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The Dresser Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Marshall Fine

It's life in the Theater with a capital T in this film adaptation of the London and Broadway hit by Ronald Harwood. Though we see other people, the film is really a duet between Sir (Albert Finney), an aging actor-manager who runs his own theater company, and Norman (Tom Courtenay), his dresser, who gets him into costume and, ultimately, into shape to go onstage each night. Sir is on his last legs; Norman is alternately his cheerleader, his parent, and his whipping boy--whatever it takes to get Sir up to performance level each night. Finney perfectly captures the vainglorious insecurity of this aging ham, whose career has never quite matched his expectations but who has to convince himself each night (with Norman's help) that a performance in the provinces is as big a deal as treading the boards in the West End. The film lives and dies, however, with Courtenay's neatly nuanced performance as Norman. No man is a hero to his valet--but Courtenay finds the affection along with the disdain that are part of this character. A great backstage tale.

Academy Awards

The Dresser received Academy Awards nominations for Best Picture (Peter Yates - Producer), Actor (Albert Finney), Actor (Tom Courtenay), Directing (Peter Yates), and Writing (Best Screenplay based on material from another medium: Ronald Harwood).


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Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Peter Yates

Stars: Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, Edward Fox, Zena Walker, Eileen Atkins, Michael Gough, Cathryn Harrison

Released: December 6, 1983

Availability: DVD VHS

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