Best Movies by Farr

Billy Liar

Billy Liar Poster
Billy Liar Poster

Released

1963

Runtime

98

Billy Liar

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What's it About

Billy Fisher (Courtenay) is a mortuary assistant whose response to a stifling English small-town existence is to retreat into a fantasy world, where he rules a country called "Ambrosia." When beautiful, free-spirited Liz (Christie) offers Billy the chance to inject adventure into his real life, he must decide whether to seize the chance, and leave Ambrosia behind.

Why we love it

Melding British kitchen-sink realism with fanciful sequences that dramatize Billy's reveries, director Schlesinger got his name on the map with this brilliant satire, partly inspired by James Thurber's classic story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." Courtenay is a marvel as Billy, the blue-collar drudge whose reliance on his inner life earns him a reputation as an unreliable dreamer. Mona Washbourne also excels as Alice, Billy's daffy, sympathetic mother.