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Working Class Heroes

Billy Liar

Tom Courtenay plays a young clerk lost to daydreams. Will they ever come true?

Image from Billy Liar

UK 1963
Dir John Schlesinger
With Tom Courtenay, Julie Christie, Wilfred Pickles
Certificate PG

Few films tell a heartbreaking story as hilariously as Billy Liar, the tale of a young clerk lost to daydreams in his Yorkshire home town, daydreams that are gleefully brought to life on screen. But beneath the playfulness, the film is a masterclass in melancholy. Released into a Britain newly smitten with working-class pop culture, it forever sealed the fame of dockworker’s son Tom Courtenay.

Also available on BFI Player.


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