The Dresser (1983)

PETER YATES

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBBUnited Kingdom, 1983.  , , .  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by . Produced by Peter Yates.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1983.  Golden Globe Awards 1983.  

Ronald Harwood adapts his hit Broadway play with mesmerizing results, despite making very few adjustments to the original stage setting. A heartily devoted dresser (Tom Courtenay) pushes, prods, cajoles, worships, degrades and inspires an aging, overworked actor (Albert Finney) to get on stage and get through a performance in the title role of King Lear, as the rest of the company looks on with fear that it won’t happen.  Eileen Atkins is devastating as the lonely stage manager who is all business at first but turns out to have a broken heart that emerges as the performance continues. Fantastic writing and direction create entertaining cinema out of a great backstage pass to the magical world of theatre.

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