7.2/10
320
9 user 3 critic

The Bespoke Overcoat (1955)

Fender is a lowly clerk in the warehouse of clothing manufacturers Ranting and Co. His one ambition is to have an overcoat of his own. Refused one by the cold hearted Ranting he asks a ... See full summary »

Director:

Jack Clayton

Writers:

Wolf Mankowitz (by), Nikolay Gogol (suggested by a story of) (as Gogol) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

The Bespoke Overcoat (TV Short 1954)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The ghost of a poor warehouse clerk who died from the cold persuades a tailor to steal a coat.

Director: Eric Fawcett
Stars: Alfie Bass, David Kossoff, Alan Tilvern
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When their deeply religious mother dies, the seven Hook children bury her in the garden and continue life as normal. Then their absent father, Charlie, reappears...

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Margaret Leclere, Pamela Franklin
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An ambitious young accountant plots to wed a wealthy factory owner's daughter, despite falling in love with a married older woman.

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Laurence Harvey, Simone Signoret, Heather Sears
The Innocents (1961)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Screenwriter Jake Armitage (Peter Finch) and his wife Jo Armitage (Anne Bancroft) live in London with six of Jo's eight children, with the two eldest boys at boarding school. The children ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Anne Bancroft, Peter Finch, James Mason
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A middle-aged spinster falls in love with a fellow resident of her boardinghouse, who mistakenly believes she has the money to help him start a new business.

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Maggie Smith, Bob Hoskins, Wendy Hiller
T-Men (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two US Treasury agents hunt a successful counterfeiting ring.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Wallace Ford, Alfred Ryder
Sapphire (1959)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The murder of a young woman in London exposes deep racial tensions and prejudices inherent in the area.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Nigel Patrick, Yvonne Mitchell, Michael Craig
Ugetsu (1953)
Drama | Fantasy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyô, Kinuyo Tanaka
Animation | Short | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An old fisherman goes out on his fishing trip and makes a huge catch, the biggest of his life.

Director: Aleksandr Petrov
Stars: Gordon Pinsent, Kevin Duhaney, Yôji Matsuda
One Week (1920)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A newly wedded couple attempts to build a house with a prefabricated kit, unaware that a rival sabotaged the kit's component numbering.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Sybil Seely, Joe Roberts
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: Jack Clayton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
David Kossoff ... Morry
Alfie Bass ... Fender (Ghost)
Edit

Storyline

Fender is a lowly clerk in the warehouse of clothing manufacturers Ranting and Co. His one ambition is to have an overcoat of his own. Refused one by the cold hearted Ranting he asks a tailor friend, Morry, to make him one instead, but dies of cold before he can take delivery of it. Unwilling to give up his only desire even in death, he returns as a ghost to persuade Morry to steal him the overcoat he so coveted in life. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tailor | jewish | based on play | See All (3) »

Genres:

Short | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 1958 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Den skräddarsydda rocken See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

GBP5,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening credits: This film was awarded the Oscar by the Motion Picture Academy of America for the best short subject of 1956. It had previously received a similar award from the British Film Academy and a first prize at the Venice Film Festival. See more »

Connections

Version of The Bespoke Overcoat (1954) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Among the most memorable films I've ever seen.
7 February 2007 | by DudiousMaxSee all my reviews

The one and only time I saw "The Bespoke Overcoat" (TBO) was during the summer of 1957. I had gone into the Waverly Theater in N.Y., in Greenwich Village, to catch some AC and a double feature I was told by my trendy friends "not to miss." I can't remember what the other films were, but I haven't forgotten some of the visual details of TBO in nearly 50 years.

The film opened with a long, drawn-out, circular pan approach to a bed. The black and white film was grainy. A spotlight shone from above making a cone of light. Someone was singing the Aramaic chant for the dead. A man is on the bed. He is dead or dying. Another man is chanting the Kaddish over him. And this is the opening. I was riveted to my seat. My eyes were wide as if held open by some Lon Chaney contraption. My heart didn't break, yet, as it would when the story finally spun out. But, as a seventeen year old, I knew this was an artful film, that the cinematography alone was outstanding.

Then the "play" began, explaining how this man lived and died. I had sometime before read, or seen on TV, a dramatization of a Sholom Alechem short story about the world's most righteous man's death. That was set in heaven and all the angels, seraphim, cherubim, arch-angels, etc. were discussing what they ought do to mark the arrival of the world's most holy man. And when he came, this small, shy man, they badgered him with questions about what he might like: a performance by the heavenly band of musicians? a banquet? what? And he answered, "All I'd like might be a hot roll and a little butter. If it's not too much trouble."

So TBO was something like this other story. You couldn't say that the one influenced the other; but, they did have their similarities. Of course, being Russian in its origins, there were surreal elements to the visual setting of TBO. But these were less than I imagined when I got to read "The Overcoat" in a collection of Russian stories. In this film, "The Bespoke Overcoat," writer Wolf Mankowitz managed to incorporate elements of Gogol (its author), plus a little Sholom Alechem into the script, and director Jack Clayton put it all together in an unforgettable cinematic style that was so moving I've remembered it vividly since 1957, which makes it among the most memorable films I've ever seen. And today, 2007, I get misty remembering how little Fender endured his final agony.

I have searched for a place to purchase a copy of this film to no avail. My quest did lead me to the British Film Institute, or BFI, who seem to have the only known copy of the film. But they can not issue copies because they do not hold the copyright. The copyright is held by Granada. If IMDb can be cajoled into getting the permission from Granada, they might be able to make reasonably priced DVD copies of this film, one of the best short films ever. If you're reading this, you know what to do.

Max Dudious


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed