Woman in a Dressing Gown

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Woman in a Dressing Gown
"Woman in a Dressing Gown2 (1957).jpg
Danish poster
Directed byJ. Lee Thompson
Produced byFrank Godwin
J. Lee Thompson
Written byTed Willis
StarringYvonne Mitchell
Anthony Quayle
Sylvia Syms
Carole Lesley
Music byLouis Levy
CinematographyGilbert Taylor
Edited byRichard Best
Distributed byAssociated British-Pathé
Release date
June 1957 (1957-06)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£450,000 (UK)
£1 million (total)[1]

Woman in a Dressing Gown is a 1957 British film directed by J. Lee Thompson. The film won four awards at the 7th Berlin International Film Festival including "Best Foreign Film".[2] Yvonne Mitchell won the Silver Bear for Best Actress.[3] The film also won the 1958 Golden Globe Award for Best English-Language Foreign Film.

The screenplay was written by Ted Willis and the cinematographer was Gilbert Taylor. The producer was Frank Godwin.


The Prestons are an apparently happy household made up of wife Amy (Yvonne Mitchell), husband Jim (Anthony Quayle) and teenage son Brian (Andrew Ray), living in a cramped flat on a London housing estate. However, tensions soon become clear. Though she has a breezy, loving character, Amy is a disorganised housewife, and finds it difficult to concentrate enough to tidy or cook properly. Jim is having an affair with a co-worker, Georgie (Sylvia Syms), who threatens to break it off unless Jim divorces his wife and leaves his family. He promises that he will do so, and eventually demands a divorce. Amy is shocked and distraught, while Brian becomes angry with his father.

Amy invites Jim and Georgie back to the Prestons' flat to try to convince Georgie not to take her husband away. In preparation, she gets her hair done, buys whisky for her husband and tries to organise a meal, paying for it all by pawning her engagement ring. However, on leaving the hairdresser's she is caught in the rain, ruining the hairdo. At home, after discussing the matter with a neighbour, a young unhappy wife, who persuades Amy to have a drink to calm her down, Amy becomes drunk and falls asleep on the bed, again ruining her plans. After a confrontation she orders Jim and Georgie out of the flat. Jim leaves, but has second thoughts, returning to his wife and son, who cautiously accept him back.



The film lost money at the box office but was well received by critics.[4]

The film was one of the most popular at the British box office in 1957.[5]


  1. ^ British Cinema of the 1950s: The Decline of Deference By Sue Harper, Vincent Porter p87
  2. ^ Higson, Andrew (ed.); Ashby, Justine (ed.); Porter, Vincent (2000). British Cinema: Past and Present: "Outsiders in England: the films of the Associated British Picture Corporation, 1949-1958". Routledge. p. 162. ISBN 9780415220620.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Berlinale 1957: Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
  4. ^ J. LEE THOMPSON DISCUSSES CAREER: 'GUNS OF NAVARONE' DIRECTOR TOOK DEVIOUS PATH TO FILMS By MURRAY SCHUMACH Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 25 July 1961: 18.
  5. ^ Thumim, Janet. "The popular cash and culture in the postwar British cinema industry". Screen. Vol. 32 no. 3. p. 259.

Further reading[edit]

  • Nield, Anthony (2012). "'Woman in a Dressing Gown' Review". The Digital Fix. Recent review on the occasion of the 2012 DVD release of a restored version of the film.
  • Williams, Melanie, 'Remembering the poor soul walking in the rain: Audience Responses to a Thwarted Makeover in Woman in a Dressing Gown' in Journal of British Cinema and Television, 10 (2013), pp. 709–726.
  • Williams, Melanie, 'Dawn of the Kitchen Sink', Sight and Sound, August 2012, p. 22.
  • Williams, Melanie, 'Twilight women of 1950s British cinema' in : The British Cinema Book. British Film Institute, 2009.
  • Williams, Melanie, ‘Housewives’ choice’: Woman in a Dressing Gown' in British Cinema of the Fifties. MUP, 2003.

External links[edit]