December 22, 2014

Films

Woman in a Dressing Gown – 1957 | 93 mins | Drama | B&W

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Plot Synopsis

Woman in a Dressing Gown

J. Lee Thompson’s kitchen-sink drama is based on a popular British television drama and focuses on the possible break-up of a middle-aged couple after 20-years of marriage. The principal character in Ted Willis’ astute screenplay is played by Yvonne Mitchell, and it’s the depth of her sympathetic portrayal of clinical depression that lifts this domestic drama from the conventional to the classy. Anthony Quayle does a solidly reliable job as the discontented husband but is somewhat miscast in the role of working-class Londoner. J. Lee Thompson‘s direction is crisp direction and heralded the introduction of gritty social dramas to British cinema.

Jim ‘Jimbo’ Preston (Anthony Quayle) is an ordinary married man working in the offices of a London timber yard. Jim is in a rut, living a conventional 9-to-5 existence with his absent-minded wife of 20-years in their unkempt tower-block flat, but unbeknown to his wife Amy (Yvonne Mitchell) he is having an affair with the Georgie (Sylvia Syms), the young and confident secretary from work.

When Jim confronts his wife with a request for a divorce, Amy demands all three in the love triangle meet at the Preston home to discuss the situation. Amy plans to woo her husband back on the evening in question but her plans go amiss when the London rain spoils her new haircut, her best dress is ripped, and she ultimately collapses drunk after downing a bottle of whisky. Jim cannot make the break from his Amy but empowered by Georgie he does eventually pack his case and leave his wife and son to start a new life – but will the grass be any greener with his new love?

Production Team

J. Lee Thompson: Director
Gilbert Taylor: Cinematography
Richard Best: Film Editing
Louis Levy: Original Music
Ted Willis: Script
Arthur Bradburn: Sound Department

Cast

Yvonne Mitchell: Amy Preston
Anthony Quayle: Jim Preston
Sylvia Syms: Georgie Harlow
Andrew Ray: Brian Preston
Carole Lesley: Hilda
Michael Ripper: Pawnbroker
Nora Gordon: Mrs Williams
Marianne Stone: Hairdresser
Harry Locke: Wine merchant



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