The Caretaker
The Caretaker

The Caretaker (1963)

The Caretaker

The Caretaker [film screenplay] (1962)

Budget (GBP) 0
Distribution Company

Caretaker Films   (Distributor | Est. Unknown)

Release Date 27 June 1963   Confidence Level  
Black and White Yes
Regional Release No
Release Notes West Germany June 1963 (Berlin International Film Festival);
USA 20 January 1964 (New York City, New York);
UK 13 March 1964 (London);
Denmark 23 April 1964;
Sweden 6 May 1964;
France 7 January 1966;
West Germany 6 January 1967;
Finland 22 March 1968;
Greece 13 October 2006 (Panorama of European Cinema).
Description The Caretaker is the 1963 film version of Pinter's 1960 play of the same name, adapted for the screen by Pinter. It was given the alternative title 'The Guest' in the U.S.A. In the film, an elderly tramp is taken in as a lodger by a vulnerable young man, whose cynical older brother is less than keen on the arrangement. A power struggle ensues, during which the three characters reveal uncomfortable truths about themselves. Adapting Pinter's play was first suggested by Clive Donner and Donald Pleasance after the play successfully moved from London to New York in 1960. Donner was initially unable to find a backer for the film but a private consortium, credited in the film as being Peter Bridge, Peter Cadbury, Charles Kasher, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Harry Saltzman, Peter Hall, Leslie Caron, Noël Coward and Peter Sellers, agreed to put up a minimum of £1000 each.
Language English

Linked Productions

The Caretaker (Premiere: Arts Theatre) (1960)


Linked People

Clive Donner (1926 - 2010)

Creative | Director

Harold Pinter (1930 - 2008)

Creative | Screenplay

Michael Birkett (1929 - 2015)

Production | Producer

Richard Burton (1925 - 1984)

Production | Associate Producer

Noël Coward (1899 - 1973)

Production | Associate Producer

Elizabeth Taylor (1932 - 2011)

Production | Associate Producer

Ron Grainer (1922 - 1981)

Creative | Music

Nicholas Roeg (1928 - 2018)

Creative | Cinematographer

Fergus McDonnell (1910 - 1984)

Creative | Film Editor

Reece Pemberton (1914 - 1977)

Creative | Art Director

Jill Carpenter

Creative | Makeup Artist

Claude Watson (1923 - 1968)

Production | Production Manager

Peter Price (1930 - 2015)

Creative | Assistant Director

Dick Frift (1919 - 1991)

Technical | Construction manager

Robert Allen (1925 - 2006)

Technical | Sound Recordist

Adrian Klein

Technical | Boom operator

Hugh Strain (1931 - 2011)

Technical | Dubbing mixer

Alex Thomson (1929 - 2007)

Technical | Camera operator

Simon Napier-Bell (1939)

Technical | Assistant editor

Maddalena Fagandini (1929 - 2012)

Creative | Electronic Music Composer

Lee Turner (1921 - 2003)

Production | Continuity

Ron Grainer (1922 - 1981)

Technical | Sound effects

Linked Organisations

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


Mick (Age: late twenties, Male)

Aston's brother

Performer: Alan Bates (1934 - 2003)

Aston (Age: early thirties, Male)

Mick's brother

Performer: Robert Shaw (1927 - 1978)

Man (The Caretaker - film) (Age: Not Specified, Male)

Performer: Harold Pinter (1930 - 2008)

Davies (Age: old, Male)

Described as 'an old man'

Performer: Donald Pleasence (1919 - 1995)

Linked Awards

Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear



Edinburgh Festival Certificate of Merit




Newsweek, 10 February 1964, p. 84 (Paper-based)

Type: Review

Observer (London), 15 March 1964, p. 24 (Paper-based)

Type: Review

'Rheum at the Top', Time, 24 January 1964, p. 52 (Paper-based)

Type: Review

Sunday Times (London), 15 March 1964, p. 33 (Paper-based)

Type: Review

Spectator, 20 March 1964, p. 381 (Paper-based)

Type: Review

Transcript of This Week In Britain No.199 'The Caretaker' (URL)

Type: Archival holding

External Link:

Publicly available transcript of This Week In Britain No.199 'The Caretaker', 1963.

John Coleman, 'The Road to Sidcup', New Statesman, 13 March 1964, p. 423 (Paper-based)

Type: Review

Arthur Knight, 'The Mechanics of Laughter', Saturday Review, 15 February 1964, p. 33 (URL)

Type: Review

External Link:

Online version of print review.

Archer Winsten, 'Reviewing Stand', New York Post, 21 January 1964, p. 44 (Paper-based)

Type: Review

Town, December 1963 (Paper-based)

Type: Review

Films and Filming, 4 January 1964, p. 24-25 (Paper-based)

Type: Review

New York Times, 12 January 1964, p. 51 (URL)

Type: Article

External Link:

Online version of print article.

This Week In Britain No.199 'The Caretaker', 1963 (URL)

Type: Documentary

External Link:

Ann Forsyth presents from the film location of The Caretaker in London. Includes information about the financial difficulties of the film and a brief on-set interview with Pinter.

Irving Wardle, ‘Deep in the Pinter Country’, The Observer, 16 December 1962, p. 10 (URL)

Type: Newspaper article

External Link:

Subscription required


BFI Screenonline


Film summary adapted from BFI Screenonline.

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.