Billy Liar (1963)
“He can’t say two words to anybody without telling a lie.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
From its opening scenes in Billy’s oppressive household (he still lives with his parents and grandmother), we can see how and why Billy might want to find an escape route — and also why his parents are fed up with him.
His delusions are a way to cope — but the mess he makes of his job and love life show how wide an impact his dysfunction is having. The fact that his tale is told with an overall air of insouciance — and that his girlfriends are either shrewish (Watts) or dim-witted (Fraser) — makes it a bit easier to feel some sympathy for him:
… though he’s still undeniably an immature cad who has a lot of growing up left to do. Fans of British New Wave cinema will want to be sure to check this one out, but it’s not must-see viewing for all film fanatics.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
One thought on “Billy Liar (1963)”
First viewing (5/16/21). Not must-see.
A ‘one-joke’ plot that shows some inventiveness early on but nevertheless soon grows tiresome and is ultimately – even with its details – unsatisfying.