Image Ent.   (1972) / Region 1

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A film based on Herman Melville's classic novella "Bartleby the Scrivener."

Although updated from a 19th century scrivener to a 1970s London bookkeeper, Melville's classic Bartleby character is most faithfully brought to life in this extraordinary film.

A young accounting clerk rebels against his employer by responding to demands to do work by saying, "I prefer not to." This is carried on on ad absurdum until the office is in chaos because the other employees must do Bartleby's work. His boss is unable to fire him and eventually has him placed in a mental hospital. Why the boss simply doesn't fire him straight off is the crux of the film.

John McEnery as Bartleby and Paul Scofield as his boss are a perfect match. The New Republic states, "John McEnery in the title role achieves such intense inner concentration that his immobility amidst a rushing world, is perfectly convincing. Paul Scofield, catalyzed by this Bartleby, seems to make his thoughts speak."


  • Length
  • Rating NR
  • Released:
  • Added Apr 09 2003
  • Production Year 1972
  • Empire SKU 477504
  • UPC Code 014381155020
  • Studio  Image Ent.
  • Packaging Keep
  • Number of Discs 1
  • Disc SS-DL


Original Shooting Script and Release Script

Production Essay by Director Anthony Friedmann

Herman Melville's Original Short Story

Reviews and More...


  • Audio
    English Dolby Digital Mono
  • Video
    Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)

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