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The Dresser
The Dresser
Actors: Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, Edward Fox, Zena Walker, Eileen Atkins
Director: Peter Yates
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
PG     2004     1hr 58min

Albert Finney stars as the head of a Shakespearean acting troupe touring Europe during World War II. A senile drunk, Finney is looked after by his dresser, Tom Courtenay. The film details their close and touching relations...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, Edward Fox, Zena Walker, Eileen Atkins
Director: Peter Yates
Creators: Kelvin Pike, Peter Yates, Ray Lovejoy, Nigel Wooll, Ronald Harwood
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/06/2004
Original Release Date: 12/06/1983
Theatrical Release Date: 12/06/1983
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 58min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 16
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Japanese

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Movie Reviews

If you like Shakespeare and the English, You'll Love This
James R. Mccall | Libertyville, IL USA | 01/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"England, 1940, during the blitz: all the young actors are in uniform, hospital, or dead. Albert Finney, playing an aging Shakespearean, carries on as best he can, leading his troupe of women, and men too old or damaged to fight. Actually, he doesn't lead, but rather is daily cajoled into carrying on by his dresser (played by Tom Courtenay). Courtenay is wonderful as the fussy, loyal, oh-so-English man behind the man, maintaining a desperate hold on his good humour even as his life is coming apart in shreds as Finney disintegrates.It is easy to see that Finney was classically trained, and that his booming stage voice must have rung through many a theater. The snatches of Shakespeare that we do see are great fun, as is the byplay between the old man who can do them in his sleep and even the most humble members of the crew, who by now know all the cues. But mainly this is the story of two men, one an artist who is used to taking what he needs from those around him, and the other who gives his life over to that man, and to some idea of carrying on the great work. This is not a happy film, but it is a great one."
Nominated then forgotten!
P. M Simon | New Mexico | 01/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"England--WWII-- Albert Finney is the aging star of a Shakespearean stage company, and Tom Courtney is his backstage "nancy-boy" dresser, who must somehow deal with the egomaniacal old ham in the early statges of senile dementia or Alzheimer's. The show must go on, despite bombing raids, Finney's collapse, and other difficulties--or must it?

The fop and the falling star share brilliantly-acted interactions that are alternately infuriating and touching. With well-timed direction, a great screenplay, and a sturdy plot, this film won 5 Oscar nominations but --amazingly-- no Oscars.

That doesn't mean this incipient classic should be overlooked. A fine addition to any DVD library, and one that may not "stay in print;" Order THE DRESSER now--you won't be disappointed!"
P. M Simon | 08/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"An acting tour-de-force! Ok, sounds like an ad-blurb, but it's true. A beautifully scripted and acted film. Adapted from a stageplay,taking place mostly in a theatre, The Dresser somehow manages, at least to my mind, not to seem like a stageplay at all. This film should be compulsory viewing for any acting student. As far as the complaints that Finney chews the scenery a bit, ummmmm, how do I put this...he's playing an, aging, egotistical scene-chewing actor! That could be why. Yeeesh. Highly recommended to any fan of great acting. "I'd like a nice, cup of tea with my coffee....""
A Funny Yet Touching Story | California | 05/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is a very good movie with great performances by the two lead actors whom were nominated for academy awards."