Billy Liar
Billy Liar (1963)

Billy (Tom Courtenay) is stuck in his dead-end job as a clerk for a local funeral director. Shadrack (Leonard Rossiter) is his hard driving, humorless employer who scolds young Billy for his constant daydreaming. Billy has two women on the… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1963
DVD Release Date: January 1, 1998
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
A.O. Scott
New York Times

One of the great movies of the 1960's.

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Alan Radcliffe
The List

Not many classic films have also enjoyed success as a book, play, sitcom and musical. It's testament to the timelessness of Keith Waterhouse's source novel ...

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Sean Axmaker
Turner Classic Movies Online

... this portrait of ambition aching to break out of suffocating conformity and social expectation is viewed through the prism of fantasy and puckish humor...

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MFB Critics
Monthly Film Bulletin

At all kinds of points, one has the feeling that Schlesinger's film is running away from him; but there's also the impression of a talent energetic enough to risk even the occasional howling blunder.

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Emanuel Levy

A key work of the New British Cinema, Billy Liar features the impressive debut of director John Schlesinger and his first teaming with Julie Christie (before Darling).

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Gregory Weinkauf
New Times


Ryan Gilbey
New Statesman

It's the director's most assured work, and it includes Courtenay's greatest performance. The young actor balances zestiness and frustration, levity and rage, and never soft-pedals his character's more unsympathetic tendencies.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Even though it's a seminal movie of the sixties, it never reached me emotionally.

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James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

a unique work in the British New Cinema movement

More reviews for Billy Liar

Flixster Audience Score: 84% Flixster User Reviews
Kevin M. Williams
The Brits in the 60's did their own take on Thurber's popular Walter Mitty in this updated tale of a dreamer who is happiest in dreams. The climax,… More
Pierluigi Puccini
Billy Fisher's choice at the end left me thinking two things. first, that in order to find happiness one not necessarily has to leave all behind, because… More
Cassandra Maples
Billy Liar!" impressed me more than many other admirable British pictures of this era, like "Room at the Top", "The Loneliness of the Long… More
Stella Dallas
a charming british comedy from the 60's that is ultimately quite touching. a young man lives in a fantasy world until confronted with an opportunity to… More
Aj V
I wasn't very impressed with this movie or any of the cast really, it wasn't very funny or enjoyable, but once in a while it has a funny moment, so… More
Michael Gildea
Billy Liar didn't floor me, but the overall look of the movie and John Schlesinger's direction did. The brief machine gun cutaways and the brief… More