A lazy, irresponsible young clerk in provincial Northern England lives
in his own fantasy world and makes emotionally immature decisions as he
alienates friends and family.
John Schlesinger had previously worked with Keith Waterhouse and Willis
Hall on A Kind of Loving. Billy Liar, adapted from Waterhouse’s novel,
is the comedic counterpoint to that earlier film. It details attractive
dreamer Billy’s attempts to escape his humdrum existence, both through
his fantasies and in reality via his attempts at a relationship. Comedy
flows from the ever-larger lies Billy is forced to tell, as he weighs up
the possibility of escaping to forge a new life.