6.4/10
126
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.

Director:

(as Kenneth Russell)

Writers:

(screenplay), (original screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The assistant stage manager of a small-time theatrical company (Polly Browne) is forced to understudy for the leading lady (Rita) at a matinée performance at which an illustrious Hollywood ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Twiggy, Christopher Gable, Max Adrian
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
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
Lisztomania (1975)
Biography | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Composer and pianist Franz Liszt attempts to overcome his hedonistic lifestyle while repeatedly being drawn back into it by the many women in his life and fellow composer Richard Wagner.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Roger Daltrey, Sara Kestelman, Paul Nicholas
Mahler (1974)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Composer Gustav Mahler's life, told in a series of flashbacks as he and his wife discuss their failing marriage during a train journey.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Robert Powell, Georgina Hale, Lee Montague
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
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A former British spy stumbles into in a plot to overthrow Communism with the help of a supercomputer. But who is working for whom?

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Michael Caine, Karl Malden, Ed Begley
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
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Late on Guy Fawkes Day, 1892, Oscar Wilde arrives at a high-class brothel where a surprise awaits: a staging of his play "Salome," with parts played by prostitutes, Wilde's host, his lover ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Glenda Jackson, Stratford Johns, Nickolas Grace
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
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

A series of erotic short films, all with similar unexpected endings.

Directors: Bob Rafelson, Ken Russell, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Sharon Angela, Richard Barboza, Hetty Baynes
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
James Booth ...
Jim Stephens
...
Henry Liggott
...
Françoise Fayol
Alita Naughton ...
Judy
Bryan Pringle ...
The Mayor
Robert Robinson ...
Himself
Germaine Delbat ...
French woman
Norman Pitt ...
Westbourne Mayor
Henry McCarty ...
Bridgemouth Mayor
Sandor Elès ...
Vladek
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Starlet
Edit

Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

April 1964 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Abbigliamento francese  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Original Workprint)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

A number of writers worked on the script, which was constantly being rewritten during the making of the film. When the TV presenter Robert Robinson agreed to play himself in a brief cameo, he told Ken Russell he would have to write his own lines as he wasn't an actor. Russell agreed and added that he could also rewrite everyone else's lines if he felt like it. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(uncredited)
Music by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Charming, but with an old fashioned moral in tow
26 May 2003 | by (Mitcham, Surrey, UK) – See all my reviews

It's disappointing that this film is so little known, even among 60s British film buffs. (I was surprised that Robert Murphy was so dismissive of it.) I set my VCR to record this one (it was on at some ungodly hour in the middle of the night), and watched it the next evening. It was only on re-watching it that I realized that it was directed by Ken Russell, and this surprised me, since it didn't really strike me as his style at all.

I can't understand why one of your reviewers disliked it so much that they had to post two condemnations of it. I found it utterly charming. The comical Mayor, his strange Council, their French counterparts and the bath-chair oldies are just the background against which Jim and Judy's faltering romance plays itself out. I loved the bit where Judy roller-skates in slow motion at the fancy-dress party, and I love the way this is cleverly reprised (with lovely music) towards the end of the film, when Jim realizes his mistake in neglecting Judy and pursuing the sexy but flighty Francoise Fayol.

It's a comedy, but there are some very poignant moments in it. (The scene in the boat underneath the pier, for example.) There are some funny lines, as well (it's not all slapstick), and it's amazing how much incident Ken Russell manages to pack in, considering that this isn't a very long film. I'd love to have the music on CD, as well!

Like a lot of films of the early and mid 60's (I'm thinking of films like Darling, Georgy Girl and Alfie), French Dressing has quite an old fashioned moral in tow. Men lust after girls like Francoise Fayol, but they settle down with girls like Judy (if they're lucky, because she's got brains as well as being cute).

Jim isn't always very PC (well, I suppose it was forty years ago!), but it's obvious that he really loves Judy at the end. It's also quite touching how good a friend Henry (played by Roy Kinnear) is to both Jim and Judy.

I liked this film a lot, and I'd like to see it on the big screen. The next time they have a Russell retrospective, I hope they show it!


11 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss French Dressing (1964) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?