The Birthday Party
The Birthday Party

The Birthday Party (1968)

The Birthday Party

The Birthday Party [film screenplay] (1968)

Budget (GBP) 0
Distribution Company

Continental Distributing   (Distributor | Est. Unknown)

Release Date 9 December 1968
Black and White No
Regional Release No
Release Notes USA 9 December 1968;
UK 1970;
Spain 31 March 1976 (TV premiere);
Italy November 2003 (Torino Film Festival);
Greece 20 October 2006 (Panorama of European Cinema).
Description A man in his late 30s named Stanley is staying at a seaside boarding house, when he is visited by two menacing and mysterious strangers, Goldberg and McCann. Stanley's neighbour, Lulu, brings him a parcel, which contains a boy's toy drum, presented to Stanley as his "birthday present." Goldberg and McCann offer to host Stanley's birthday party after his landlady, Meg, tells them that it is Stanley's birthday, although Stanley protests that it is really not his birthday. Through the course of the party, the actions of Goldberg and McCann eventually break down Stanley, and they take him away from the house, purportedly to get medical attention (from "Monty") in their car. Meg's husband Petey (who did not attend the party because he was out playing chess) calls after Stanley: "Stan, don't let them tell you what to do". Meg, still somewhat hung over, is unaware that Stanley has been taken away, since Petey has not told her, and she tells him that she was "the belle of the ball." Pinter adapted his play as a screenplay for this film production.
Language English

Linked Productions

No linked Production have been added to this production record yet.

Linked People

William Friedkin (1935)

Creative | Director

Harold Pinter (1930 - 2008)

Creative | Screenplay

Max Rosenberg (1914 - 2004)

Production | Producer

Edgar J. Scherick

Production | Executive Producer

Milton Subotsky

Production | Producer

Denys Coop

Creative | Director Of Photography

Anthony Gibbs

Creative | Film Editor

Edward Marshall

Creative | Art Director

Eddie Knight

Creative | Makeup Artist

Betty Sherriff

Creative | Hairdresser

Teresa Bolland (1917 - 1989)

Production | Production Manager

Andrew Grieve

Creative | Assistant Director

Gerry Harrison

Creative | Second Assistant Director

Martin Atkinson

Creative | Assistant Art Director

Norman Bolland

Technical | Sound Recordist

Alan Patillo

Technical | Sound Editor

Jim Roddan

Technical | Sound Editor

Alan Ballard

Technical | Special Still Photographer

Alan Hall

Technical | Camera operator

Maurice Gillett

Technical | Supervising Electrician

Dulcie Midwinter

Technical | Wardrobe supervisor

John Hackney

Technical | Assistant editor

Brian Mann

Technical | Assistant editor

Stanley Smith

Technical | Associate editor

Kay Rawlings

Production | Continuity

Linked Organisations

No Linked organisations have been added to this production record yet.


Stanley (The Birthday Party) (Age: late thirties, Male)

Performer: Robert Shaw (1927 - 1978)

Goldberg (Age: fifties, Male)

Performer: Sydney Tafler (1916 - 1979)

Meg (Age: sixties, Female)

Performer: Dandy Nicols (1907 - 1986)

Petey (Age: sixties, Male)

Performer: Moultrie Kelsall (1901 - 1980)

Lulu (Age: twenties, Female)

Performer: Helen Fraser

McCann (Age: 30, Male)

Performer: Patrick Magee (1922 - 1982)

Linked Awards

New York Film Critics' Circle Award


Nominated: Best Screenwriting

Linked Places

7 Eriswell Road, Worthing, West Sussex

Boarding house scene

Shepperton Studios, Shepperton

Production studio


Harold Clurman, 'Review', The Nation, 6 January 1969, p. 29 (URL)

Type: Review

External Link:

PDF currently unavailable.

Philip T. Hartung, 'The Screen'. Commonweal, 7 February 1969, p. 591 (URL)

Type: Review

External Link:

PDF currently unavailable.

Stanley Kauffmann, 'On Films: Bergman and Pinter', The New Republic, January 4, 1969, p. 24 (URL)

Type: Review

External Link:

PDF currently available.

Hollis Alpert, 'The Birthday Party' Saturday Review, 7 December 1968, p. 68 (URL)

Type: Review

External Link:

PDF available

New Republic, 4 January 1967, p. 34 (Paper-based)

Type: Review

New York Times, 10 December 1968, p. 54 (Paper-based)

Type: Review

New Yorker, 21 December 1968, p. 90-91; 13 February 1971, p. 52 (Paper-based)

Type: Review

Newsweek, 23 December 1968, p. 89-90. (Paper-based)

Type: Review

Vogue, 1 January 1969, p. 66 (Paper-based)

Type: Review

Nation, 6 January 1969, p. 29-30 (Paper-based)

Type: Review

Holiday, March 1969, p. 30 (Paper-based)

Type: Review

Time, 22 February 1971, p. 52 (Paper-based)

Type: Review


Sharp Cut: Harold Pinter's Screenplays and the Artistic Process

Steven H. Gale, Harold Pinter's Screenplays and the Artistic Process (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2003)

Academic book

Contains chapters on each of Harold Pinter's filmed screenplays and includes a bibliography of reviews of films up to 1999.

BFI Profile