(1963)3Craig ButlerViewers with claustrophobia may want to approach The Caretaker with caution, as this very solid adaptation of the famous Harold Pinter play is so "closed in" as to create real discomfort -- and that's just the way it should be, for the claustrophobic tendencies of the film give it a visceral power that's hard to shake. Pinter, of course, is famous for being obscure and hard to decipher, preferring to create characters, atmosphere, situation, and tension which all have a meaning -- but a meaning that is not necessarily clear to the audience. Some viewers will find this unbearably frustrating and ultimately annoying, but others will be intrigued and quite happy to fill in the blanks as they wish. Whatever one's feelings, it's hard to deny the intensity of the piece, and there are some delicious moments of black humor to be savored. The tiny cast is superb, with all three of the actors clearly in total command of their characters and creating finely etched portraits that make it clear that the actors, at least, clearly understand these characters down to their very souls. Clive Donner directs sparingly and precisely with the end result a picture that is not for everyone but that will be an intense experience for those who appreciate it.