Cinema: Masterly Inflections

BARTLEBY

Directed by ANTHONY FRIEDMAN Screenplay by ANTHONY FRIEDMAN and RODNEY CARR-SMITH

Paul Scofield is a precision instrument. His performances are full of small gestures, asides and intuitions that are subtle, telling, always right. He is the master of inflection and implication if not, perhaps, of epic passion, which is why a Scofield Uncle Vanya is more successful than a Scofield Lear.

Scofield is at his most dexterous in Bartleby, bringing extraordinary wit to the rather dreary role of a beleaguered office boss (no name given). The film is adapted from Herman Melville's story Bartleby the Scrivener. Bartleby (John McEnery) is a kind of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!