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Bartleby (2001)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Mystery | 10 March 2001 (USA)
Trailer
2:00 | Trailer
A clueless boss has no idea what to do with his mundane office worker whose refusal of duties only gets worse each passing minute.

Director:

Jonathan Parker

Writers:

Herman Melville (story "Bartleby the Scrivener"), Jonathan Parker (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Paymer ... The Boss
Crispin Glover ... Bartleby
Glenne Headly ... Vivian
Maury Chaykin ... Ernest
Joe Piscopo ... Rocky
Seymour Cassel ... Frank Waxman
Carrie Snodgress ... Book Publisher
Dick Martin ... The Mayor
Greta Danielle Newgren Greta Danielle Newgren ... Boss's Date
Ken Murakami ... Landlord
Josh Kornbluth ... Property Manager
Nick Scoggin Nick Scoggin ... Street Philosopher
Stoney Burke Stoney Burke ... Soup Kitchen Server
Terry Allen Jones Terry Allen Jones ... New Tenant
Stu Klitsner Stu Klitsner ... Professor Bum (as Stuart Klitsner)
Learn more

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Storyline

At a public records office, a seemingly normal boss has hired a new employee named Bartleby. Bartleby however, is eccentric and with each passing day, he begins to refuse his boss' orders which only gets worse. Eventually, the boss finds himself clueless as to what to do about Bartleby as he discovers even stranger things about him. Written by Mystic80

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I would prefer not to.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dick Martin's final acting performance. See more »

Goofs

When the boss's date is straddling him in his office, sometimes her hair is wrapped in a scarf and sometimes it's not. See more »

Quotes

Bartleby: I would prefer not to.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to Christina, Walter and Tricia See more »

Connections

Version of Bartleby ou Les hommes au rebut (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Phantasie #3 In D Minor
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Background music on piano by Nancy Spottiswoode
See more »

User Reviews

 
bad expansion of good short story
11 September 2003 | by rdoyle29See all my reviews

Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby the Scrivener" gets a slightly surreal update in this offbeat comedy drama. The manager (David Paymer) of the city records department in a mid-sized California community decides that his staff of three - flirty chatterbox Vivian (Glenne Headly), sloppy Vietnam vet Ernie (Maury Chaykin), and slick-suited, Don Juan wannabe Rocky (Joe Piscopo) - could use some help, so he places an ad looking for a new employee. The boss ends up hiring the one and only applicant who wants the position, a quiet, pale young man named Bartleby (Crispin Glover).

At first, Bartleby is a model of efficiency, but before long he loses enthusiasm for his job, much to the annoyance of his co-workers, and soon he's spending his days staring at an air conditioning vent. The Boss asks Bartleby to get back to work, but Bartleby's repeated reply to such requests is, "I prefer not to," and the Boss sees little recourse but to fire him.

However, Bartleby refuses to leave his desk, and it soon becomes obvious that Bartleby has not only stopped doing his work - he's stopped going home and has moved into the office. Bartleby was the first feature film for producer/director Parker. He also wrote the screenplay, in collaboration with Catherine Di Napoli.

There is really not enough material in Melville's story to warrant a feature length film. When "Bartleby" sticks to the text of the story it is interesting and fairly funny, but Parker is forced to add a lot of filler which is simply not very good. Worth a look, but in the end, a bit weak.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 March 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bartleby at the Office See more »

Filming Locations:

Novato, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,599, 27 May 2002

Gross USA:

$148,479

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$148,479
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Parker Film Company See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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