Best Movies by Farr
Billy Liar Poster
Released Runtime Category
1963 98 Drama, The Criterion Collection
Director Language
John Schlesinger English
Julie Christie, Tom Courtenay

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.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"