7.7/10
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35 user 20 critic

The Dresser (1983)

PG | | Drama | 6 December 1983 (USA)
An effeminate personal assistant of a deteriorating veteran actor struggles to get him through a difficult performance of King Lear.

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sir
...
...
Zena Walker ...
...
...
...
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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An impeccable cast of leading featured players completes the acting credits, including Lockwood West', 'Betty Marsden', 'Sheila Reid', Llewellyn Rees, Donald Eccles, Guy Manning, Kevin Stoney, John Sharp, Kathy Staff, Joe Ritchie, Ann Way, Sydney Arnold, and Anne Blackman (as Anne Hannion). 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

Sir: There are thousands of children all over this beloved land of ours, scavenging the larders for something sweet. If only they came to me, I could tell them of the one person in England who has an inexhaustible supply of chocolate. It is I who have to carry her on, dead, as Cordelia. It is I who have to lift her up in my arms. Thank Christ, I thought, for rationing. But no, she'd find sugar in a sand dune!
See more »

Connections

Edited into The Clock (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

(We're Going To Hang Out) The Washing the Siegfried Line
(uncredited)
Music by Michael Carr
Lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy
Sung by Tom Courtenay (as Norman)
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User Reviews

 
Simply Stated: Terrific. Courtney and Finney shine.
22 October 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film has its detractors, and Courtney's fey dresser may offend some folks (who, frankly, need a good smack upside the head) -- but the film is top notch in every way: engaging, poignant, relevant. Finney, naturally, is larger than life. Courtney makes an ideal foil. I thought the performances to be terribly strong in both leads, and Courtney's character provides plenty of dark humor. The period is well captured, the supporting cast well chosen. This is to be seen and savored like a fine cordial. I only wish it were out on DVD already...(*sigh*)...


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