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384 Ratings

French Dressing

Directed by Ken Russell
United Kingdom, 1964


Jim is a deck-chair attendant in the boring fictional small town of Gormleigh-on-Sea. He persuades the Mayor to host a film festival, and he invites Françoise Fayol, a French movie siren, so that Gormleigh can gain some much-needed tourism.

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French Dressing Directed by Ken Russell

Critics reviews

Russell’s own sensibility throws out frequently startling images, such as a mass grave of inflatable dolls (same as with the plague pit in The Devils, he reflected that some whiff of the Holocaust, not intended by him, crept into the movie: hardly ideal for a playful send-up of holiday destinations). There’s also a giant female mouth, projected on a screen, which swallows a character whole, in a bizarre foreshadowing of Cronenberg’s Videodrome.
October 08, 2015
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The material compounds clunky dialogue with lumpen satire, while the performers lack the necessary finesse, so Russell’s nouvelle vague inspired flourishes, wresting a surreal image or a lyrical moment from out of thin air, only go so far. Still, as well as from providing a charming record of the historic pier at Herne Bay (since destroyed by fire), this is a valuable glimpse of a filmmaker who brought boundless imagination and energy to hidebound British cinema.
June 05, 2015

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