8 user 3 critic

French Dressing (1964)

A drab little English seaside town tries to improve its image - and increase its revenues - by holding a film festival. When a famous continental star agrees to attend, things get out of hand.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Rock star Roddy Usher's wife is murdered and Rod is sent to a lunatic asylum in this gothic-comedy-horror-musical.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: James Johnston, Lisi Tribble, Marie Findley
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Doctors Burke and Hare leave the confines of St Swithins for the world of general practice, stopping off on the way as patients at the Foulness Anti-cold Unit. Hare then takes up a position... See full summary »

Director: Ralph Thomas
Stars: Michael Craig, Virginia Maskell, Leslie Phillips
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Biographical film of the life of French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Dorothy Tutin, Scott Antony, Helen Mirren
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Tom Sharky is demoted to vice after a bust goes terribly wrong. He and his team stumble across a mob murder tied to prostitution and government.

Director: Burt Reynolds
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Rachel Ward, Vittorio Gassman
Hustle (1975)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

At the instigation of a grieving father, a Los Angeles cop investigates the suspicious circumstances of a girl's apparent suicide.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Catherine Deneuve, Ben Johnson
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

On a routine flight from Hong-Kong to Japan, a British military transport aircraft's fate may or may not depend on a prophetic nightmare.

Director: Leslie Norman
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Sheila Sim, Alexander Knox
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Piano teacher Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky struggles against his homosexuality by marrying, but unfortunately he chooses a nymphomaniac whom he cannot satisfy.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Glenda Jackson, Max Adrian
Mindbender (TV Movie 1996)
Biography | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

Mindbender is the story of Uri Geller, probably the world's most famous psychic. The film shows his rise to fame from small shows in the middle east where he amazed audiences with his ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Ishai Golan, Terence Stamp, Idan Alterman
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Directors: Giacomo Bronzi, Nanni Montomoli
Stars: Giulia Gianni, Giacomo Bronzi, Nanni Montomoli
The Rainbow (1989)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young woman deals in her own personal way with the trials of adolescence and young adulthood in early 1900s England.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Sammi Davis, Amanda Donohoe, Paul McGann
Valentino (1977)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In 1926 the tragic and untimely death of a silent screen actor caused female moviegoers to riot in the streets and in some cases to commit suicide - that actor was Rudolph Valentino. ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Rudolf Nureyev, Leslie Caron, Michelle Phillips
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A reformed forger runs into an acquaintance from his past, now an escaped murderer, who blackmails him into resuming his criminal career.

Director: Montgomery Tully
Stars: Zachary Scott, Peggie Castle, Mervyn Johns


Cast overview:
James Booth ...
Jim Stephens
Henry Liggott
Françoise Fayol
Alita Naughton ...
Bryan Pringle ...
The Mayor
Robert Robinson ...
Robert Robinson
Germaine Delbat ...
Norman Pitt ...
Westbourne Mayor
Henry McCarty ...
Bridgmouth Mayor


A drab little English seaside town tries to improve its image - and increase its revenues - by holding a film festival. When a famous continental star agrees to attend, things get out of hand.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


See all certifications »




Release Date:

April 1964 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Abbigliamento francese  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Original Workprint)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The producer Kenneth Harper screened the completed film for his close friend Jacques Tati who loved the first 5 minutes but hated the rest. Ken had originally envisaged the film to combine the style of Tati with the new wave of Brigitte Bardot but set within a British seaside resort. See more »


Referenced in Having a Wild Weekend (1965) See more »


Mademoiselle From Armentieres
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Ahead of its time - but with close affinities to Cliff Richard.
10 April 2003 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This is certainly a slickly made movie. Beautifully filmed and edited, it's easy on the eye, and Georges Delerue's score makes it equally easy on the ear.

It's also a little-known movie, even though Ken Russell was for many years a high profile director. (Sadly, his star is no longer in the ascendant).

Other commentators, and heaven knows they are few in number, have failed to draw attention to the obvious connections with the two most famous Cliff Richard movies, "The Young Ones" (1961) and "Summer Holiday" (1962). Kenneth Harper, the producer of "French Dressing", also produced these movies (Russell was invited to direct "Summer Holiday" and declined), and Ronald Cass and Peter Myers are also Cliff hold-overs.

You don't need to be a genius to see the connection between the seaside brass band (in the rain) that ushers in (in black and white) the opening credits for "Summer Holiday" and their counterpart in "French Dressing" (a sort of wordless Greek chorus of oldies, anticipating the verbal Greek chorus of oldies in Richard Lester's "The Knack" (1965), silenced by Alita Naughton's transistor radio).

You also don't need to be a genius to see the femme-fatale as interloper motif from "The Young Ones" (with accompanying jealousy, ultimately unfounded, on the part of the regular girlfriend), reincarnated as Francoise Fayol, or the boy-who-is-really-a-girl (Laurie Peters in "Summer Holiday" - an American - and Alita Naughton when not "dressed as a girl" - also American).

Cliff Richard's continuing celebrity in Britain ensures that his movies (which are actually very good) remain in currency. "French Dressing" is a beautifully made near-miss. It's actually somewhat ahead of its time, which may, strangely enough, have retarded its progress. It certainly deserves to be better known, and in this, its fortieth anniversary year, we should surely be treated to a de luxe DVD, complete with director's commentary, as we already have with the closely related Cliff Richard movies. I somehow doubt, most regrettably, that we shall.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: