- Rated: PG
- Run Time: 1 hours, 58 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: April 6, 2004
- Originally Released: 1983
- Label: Sony Pictures
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.85
- Dolby Digital 2.0 - English
Performers, Cast and Crew:
New York Times - 12/06/1983
"...Great fun....Two terrifically gifted performers have an actor's field day..."
Variety - 11/16/1983
"...Two of the most indelible screen performances of the year....[Finney and Courtenay] deliver performances that are startling in their cumulative impact..."
THE DRESSER is Peter Yates's intriguing look behind the scenes of a touring stage company in war-torn England, based on Ronald Harwood's hit Broadway play. Albert Finney stars as Sir, the aging manager and lead actor of the troupe who begins to come undone from the pressure of touring in bombed-out England. The lines between reality and drama begin to fade, leading Sir into melodramatic ramblings, soothed only by the aid of his devoted dresser, Norman (Tom Courtenay). Norman is part lover, brother, mother, and whipping boy to Sir's mercurial moods, coaxing the egocentric actor through the necessary dressing-room preparations as he readies himself for his 227th performance of KING LEAR. Norman is the backstage glue that binds the troupe of eccentric actors together, calming bruised egos and demanding respect for their aging and slightly delusional leader. In true theatrical form, the show must go on, and as bombs fall on England's finest theaters, Sir leads his troupe through another command performance of Shakespeare's tragedy. This beautifully filmed love letter to the theater is a must for anyone who enjoys fine drama. The film features an outstanding ensemble cast, especially Tom Courtenay, who is a revelation as Norman, giving a deeply inspired and heartfelt performance.
Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay shine in this fascinating adaptation of the Broadway play about an aging actor and his faithful dresser.
- The film is based on Ronald Harwood's hit play, which itself is based on the life of British actor Donald Wolfit.