The Caretaker (film)

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The Caretaker
The Caretaker FilmPoster.jpeg
A poster bearing the film's alternate title: The Guest
Directed by Clive Donner
Produced by Michael Birkett
Written by Harold Pinter
Starring Alan Bates
Donald Pleasence
Robert Shaw
Music by Ron Grainer
Cinematography Nicolas Roeg
Edited by Fergus McDonell
Release date
  • June 1963 (1963-06)
Running time
105 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £30,000[1]

The Caretaker (also known as The Guest ) is a 1963 British drama film directed by Clive Donner and based on the Harold Pinter play of the same name. It was entered into the 13th Berlin International Film Festival where it won the Silver Bear Extraordinary Jury Prize.[2]



The film was made by a partnership of six people, none of whom took payment: Clive Donner, Alan Bates, Robert Shaw, Harold Pinter and Michael Birkett.[3]

No distributor expressed interest in funding the film, which meant it was unable to attract investment from the National Film Finance Corporation, because it was unable to give money to projects without a reasonable chance of a commercial screening.[1] The budget was eventually raised with the support of a consortium, which included such figures as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Noël Coward and Peter Sellers, each member giving £1,000.[4]


The film was unable to obtain a release in London until it first screened in New York.[1] According to Janet Moat, "the film is striking. Donner deploys a non-musical soundtrack, close-ups and two-shots to unsettling and menacing effect."[4]


  1. ^ a b c Alexander Walker, Hollywood, England, Stein and Day, 1974 p250
  2. ^ "Berlinale 1963: Prize Winners". Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  3. ^ Caroline Miller, The Caretaker at BFI Screenonline
  4. ^ a b Janet Moat, "Donner, Clive (1926-2010)" at BFI Screenonline

External links[edit]