Bartleby

1970, Movie, NR, 78 mins

Review

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A literary story (from a Herman Melville tale) about a young man who is out of touch with his surroundings and eventually withdraws into a cocoon. McEnery is Bartleby, a clerk who refuses to adjust to the society around him. He gets a job with Scofield, an accountant, but won't do what is required of him. McEnery has a code of behavior from which he will not deviate, nor will he explain it. Exasperated, Scofield fires the young man. Fine, except Bartleby will not accept the sacking and comes in every day nevertheless. Bartleby is eventually taken to a hospital where it is learned he is suffering from a cornucopia of ailments. Scofield is, at first, glad to be rid of the boy, but then finds himself intrigued by McEnery's actions. He goes to the hospital and finds the lad dead. And that's that. The film is brooding, slow, and annoying at times, but the vision of McEnery as Bartleby is not easily forgotten. Scofield, who has done fewer than 10 films, gives a supremely intelligent portrayal of a man caught between logic and emotion. leave a comment

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