Woman in a Dressing Gown (PG)
26 August 2012
J. Lee Thompson’s 1957 domestic melodrama has often been overlooked as a British ‘Women’s Picture’. However, it really demands to be seen as an important early example of the kitchen sink realism that would dominate British cinema in the 1960s. The plot is simple: a seemingly happy London family is shattered when the husband (Anthony Quayle) reveals he has been having an affair with a young colleague and asks for a divorce. His dotty but loving wife tries to win him back with initially disastrous results. Fans of Mike Leigh will find much to admire in the combination of comedy and drama and the acutely observed characterisations. Indeed, Yvonne Mitchell won Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival for her bravura performance as the loving but harassed housewife of the title, who can never quite organise herself enough to get dressed. An important British film that is well worth discovering.