Billy Liar (film)

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Billy Liar
Original movie poster for the film Billy Liar.jpg
original film poster
Directed by John Schlesinger
Produced by Joseph Janni
Written by Keith Waterhouse (novel and play)
Willis Hall (play)
Starring Tom Courtenay
Julie Christie
Wilfred Pickles
Mona Washbourne
Music by Richard Rodney Bennett
Cinematography Denys Coop
Edited by Roger Cherrill
Vic Films Productions
Waterfall Productions
Distributed by Anglo-Amalgamated Film Distributors
Release dates
15 August 1963 (London, West End)
Running time
98 min
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office £22,173 (USA)[1]

Billy Liar is a 1963 black and white CinemaScope 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, many in the city of Bradford in Yorkshire[2]).

The film opened at the Warner Theatre in London's West End on 15 August 1963.[3]

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

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



  • B. F. Taylor, The British New Wave: A Certain Tendency? Manchester University Press, 2006

External links[edit]