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The Dresser (1983)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  6 December 1983 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 3,424 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 19 critic

An effeminate personal assistant of a deteriorating veteran actor struggles to get him through a difficult performance of King Lear.

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Title: The Dresser (1983)

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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The Dresser (TV Movie 2015)
Drama

A drama, based on a successful play, about an ageing actor and his personal assistant.

Director: Richard Eyre
Stars: Ian McKellen, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Watson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sir
...
...
Zena Walker ...
...
...
Cathryn Harrison ...
Betty Marsden ...
Violet Manning
Sheila Reid ...
Lydia Gibson
Lockwood West ...
Donald Eccles ...
Mr. Godstone
Llewellyn Rees ...
Horace Brown
Guy Manning ...
Benton
Anne Blackman ...
Beryl (as Anne Mannion)
Kevin Stoney ...
C. Rivers Lane
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Storyline

In a touring Shakespearean theater group, a backstage hand - the dresser, is devoted to the brilliant but tyrannical head of the company. He struggles to support the deteriorating star as the company struggles to carry on during the London blitz. The pathos of his backstage efforts rival the pathos in the story of Lear and the Fool that is being presented on-stage, as the situation comes to a crisis. Written by xenophil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What happens backstage is always true drama. And often pure comedy.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 December 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El vestidor  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ronald Harwood based his play "The Dresser" (and this film's subsequent screenplay) and the biography "Sir Donald Wolfit CBE: His life and work in the Unfashionable Theatre" on his experiences as an actor and dresser for renowned Shakespearian actor Donald Wolfit and his Shakespeare Company. Harwood was Wolfit's dresser between 1953 and 1958. See more »

Goofs

After Sir and Norman leave the marketplace, they're passed by a Routemaster bus. These buses were first used in London in 1954, and weren't used outside London until the 1970's. See more »

Quotes

Norman: We all have our little sorrows, ducky; you're not the only one.And the littler you are, the larger the sorrow.You think you love him. What about me?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The King of Queens: Taste Buds (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant and illuminating and moving
5 September 2005 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay are brilliant as Sir and his Dresser. Of course the play is brilliant to begin with and nothing can compare with the immediacy and collegiality of theatre, and I think you listen better in theatre; but on the screen we become more intimate, we're 'up-close' more than we are in the theatre, we witness subtle changes in expression, we "see" better as well as listen. Both the play and the movie are wondrous: moving, intelligent, illuminating--of the backstage story of the company, of historical context, of the two main characters, and of the parallel characters in "Lear" itself. If you cannot get to see it in a theatre (I don't imagine it's produced much these days) then, please, do yourself a favor, and get the video.


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