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The Dresser (1983)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  6 December 1983 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 3,443 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
Edit

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
Edit

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the movie posters for the film featured a long preamble that read: Tom Courtenay is The Dresser. The wardrobe man devoted to the Star. Albert Finney is The Star. The actor devoted to himself. The story is about their friendship. The tears. The heartbreaks. The joys. The fears. The devotion. The dreams . . . What happens backstage is always pure drama. And often pure comedy". 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

Referenced in A Rather English Marriage (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Simply put: this is great film making.
27 September 1999 | by (Pa.) – See all my reviews



What more can you ask for? A great screenplay based on one of the finest plays of the latter half of the 20th century, two fine emotional performances by Courtney and Finney, a realistic vision of war time london, a great supporting cast. This film takes you on an emotional rollercoaster through humour, sadness, loss and fulfillment. if you are in the theatre it is even more effective. This is a true 10 on the rating scale !


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