The Admirable Crichton is a play written in 1902 by J. M. Barrie. Barrie took the title from the sobriquet of a fellow Scot, the polymath James Crichton.
A 1957 film adaptation starred Kenneth More, Sally Ann Howes and Cecil Parker. The play was also filmed in two more remote forms: the 1919 Cecil B. De Mille silent "Male and Female," and the 1934 "We're Not Dressing," a Bing Crosby vehicle.
The title character is the butler to Lord Loam, a British peer. Loam considers the class divisions in British society to be artificial, but Crichton considers them "the natural outcome of a civilised society".
When Loam, his family, and Crichton are stranded on a deserted island Crichton is the only one of the party with any practical knowledge, and he assumes, initially with reluctance, the position of leader. His social betters refuse to accept this state of affairs, but are driven to acquiescence by the practicalities of their situation. Crichton sets himself up in his new position with the trappings and privileges of power, just as his master had done back in Britain. When the party is eventually rescued, Crichton voluntarily returns to the status of butler.
Although the play deals with serious and then controversial class issues, it does little to seriously challenge the status quo.