This faithful-in-spirit adaptation of Melville's Thoreauesque drama is about a man who has reached the end of his tether and just can't go on with the rigors of life. Whereas Melville's story takes place at the turn-of-the-century on Wall Street, director Anthony Friedmann transposes the story to 1960s London where automation has further displaced humanity. Paul Scofield plays Bartleby's accountant employer, who is nonplused to hear Bartleby say "I prefer not to" when asked to go over the books. The immediate problem is that the Accountant's role as boss is on the line, but the deeper and more disturbing implication is that he has unwittingly become Bartleby's lifeline. "He's not my Bartleby" the Accountant tells the Landlord, who is stuck with Bartleby when he won't vacate the Accountant's former premises, then watches as Bartleby is forcibly removed to the Sanatorium. The crux of the story is that even though Scofield has rid himself of Bartleby, he can't rid himself of the notion that he is responsible for his fate, which poses the fundamental question: are we responsible for the fate of our fellow man? He visits Bartleby at the Sanatorium and can't help but continue to look in on him. He is stunned to discover, on his last visit, that Bartleby has died and ponders that somehow a more caring society might have saved him. Hal Erickson of AMG's All Movie Guide provides a great comment on this film, "Some find this British adaptation of the Melville original exasperatingly slow and mannered; but given the curious nature of the protagonist, how could the story have been told otherwise?" New Upgraded Quality Digital Master | Directed by Anthony Friedmann | Starring Paul Scofield, John McEnery, Thorley Walters, Hope Jackman | Color | 1970 | 78 min.