The Caretaker

Clive Donner’s film combines mesmerising performances by Donald Pleasance and Alan Bates with the magic of Harold Pinter’s dialogue.

The Caretaker was the play that made Harold Pinter’s name when it was first performed at the Arts Theatre, London in 1960, and it remains probably his most famous. Two years later, Clive Donner’s film version began shooting, after producer Michael Birkett had raised the finance from figures such as Noël Coward, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Sellers, Peter Hall and Leslie Caron – all passionate admirers of the play.

For the film, two of the cast of that original production – Donald Pleasence as Davies and Alan Bates as Mick – are joined by Robert Shaw as Aston, allowing us to see on film three of the greatest stage interpretations of Pinter’s characters.

Donner’s sensitive film becomes a study of shared illusion, tragic dispossession and a fraternal bond of unspoken love, combining mesmerising performances and the magic of Pinter’s dialogue into a spellbinding film.

Special features

  • Introduction by Michael Billington.
  • On Location with The Caretaker (1962).
  • From Play Into Film - Michael Billington on the making of The Caretaker, using materials donated by Clive Donner to the Special Collections archive of the BFI.

Product information

    • Certificate

      PG

    • Colour

      Black/white

    • Sound

      Sound

    • Running time

      100mins

    • Languages

      English

    • Subtitles

      English language, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles

    • Original aspect ratio

      1.33:1

    • DVD region

      • 2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories

    • Catalogue number

      BFIVD537

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