7.3/10
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13 user 5 critic

The Guest (1963)

The Caretaker (original title)
| Drama | July 1963 (UK)
Aston (Robert Shaw), a quiet, reserved man, lives alone in a top-floor cluttered room of a small abandoned house in a poor London district. He befriends and takes in Mac Davies (Donald ... See full summary »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Aston (Robert Shaw), a quiet, reserved man, lives alone in a top-floor cluttered room of a small abandoned house in a poor London district. He befriends and takes in Mac Davies (Donald Pleasence), an old derelict who has been fired from a menial job in a café. In time Aston offers him a job as caretaker of the house. Aston's brother, Mick (Alan Bates) - a taunting, quasi-sadist - harasses the derelict when his brother is away, countermanding his orders. Eventually Aston, himself irritated by the cantankerous old man, puts him out. Written by alfiehitchie

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July 1963 (UK)  »

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The Guest  »

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The original Broadway production of "The Caretaker" by Harold Pinter opened at the Lyceum Theater in New York on October 4, 1961, ran for 165 performances and was nominated for the 1962 Tony Award for the Best Play. Alan Bates, Donald Pleasence and Robert Shaw recreated their Broadway roles in this filmed production. The author wrote both the play and the screenplay for the movie version. See more »

Quotes

Mick: I could turn this place into a penthouse. For instance this room. This room could have been the kitchen. Right size, nice window, sun comes in. I'd have I'd have teal-blue, copper and parchment linoleum squares. I'd have those colours re-echoed in the walls. I'd offset the kitchen units with charcoal-grey worktops. Plenty of room for cupboards for the crockery. We'd have a small wall cupboard, a large wall cupboard, a corner wall cupboard with revolving shelves. You shouldn't be short of ...
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Connections

Version of Viceværten (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Barely an adaptation" summarizes it
19 July 2007 | by (quebec) – See all my reviews

Someone said in a comment that this is "barely an adaptation" and I have to second that. Though the cast list has names of characters other than the main three, that's because there's a minute or two where the film is outside so there were a few extras who got credit.

If you like the play (seeing it or reading it, whichever) you will love this interpretation of it. I can't believe this was made in 1963-the acting is passable even by today's standards and amazing for back then.

There are a few lines that are switched around, very very few that are removed altogether, and certain parts of scenes are set outside of the attic-otherwise it stays true to the original version.

I suppose if you know nothing of the play then this could still suit you, however, it has a strange premise, and is generally a bizarre movie altogether. The focus is mostly on character development and unusual dialogue, with monologues every three minutes, one of which is easily one of the best absurdist monologues of all time (Aston's bit at the end of act 2).

Personally I would buy it just for Aston's monologue, but the movie has many other virtues, and for the standards of its day I'd feel uncomfortable giving it anything other than a 10/10


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