based on the Harold Pinter play of the same name. It was entered into the 13th Berlin International Film Festival where it won the Silver Bear Extraordinary Jury Prize. While renovating his home in London, out of pity, allows an old homeless man to live with him while Aston's brother Mick torments the old man. Alan Bates as Mick Donald Pleasence as Mac Davies / Bernard Jenkins Robert Shaw as Aston The film was made by a partnership of six people, none of whom took payment: Clive Donner, Donald Pleasence, Alan Bates, Robert Shaw, Harold Pinter and Michael Birkett. No distributor expressed interest in funding the film, which meant it was unable to attract investment from the National Film Finance Corporation, because it was unable to give money to projects without a reasonable chance of a commercial screening; the budget was raised with the support of a consortium, credited in the film as being Peter Bridge, Peter Cadbury, Charles Kasher, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Harry Saltzman, Peter Hall, Leslie Caron, Noël Coward and Peter Sellers, each member giving £1,000.
Composer Ron Grainer was tasked to produce not a score but a sequence of sound effects metallic in nature, but which include the sound of a drip which falls from the attic ceiling and a squeak as Aston uses a screwdriver. Grainer used his previous experiences working with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in the creation of the sound picture; the film was unable to obtain a release in London. According to Janet Moat, "the film is striking. Donner deploys a non-musical soundtrack, close-ups and two-shots to unsettling and menacing effect." The Caretaker on IMDb The Caretaker at BFI Screenonline The Caretaker at Haroldpinter.org