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The Dresser (1983)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  6 December 1983 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 3,446 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

The movie was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor for both Tom Courtenay and Albert Finney, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, but failed to win any Oscars. 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

Madge: No, I haven't been happy. Yes, it's been worth it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Nanny: The Honeymoon's Overboard (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Finney and Courtenay Work Wonders Together
8 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Dresser" is a small but absolutely wonderful film, brilliantly acted by Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay. How in the world this tiny film attracted enough attention to garner five major Academy Award nominations back in 1983 is a mystery to me, but it's nice to know the Academy can be guilty of a display of good taste every once in a while (of course, they gave the award that year to "Terms of Endearment"-- after all, they don't want to be accused of showing TOO much taste).

Albert Finney is a drunken Shakespearean actor in a production of "King Lear"; Tom Courtenay is the man who works double time behind the scenes to keep this actor in front of the footlights. It's both hilarious and piteous to see Courtenay's character showering Finney's with attention and affection, only to see his efforts utterly unappreciated and dismissed, even up to the very bitter end. Finney and Courtenay work wonders together, and though Finney gets the showiest moments (he does get to recite Shakespeare after all), Courtenay is the heart and soul of the film.

Grade: A


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