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) | 2 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
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
    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 | 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
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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Directors: Giacomo Bronzi, Nanni Montomoli
Stars: Giulia Gianni, Giacomo Bronzi, Nanni Montomoli
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
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When the leading lady of a low-budget musical revue sprains her ankle, the assistant stage manager is forced to understudy and perform in her place, becoming a star and finding love in the process.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Twiggy, Christopher Gable, Max Adrian
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
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 »


French Dressing Twist
Music by Brian Bennett
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

French Dressing is not cinematic salad
21 May 2002 | by (London) – See all my reviews

This has always been a weakness of mine: one of Ken Russell's earliest made-for-cinema efforts after a prestigious early career in TV documentaries. It stars one of my favourite minor British actors, James Booth, who went on to appear so memorably in 'Zulu' the year after, the late Roy Kinnear as a corpulent side kick, as well as the irreplaceable Bryan Pringle, as the corruptible and egoistical Mayor. The weaknesses, and charm, can be put down to its time and some of Russell's own uncertainties on a larger canvas: EG the awkward apeing of some Nouvelle Vague mannerisms for outside shots, and the varying tone - psrtly due to Russell's attempts to reconcile so many disparate elements. But to offset that, his surreal vision of a small English sea-side resort (Herne Bay), seeking to raise its cultural and tourist profile was (and remains) delightful to anyone who was familiar with the run down, determinedly unsexy reality at the time. Its a film a long way from the later Russell's variable excesses and, although sometimes awkward, is never heavy handed. He works well in black and white, maintaining a narrative interest and drive which only falters at the end, even if wide boy Booth is unable to project the warmth and passion his character's infatuation ultimately needs. This is one of those rare British films in which the imported continental talent - in this case, Marissa Mell (who plays 'Francoise Fayol', clearly modelled on Bardot) 'works' as a character - her exotic sexuality, so out of place in drab Gormley-on-Sea, is the point of a film that pointedly contrasts expectations, then results, throughout. And, as a view of small town municipal life, 'French Dressing' would bear some closer investigation by British critics than it has hitherto received. It's good too to see a falling out of opinions on IMDb's hallowed pages about this film - a sure sign that it is alive and kicking...

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: