Bartleby (1972 film)

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"Bartleby" (1972 film).jpg
Directed by Anthony Friedman
Produced by Rodney Carr-Smith
Screenplay by Rodney Carr-Smith
Anthony Friedman
Based on "Bartleby, the Scrivener; A Story of Wall-street" by Herman Melville
Starring Paul Scofield
John McEnery
Thorley Walters
Music by Roger Webb
Cinematography Ian Wilson
Edited by John S. Smith
Pantheon Film Productions
Distributed by British Lion Film Corporation
Running time
78 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Bartleby is a 1972 British drama film directed by Anthony Friedman and starring Paul Scofield, John McEnery and Thorley Walters.[1] It is an adaptation of the short story Bartleby, the Scrivener; A Story of Wall-street by Herman Melville. The film relocates the narrative from New York in the 1850s to London in the 1970s.[2]


Bartleby, a young audit clerk, is defeated by the pressures of modern life; he gradually opts out of all forms of social engagement and withdraws into his own world.


  • Paul Scofield - The Accountant
  • John McEnery - Bartleby
  • Thorley Walters - The Colleague
  • Colin Jeavons - Tucker
  • Raymond Mason - Landlord
  • Charles Kinross - Tenant
  • Neville Barber - First Client
  • Robin Askwith - Office Boy
  • Hope Jackman - Hilda - Tealady
  • John Watson - Doctor
  • Christine Dingle - Patient
  • Rosalind Elliot - Miss Brown - Secretary
  • Tony Parkin - Dickinson - Clerk

Critical reception[edit]

The TV Guide reviewer commented that "the film is brooding, slow, and annoying at times, but the vision of McEnery as Bartleby is not easily forgotten. a supremely intelligent portrayal of a man caught between logic and emotion."[3]


  1. ^ "BFI | Film & TV Database | BARTLEBY (1971)". 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  2. ^ Greenspun, Roger (1972-02-07). "Movie Review - Bartleby - Melville's 'Bartleby' Transformed for the Screen". Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  3. ^ "Bartleby Review". Retrieved 2014-04-14. 

External links[edit]