IMDb > The Dressmaker (1988)

The Dressmaker (1988) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Beryl Bainbridge (novel)
John McGrath (writer)
View company contact information for The Dressmaker on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 October 1989 (Australia) See more »
In England during World War II, a repressed dressmaker and her sister struggle looking after their 17-year-old niece, who is having a delusional affair with an American soldier. | Add synopsis »
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
austere wartime drama with a strong cast See more (1 total) »


  (in credits order)

Joan Plowright ... Nellie

Billie Whitelaw ... Margo

Pete Postlethwaite ... Jack (as Peter Postlethwaite)

Jane Horrocks ... Rita

Tim Ransom ... Wesley

Pippa Hinchley ... Val
Rosemary Martin ... Mrs. Manders

Tony Haygarth ... Mr. Manders

Michael James Reed ... Chuck (as Michael James-Reed)

Sam Douglas ... Cpl. Zawadski
Bert Parnaby ... Mr. Barnes

Lorraine Ashbourne ... Factory Girl
Mandy Walsh ... Factory Girl
Margi Clarke ... Shopwoman
Andrew Moorcroft ... Butcher's Boy
Marie Jelliman ... Mrs. O'Toole
Rita Howard ... Producer

Pamela Austin ... Singer
Gerry White ... Singer
Dorothy Dearnley ... Pianist
Anthony Benson ... Terrence
Al T. Kossy ... Mr. Betts (as Al Kossy)
Val Elliott ... Secretary
Mandy Humphrey ... Party Guest
Jayne Male ... Party Guest
Bradley Lavelle ... Party Guest
Andrew Woodman ... Party Guest

Freda Kelly ... Woman in Doorway
Terry Canning ... Man in Doorway
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Gardiner ... Kissing Soldier

Directed by
Jim O'Brien 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Beryl Bainbridge  novel
John McGrath  writer

Produced by
Steve Clark-Hall .... associate producer
John McGrath .... executive producer
Ronald Shedlo .... producer
Original Music by
George Fenton 
Cinematography by
Michael Coulter 
Film Editing by
William Diver 
Casting by
Priscilla John 
Production Design by
Caroline Amies 
Art Direction by
Chris Townsend 
Costume Design by
Judy Moorcroft 
Makeup Department
Kezia De Winne .... makeup artist
Karen Z.M. Turner .... makeup artist (as Karen Turner)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Patrick Kinney .... second assistant director
Nick Laws .... third assistant director
Gary White .... first assistant director
Art Department
Alan Bailey .... property master
John Bailey .... dressing prop
Sophie Becher .... art department assistant
Alastair Gow .... construction manager
David Hamilton .... construction crew
Ken Hawkey .... stand-by construction crew
Danny Hunter .... stand-by prop
Mickey Hunter .... property chargehand (as Micky Hunter)
Josh Jones .... stagehand
George Malin .... dressing prop
Penny McDonald .... hand-printer/painter of wallpaper (as Penny Beard)
Susan McLenachan .... construction crew
Brian Mitchell .... construction crew
Con Murphy .... stand-by construction crew
Ben Pulsford .... construction crew
Marcus Spriggs .... art department trainee
Shirley Spriggs .... production buyer
Robin Thistlewaite .... construction crew
Tommy Westbrook .... stand-by construction crew
Sound Department
Gary Desmond .... sound trainee
Peter Joly .... dubbing editor
Sandy MacRae .... sound recordist
Peter Maxwell .... dubbing mixer
Andrew Melhuish .... assistant dubbing editor
Gary Weir .... boom operator
Steve Hancock .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
Tom Delmar .... stunts
Jim Dowdall .... stunt coordinator
Tom Lucy .... stunts
Wayne Michaels .... stunts
Gareth Milne .... stunts
Nick Powell .... stunts
Trevor Steedman .... stunts
Mark Stewart .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
David Atkinson .... camera loader
Frank Connor .... still photographer
Alan Martin .... gaffer
John Maskall .... camera operator
Dave McWhinney .... electrician (as Dave McWhinnie)
Dave Moore .... best boy
Nick Pearson .... grip
Bill Pochetty .... electrician (as Billy Pochetty)
Kay Sheridan .... camera department trainee
Martin Testar .... focus puller
Casting Department
Mary Colquhoun .... casting: USA
Brendan Donnison .... adr casting
Barbara Hudson .... casting secretary
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Keith Morton .... wardrobe master
Sue Wain .... wardrobe mistress
Editorial Department
Nicola Black .... second assistant editor
Alex Mackie .... first assistant editor
Location Management
Bill Clark .... location assistant
Brian Donovan .... location manager
Other crew
Susan Barrett .... researcher
Susie Brown .... assistant to executive producer
Andrea Calderwood .... production trainee
Jan Deakin .... production secretary
Laura Goulding .... production department trainee
Isobel Hurll .... choreographer
Carolyn Jardine .... publicist
Trevor Kaye .... floor runner
Susan Long .... accounting assistant
Shahana Meer .... production secretary
Sheila Fraser Milne .... production assistant
Gail Samuelson .... production coordinator
Joan Washington .... dialect coach
Angela Wharton .... script supervisor (as Angela Noakes)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Brazil:90 min | USA:92 min
Sound Mix:

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Red Sails In The SunsetSee more »


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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
austere wartime drama with a strong cast, 15 November 2010
Author: Michael Neumann from United States

Two elderly, overprotective sisters in wartime Liverpool are caught in the flux of uncertain times in this subdued but potent drama, adapted from a novel by Beryl Bainbridge. Billie Whitelaw is the more lively and outgoing Margo, while the stern and taciturn Nellie (Joan Plowright) mourns the erosion of traditional values since the onset of the war. In between them is their orphaned teenage niece, a sheltered, plain-looking girl whose naive attachment to an undeserving American GI leads to unexpected tragedy. The outline suggests a more or less routine coming-of-age melodrama, but the relationship between the two elder sisters is more compelling than the troubled teen romance, if only because the role of Wesley (the American soldier) is less a flesh and blood character than a symbol of anti-Yankee sentiment. Director Jim O'Brien paints a convincing portrait of working class England but otherwise keeps a low profile, letting his actors carry the film (a wise decision, with this cast) and maintaining a not incompatible mood of repressed sexual tension and bittersweet nostalgia (more bitter than sweet).

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