Bartleby (2002)



Critic Consensus: Bartleby is a rather dull affair, stretched over a too-long running time.

Movie Info

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 … More

Rating: PG-13 (for some sexual content)
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Catherine DiNapoli, Jonathan Parker, Catherine di Napoli
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 16, 2002
Box Office: $60.3k
Parker Film Co - Official Site


David Paymer

as The Boss
Seymour Cassel

as Frank Waxman
Carrie Snodgress

as Book Publisher
Dick Martin

as The Mayor
Greta Danielle Newgren

as Narrator's Date
Stoney Burke

as Soup Kitchen Server
Ken Murakami

as Landlord
Josh Kornbluth

as Property Manager
Stuart Klitsner

as Genetics Professor
Nick Scoggin

as Street Philosopher
Pete Marvel

as Repairman
Karen Argoud-Morrisey

as Ricky's French Girlf...
Victoria Smith

as Rocky's Girlfriend N...
Catherine DiNapoli

as Rocky's Girlfriend N...
Louis Landman

as Police Officer
Robert Ernst

as Shut Up Man
James Carraway

as Fighting Vagrant
Tim Wiggins

as Fighting Vagrant
Howie Gordon

as Fighting Vagrant
Olivia Parker

as Little Girl in Donut...
Susan Renati

as Little Girl's Mother
Deanna Price

as Woman in Dumpster
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Bartleby

Critic Reviews for Bartleby

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (22)

What was subtle and mystifying in the novella is now broad and farcical.

August 16, 2002
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

An intriguing near-miss.

Full Review… | August 16, 2002
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Except for Paymer as the boss who ultimately expresses empathy for Bartleby's pain, the performances are so stylized as to be drained of human emotion.

August 16, 2002
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

The movie, like Bartleby, is something of a stiff -- an extra-dry office comedy that seems twice as long as its 83 minutes.

Full Review… | August 16, 2002
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

A much more successful translation than its most famous previous film adaptation, writer-director Anthony Friedman's similarly updated 1970 British production.

Full Review… | August 16, 2002
Top Critic

This is a shrewd and effective film from a director who understands how to create and sustain a mood.

Full Review… | August 16, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Bartleby

There are no featured audience reviews yet. Click the link below to see what others say about Bartleby!

There are no audience reviews yet. Hurry, submit your review so you can be first!

Bartleby Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Bartleby on our Movie forum!