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The Dresser (1983)

PG | | Drama | 6 December 1983 (USA)
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2:38 | Trailer

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Personal Assistant Norman (Sir Tom Courtenay) of deteriorating veteran actor Sir (Albert Finney) struggles to get him through a difficult performance of King Lear.

Director:

Peter Yates

Writers:

Ronald Harwood (screenplay), Ronald Harwood (based on a play by)
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Betty Marsden ... Violet Manning
Sheila Reid ... Lydia Gibson
Lockwood West Lockwood West ... Geoffrey Thornton
Donald Eccles ... Mr. Godstone
Llewellyn Rees Llewellyn Rees ... Horace Brown
Guy Manning Guy Manning ... Benton
Anne Blackman Anne Blackman ... Beryl (as Anne Mannion)
Kevin Stoney ... C. Rivers Lane
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Storyline

In a touring Shakespearean theater group, a backstage hand, the dresser, Norman (Sir Tom Courtenay), is devoted to the brilliant but tyrannical head of the company. He struggles to support deteriorating star Sir (Albert Finney) 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:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 December 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El vestidor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP1,456,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,310,748

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,310,748
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of six movies made for the Sony owned Columbia Pictures/Tri-Star Pictures studios that were directed by Peter Yates. The others include Krull (1983), Suspect (1987), The Deep (1977), For Pete's Sake (1974), and The Run of the Country (1995), with the latter Yates also producing. 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 »


Soundtracks

God Save the King
Music attributed to Henry Carey
Played by the theatre orchestra and sung by the theatre audience
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant and illuminating and moving
5 September 2005 | by jcameraSee all my reviews

Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay are brilliant as Sir and his Dresser. Of course the play is brilliant to begin with and nothing can compare with the immediacy and collegiality of theatre, and I think you listen better in theatre; but on the screen we become more intimate, we're 'up-close' more than we are in the theatre, we witness subtle changes in expression, we "see" better as well as listen. Both the play and the movie are wondrous: moving, intelligent, illuminating--of the backstage story of the company, of historical context, of the two main characters, and of the parallel characters in "Lear" itself. If you cannot get to see it in a theatre (I don't imagine it's produced much these days) then, please, do yourself a favor, and get the video.


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