At first blush, Hugo (Bogarde), manservant to the effete, high-born Tony (Fox), seems the perfect employee: quick-witted, unflappable, indispensable. Gradually though, it becomes evident to Tony's fiancée Susan (Craig) that Hugo holds his employer in contempt, and she suspects nefarious intentions. When Hugo's enticing "sister" Vera (Miles) comes for a visit, the world of master and servant is turned inside out, and Susan's worst fears are realized.
Why we love it
Written by Harold Pinter, Losey's "The Servant" is a psychosexual allegory of power, exploitation, and class resentment that belongs, in its unique way, to the "angry young man" school of British film. Bogarde was hailed (justifiably) for his sinister turn as Hugo, while Fox easily inhabits Tony, the impotent, manipulated aristocrat. One of the best films of the '60s, and among the best British films ever, "The Servant" is vintage Pinter and a first-rate showcase for the gifted, under-appreciated Bogarde.