6.5/10
120
7 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
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
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
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
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
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
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 | 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
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
Gothic (1986)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The Shelleys visit Lord Byron and compete to write a horror story.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Julian Sands, Natasha Richardson
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

On 22nd August 2008 after completion of the film 45 years ago, Ken Russell returned to Herne Bay to introduce a special one night outdoor screening of French Dressing in the Memorial Park as part of the Herne Bay Festival 2008. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

By the Side of the Zuyder Zee
(uncredited)
Music by Bennett Scott
Lyrics by A.J. Mills
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 7 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:
?