Cinema: A Gentleman's Downfall

The Servant, set in modern England, also examines the odd relationship of a man of low station dominating his master, but after 800 years the moral tone of the conflict has deteriorated.

Directed by Joseph Losey, a British-based American with a string of doggedly minor works to his credit, the film on its most meaningful level is acid splashed into the wound of class distinction. But it is best enjoyed simply as a slick, spooky, frequently spellbinding study of corruption.

The old world sniffs at the new in a graceful London square, marred by...

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