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Billy Liar

Catalog Number
VHS 0309
Primary Distributor (If not listed, select "OTHER")
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VHS | N/A | Slipcase
N/A | N/A | N/A
017153030938 | N/A
Billy Liar (1963)

Additional Information

Additional Information
one guy... three girls... one ring!

Billy Fisher (Tom Courtenay) is known to his blue-collar British mates as Billy Liar because of his vivid imagination. This film version of the Keith Waterhouse-Willis Hall stage play "visualizes" some of Billy's more outrageous fabrications. He periodically escapes the drudgery of his job at a funeral parlor by conjuring up impossible adventures, usually involving the conquest of women. In one of her first film roles, Julie Christie plays one of two "real" girls who wish that Billy would come down to earth and pop the question. Following this film adaptation, Billy Liar was transformed into a stage musical, and later resurfaced as a British TV series

Billy Liar is a 1963 film based on the novel by Keith Waterhouse. It was directed by John Schlesinger and stars Tom Courtenay (who had understudied Albert Finney in the West End theatre adaptation of the novel) as Billy and Julie Christie as Liz, one of his three girlfriends. Mona Washbourne plays Mrs. Fisher, and Wilfred Pickles played Mr. Fisher. Rodney Bewes, Finlay Currie and Leonard Rossiter also feature. The Cinemascope photography is by Denys Coop, and Richard Rodney Bennett supplied the score.

The film belongs to the British New Wave (or "kitchen sink drama") movement, inspired by the earlier French New Wave. Characteristic of the style is a documentary/cinéma vérité feel and the use of real locations (in this case the city of Bradford in Yorkshire). One sequence includes a very early use of a swear word ("pissed"), which was unusual by commercial film standards of the time; the word is uttered by Mona Washbourne.

In 2004 the magazine Total Film named Billy Liar the 12th in their list of the greatest British Films of all time.

In 1999 the British Film Institute named Billy Liar number 76 in their list of the top 100 British films.

Release Date: December 16, 1963 by Continental Distributing

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