The American Film Theatre Collection is an exceptional series of feature films based on some of the most celebrated plays of the 20th Century. Brainchild of Hollywood producer Ely Landau, the aim was to combine the excitement of live theatre with the accessibility and visual possibilities of film. Featuring towering performances, outstanding direction and exceptional writing, this collection is a superb archive of contemporary drama masterfully transferred to the silver screen and largely unseen for 30 years. Butley tells the story of a day in the life of university don Ben Butley (Alan Bates). Unfortunately for him, it is the day on which his life falls apart. Ben is a man full of energy he doesn't know what to do with. He's lost a grip on what gives his life purpose, he's not sure that teaching is of any use or that he's even meant to be a teacher anymore... and he's feasting off the dregs of his relationships.