was concerned with expressing the work in terms of film and I
was dealing with a work which in fact dictated itself in terms
of how you look at it. We simply considered how very sparely we
could aid what actually takes place in terms of seeing the framework
in which it takes place. It was valuable, I felt, to see the context
in which he existed and so we took the opportunity to see him,
I think economically, in relation to the corridors, entrance hall,
exterior of the college itself."
Harold Pinter, The American Film Theatre/Cinebill
for Simon Gray's Butley, January 1974.
''Pinter's one and only film so far as a director;
and one that shows he knows how to shape a scene and can get first
rate performances from his actors [...] after a bit of discreet
opening out in the early sequences, he gets the feeling of bon
mots bouncing off the sickly-green walls of Ben Butley's office
like balls off a squash court. Unlike many filmed plays, it doesn't
make you wonder why the camera doesn't get out more."
Dada, Surrealism and the Cinema, National
Film Theatre, February 1978.
''Pinter makes a striking debut as a film director,
his active camera movement preventing any 'stagebound' effect
that might ensue from concentrating on only one set. Butley's
office becomes a universe, one where self-hatred is but thinly
disguised as caustic sarcasm."
Joseph P. Leydon, New Orleans Today, 26-27
'Pinter's shaping of the portrayals and his use
of the camera to catch the silences and the reactions as well
as the speech, the tensions of the intricate relationships, adds
the feeling of his own work as an author to Simon Gray's excellent
adaptation of the play."
Charles Champlin, Los Angeles Times, 18
''Pinter, the director, has opened up the play
a little, but without damaging or lessening the impact of the
volley of talk which is the meat of the drama. Life outside Butley's
study is revealed."
Bridget Byrne, Los Angeles Herald Examin
er, 21 January 1974.