IMDb > The Dresser (1983)
The Dresser
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The Dresser (1983) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

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7.6/10   3,089 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Ronald Harwood (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Dresser on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 December 1983 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
What happens backstage is always true drama. And often pure comedy.
Plot:
An effeminate personal assistant of a deteriorating veteran actor struggles to get him through a difficult performance of King Lear. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 12 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A delightful depiction of the acting world See more (34 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Albert Finney ... Sir

Tom Courtenay ... Norman

Edward Fox ... Oxenby
Zena Walker ... Her Ladyship

Eileen Atkins ... Madge

Michael Gough ... Frank Carrington
Cathryn Harrison ... Irene
Betty Marsden ... Violet Manning
Sheila Reid ... Lydia Gibson
Lockwood West ... Geoffrey Thornton
Donald Eccles ... Mr. Godstone
Llewellyn Rees ... Horace Brown
Guy Manning ... Benton
Anne Blackman ... Beryl (as Anne Mannion)
Kevin Stoney ... C. Rivers Lane
Ann Way ... Miss White
John Sharp ... Mr. Bottomley
Kathy Staff ... Bombazine Woman
Roger Avon ... Charles
Christopher Irvin ... Evelyn the Airman
Stuart Richman ... Evelyn's Friend
Sandra Gough ... Actress on Station
Joe Belcher ... Arthur
Johnny Maxfield ... Electrician
Paul Luty ... Stallkeeper
Lori Wells ... Barmaid
Alan Starkey ... Train Guard
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ralph Morse ... Man at Station

Directed by
Peter Yates 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ronald Harwood  screenplay

Produced by
Ronald Harwood .... producer
Nigel Wooll .... associate producer
Peter Yates .... producer
 
Original Music by
James Horner 
 
Cinematography by
Kelvin Pike (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Ray Lovejoy 
 
Casting by
Noel Davis 
 
Production Design by
Stephen B. Grimes  (as Stephen Grimes)
 
Art Direction by
Colin Grimes 
 
Set Decoration by
Josie MacAvin 
 
Costume Design by
Rosemary Burrows 
 
Makeup Department
Alan Boyle .... makeup artist
Alan Brownie .... makeup assistant
Barbara Ritchie .... hair stylist
Joan White .... hair stylist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tony Aherne .... third assistant director
Andy Armstrong .... first assistant director
Christopher Figg .... second assistant director
Asad Qureshi .... third assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
John Chisholm .... property master
Geoff Langley .... construction manager
Grahame Ménage .... scenic artist
Terry Perks .... stand-by props
Jill Quertier .... property buyer
Rosalind Shingleton .... draughtsperson
Micky Swift .... stand-by props
Duncan Guest .... carpenter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
John Chandler .... boom operator
John Hayward .... dubbing mixer
Stephen Janisz .... assistant dubbing editor
David John .... sound mixer
Matthew Launay .... sound maintenance
Peter Pennell .... sound editor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Frank Batt .... camera grip
Gordon Gowing .... best boy
Dewi Humphreys .... camera operator
Paul Kenward .... assistant camera
Barry Peake .... still photographer
Peter Robinson .... camera focus
Freddie Webster .... gaffer
 
Casting Department
Dorothy Andrew .... crowd casting (as Dorothy Andrews)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Rosemary Burrows .... wardrobe supervisor
Eve Faloon .... wardrobe assistant
Ken Lawton .... wardrobe assistant
 
Editorial Department
Helen Eley .... second assistant editor
Gordon Stainforth .... assistant film editor
Toby Yates .... editor trainee
 
Music Department
Eric Tomlinson .... music recording engineer
James Horner .... conductor (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Garry Clark .... unit driver
 
Other crew
Virginia Ashton .... secretary to producer
Simon Finney .... unit runner
Carl S. Griffin .... assistant accountant
Joy Helman .... publicist
Jak King .... production accountant
Michael John Knatchbull .... location manager
Rachel Neale .... production coordinator
Caroline Sax .... continuity
 
Thanks
Paul Andrews .... the producers would also like to thank The Alhambra Theatre Manager for their assistance during the making of this picture
Fred Wade .... the producers would also like to thank the stage crew under the supervision of, for their assistance during the making of this picture
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
118 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Rankcolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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:
Anachronisms: 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:Keep your teeth in!
Geoffrey:It's only when I'm nervous
Sir:You will be nervous. I guarantee it.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited into The Clock (2010)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
A delightful depiction of the acting world, 21 August 2010
Author: Terrell Howell (KnightsofNi11) from United States

What happens backstage is always true drama. And often pure comedy. Such is the case of The Dresser, a film about an effeminate wardrobe man who is devoted to the deteriorating lead of the acting troupe he travels with. The film takes place in one night about a particularly difficult performance of William Shakespeare's King Lear. Albert Finney plays Sir, the lead role of the performance. He is in no condition to perform such a difficult role, yet he perseveres anyways with the help of his Dresser, Norman (Tom Courtenay). The two powerful leads are the highlight of this beautiful film.

The Dresser is what acting is all about. It is an intriguing blend of film acting and stage acting. Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay give exquisite and robust performances. Their conflicting personalities make them a delightful pair to watch interact. The acting in this film has the kind of prowess and impact of a stage performance with its loud and exaggerated movements. This kind of acting only works in certain settings, and The Dresser is a perfect example of where it not only works but is very necessary. It allows for a detachment from reality, drawing one into the theatrical world, something which stands out in such a unique and perplexing way.

Peter Yates directs this film with precise and aesthetically glamorous grandeur. It is a grand film that doesn't go too far out of line and never gets lost in itself. Yates directs with a keen eye for subtle detail and sparkling brilliance. The film is written with the same kind of subdued wit and beauty, making the film fit together nicely. The dialouge is great and the actors who deliver it bring so much life to the characters and script that it makes for a brilliant expose of the acting world.

The Dresser is a great film that accomplishes beauty and immersion without an immaculate setting. The film is subtly fantastic. Definitely check this one out.

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