Billy Liar (1963)

John Schlesinger directs Tom Courtenay, Wilfred Pickles and Julie Christie in this British kitchen sink drama where a restless lad fantasises about a life less ordinary but reality is catching up on all the lies he has told.

God, Schlesinger hates these characters. Looking down on their values and limitations with a brutish derision. Only Christie’s free spirit and Finlay Currie’s ageing voice of disjointed reason get any kind of sympathy. Schlesinger always attacks both the status quo and the change in his assessments of the Sixties. This film has somehow gained a reputation for being quaint and cosy yet it is absolutely scabrous. The ending is a gut punch… even though it only involves milk, a suitcase and a train leaving a station.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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