7.4/10
5,390
75 user 47 critic

Billy Liar (1963)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 16 December 1963 (USA)
A lazy, irresponsible young clerk (Sir Tom Courtenay) in provincial Northern England lives in his own fantasy world and makes emotionally immature decisions as he alienates friends and family.

Director:

John Schlesinger

Writers:

Keith Waterhouse (screenplay), Willis Hall (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 6 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After his girlfriend's pregnancy forces him to marry her, a young man must adjust to his new life and contend with his domineering mother-in-law.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Alan Bates, June Ritchie, Thora Hird
Darling (1965)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Beautiful, but amoral, model Diana Scott (Julie Christie) sleeps her way to the top of the London fashion scene at the height of the Swinging Sixties.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde, Laurence Harvey
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Bathsheba Everdene, a willful, flirtatious, young woman, unexpectedly inherits a large farm and is romantically pursued by three very different men.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Julie Christie, Peter Finch, Alan Bates
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A pregnant teenage girl must fend for herself when her mother remarries, leaving the girl with only a new male friend for support.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Rita Tushingham, Dora Bryan, Robert Stephens
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A juvenile offender (Sir Tom Courtenay) at a tough reform school impresses its Governor (Sir Michael Redgrave) with his running ability and is encouraged to compete in an upcoming race, but faces ridicule from his peers.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Tom Courtenay, Avis Bunnage
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Despite success on the field, a rising rugby star senses the emerging emptiness of his life as his inner angst begins to materialize through aggression and brutality, so he attempts to woo his landlady in hopes of finding reason to live.

Director: Lindsay Anderson
Stars: Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, Alan Badel
Billy Liar (1973–1974)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Billy is an idealistic young man who is trapped in a boring life. He works in a tedious job in an undertaker's office with a permanently uptight employer, dates a soppy girl who fails to ... See full summary »

Stars: Jeff Rawle, George A. Cooper, Pamela Vezey
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A rebellious, hard-living factory worker juggles relationships with two women, one of whom is married to another man but pregnant with his child.

Director: Karel Reisz
Stars: Albert Finney, Shirley Anne Field, Rachel Roberts
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The emotional intricacies of a polyamorous relationship between young artist Bob and his two lovers: a lonely male doctor and a frustrated female office worker.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Peter Finch, Glenda Jackson, Murray Head
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A disillusioned, angry university graduate comes to terms with his grudge against middle-class life and values.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, Mary Ure
Certificate: GP Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A tale of torrid and forbidden love between a couple in the English countryside.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Dominic Guard
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Charlie returns to the East End after two years at sea to find his house demolished and wife Maggie gone. Everyone else knows she is now shacked up with married bus driver Bert and a ... See full summary »

Director: Joan Littlewood
Stars: James Booth, Barbara Windsor, Roy Kinnear
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tom Courtenay ... Billy Fisher
Wilfred Pickles ... Geoffrey Fisher
Mona Washbourne ... Alice Fisher
Ethel Griffies ... Grandma Florence
Finlay Currie ... Duxbury
Gwendolyn Watts Gwendolyn Watts ... Rita
Helen Fraser Helen Fraser ... Barbara
Julie Christie ... Liz
Leonard Rossiter ... Emanuel Shadrack
Rodney Bewes ... Arthur Crabtree
George Innes ... Stamp
Leslie Randall Leslie Randall ... Danny Boon
Patrick Barr ... Insp. MacDonald
Ernest Clark ... Prison Governor
Godfrey Winn Godfrey Winn ... Disc Jockey
Edit

Storyline

A young British clerk in a gloomy North Country undertaker's office, Billy (Sir Tom Courtenay) is bombarded daily by the propaganda of the media that all things are for the asking. This transparently false doctrine, coupled with the humdrum job and his wild imagination, leads him on frequent flights to "Ambrosia", a mythical kingdom where he is crowned King, General, lover, or any idealized hero the real situation of the moment makes him desire. His vacillating commitment and post-adolescent immaturity have created situations which make Ambrosia all the more attractive. He's succeeded in becoming engaged to two different girls, simultaneously, while in love with a third, Liz (Julie Christie). He's in hot water with his employer, having spent a rather large sum of postage money on his personal frivolities. And last, but not least, his dream of becoming a highly-paid, famous scriptwriter in London seems to be doomed to failure. The only person in his life capable of bringing him down to... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

one guy... three girls... one ring!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Billy Liar See more »

Edit

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,066
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie appeared in Doctor Zhivago (1965). See more »

Quotes

Alice Fisher: If you're in any more trouble, Billy, it's not something you can leave behind you, you know. You put it in your suitcase, and you take it with you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in King of Thieves (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Twisterella
Performed by Muriel Day (dubbed by unknown vocalist)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
nice and recognizable story - actual now and then
28 January 2004 | by veldman-hekeSee all my reviews

I was a teenager when the film was made, and immediately recognized the pictures of cities in the 60's, the cars, streets, buildings, the interior of the houses. Even so the way people looked and talked. Beautiful. I never read the book but it seemed to me that Billies dreams were put on screen a bit overdone but therefore also very funny. Like small boys càn exaggerate, but Billy was not a small boy anymore, and therefore really a sad guy. His family had had it with him, quarrelling all the time, his boss and colleagues saw through him and everywhere his time was running out. That he had 2-3 girlfriends was a miracle. His lying promises did the trick. Time for a change, one would say ! The climax was the end of course. All of a sudden Liz got on his right side with messages of love and persuaded him onto the train to London. She was enthusiastic and dedicated to get with him out of her dull-after-war-life and gloomy city. The message of the movie is: grab your chances now or don't. In the 60's that was a coming up and everyday question for many of the young people (and still is !) and therefore very actual (then and now). I liked the movie and how the actors created their characters. Tom Courtenay did it with very much conviction. A splendid, for that time spirited, and very good looking Julie Christie as Liz the new-age young girl, with no ties or limitations (responsibility ?) whatsoever to withhold her from doing what she wanted to. We saw more of these girls in Holland soon after 1963. See the movie: you won't regret it I'm sure. Hans Veldman.


22 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 75 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed