The Caretaker is a truly great play and lends itself only to minimal tinkering for the screen. Thank goodness, that's what the makers of this film decided to do, so the film is barely an adaptation. One or two short scenes are moved out of Aston's claustrophobic attic room, but for the most part we're stuck in there, just like the play. I'm too young to have seen the original cast on stage, so it is good to see how Alan Bates and Donald Pleasence must have plied their craft on the stage. Robert Shaw does an excellent job of Aston, a part that is often under-rated as it is best performed under-stated. I have seen two fine productions of this play on the stage, back in the 70's I saw Max Wall play the lead and more recently the mighty Michael Gambon supported brilliantly by Rupert Graves as Mick and Douglas Hodge as Aston. If you can get to see a great production of this play, I recommend it for the stage rather than film. In the absence of a fine cast just down the road, this film is a super second best.
Aston (Robert Shaw), a quiet, reserved man, lives alone in a top-floor cluttered room of a small abandoned house in a poor London district. He befriends and takes in Mac Davies (Donald Pleasence), an old derelict who has been fired from a menial job in a café. In time, Aston offers him a job as caretaker of the house. Aston's brother, Mick (Sir Alan Bates), a taunting sadist, harasses the derelict when his brother is away, countermanding his orders. Eventually, Aston, irritated by the cantankerous old man, puts him out.
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May 03, 2019 at 08:22 PM