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The Dresser

The Dresser
The Dresser
The Dresser
  • PG
  • 1h 58m
  • 1983
Common Sense Media Iconage 12+
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The lives and relationships of those within a British traditional touring stage company provide the backdrop for the five-time Oscar® nominee, The Dresser (Best Picture; Best Actor; Best supporting Actor; Best Director; Best Screenplay Adaptation). The Dresser is a compelling study of the intense relationship between the leader of the company and his dresser. Sir (Albert Finney), a grandiloquent old man of the theater, has given his soul to his career, but his tyrannical rule over the company is now beginning to crack under the strain of age and illness as he prepares for his two-hundred-twenty-seventh performance of King Lear. Sir's fastidious and fiercely dedicated dresser, Norman (Tom Courtenay), submits to Sir's frequently unreasonable demands, tends to his health and reminds him of what role he is currently playing. The two men are essential to each other's life. This is a film rich in comedy, compassion and love for theater.
© 1983 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 12+
Common Sense Says
Oscar-nominated British drama has drinking, iffy language.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Dresser is an Oscar-nominated British drama about a relationship between a veteran actor and his personal assistant, with drinking and themes surrounding mental health. Set during World War II, the movie refers to rations and includes scenes with air raids, as well as the debris of bombed buildings. Cigarettes are smoked and alcohol consumed frequently, with characters seen drunk. Sir (Albert Finney), in particular, struggles with alcohol, which along with other mental health issues, leads to confused and aggressive behavior that may be distressing for some. Sir is supported by Norman (Tom Courtenay), although he himself shows manipulative and self-serving qualities. Language includes "bastard," "sod," and "bugger" and there are homophobic references and a scene that involves "blacking up." An older male character, and one within a position of power, makes inappropriate comments to a more junior female colleague, which go unchallenged. The movie is often farcical and features frequent witty lines, as well as touching moments, allowing a good balance between playfulness and its darker themes.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Drama
  • Release Date:December 6, 1983
  • Languages:English
  • Captions:English
  • Audio Format:
  • Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
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