Bartleby

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Released 1970

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Movie Summary

Director:
Jonathan Parker , Anthony Friedman
Released:
1970
Rating:
PG-13
Bartleby is a 2001 comedy about a young accounting clerk who decides to rebel against his employer. Initially, the manager of the department decides to hire this rebel, Bartleby (Crispin Glover), after noticing that his three current employees could use some help getting work done. At first, Bartleby sets a good example by getting his work done efficiently and earning his worth, however it does not take long before he loses enthusiasm for the job and begins to annoy his co-workers by simply stating he would "prefer" not to do his work. His repeated attempts at not doing his work creates more work for his fellow employees and soon the office is in a state of turmoil. The manager decides to fire Bartleby, but the employee cannot be moved from his desk which leads to a stint in a mental hospital. Bartleby is an adaption of the Herman Melville classic and was directed by Jonathan Parker.

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    Mr. Parker has brilliantly updated his source and grasped its essence, composing a sorrowful and hilarious tone poem about alienated labor, or an absurdist workplace sitcom, as if ...

  • 60

    Variety Joe Leydon

    Although closer in tone to "Office Space" than Herman Melville, Jonathan Parker's absurdist update of Bartleby is surprisingly faithful to the spirit, if not the letter, of the "Mo...

  • 40

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    It's not a bad idea, and it has the right cast and the right look. But, sad to say, it lacks the pace and energy to make it come alive and therefore remains more of a literary conc...

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    Categories

    Comedy, Drama

    Themes

    Classics