Robert Shaw and “The Birthday Party” You’ll Never Forget

Hitting Blu-ray and DVD from KL Studio Classics on September 5th, The Birthday Party is a captivating dark comedy based on the play by Harold Pinter Robert Shaw stars as Stanley Webber, a piano player living at a rundown British seaside resort. After his landlady (Dandy Nichols) holds a joyless birthday party for him, two unexpected guests (Sidney Tafler, Patrick Magee) appear, with only Stanley knowing who they are and why they’re there. What follows is a birthday celebration that is more akin to a nightmare than a joyous occasion. (The air of menace that flows throughout the picture shows flashes of future greatness from director William Friedkin — who would go on to helm The Exorcist five years later). So while not the most joyful bash, The Birthday Party is an examination of the complicated interactions that define our daily lives that is most definitely worth RSVPing to.