The Dressmaker

Despite expert performances by Billie Whitelaw and Joan Plowright (among others) in this adaptation of Beryl Bainbridge’s novel (known in the U.S. as The Secret Glass), the spirit and feeling of high-tone British TV is never very far away. Set in Liverpool in 1944, the plot concerns the problems that arise in a family of three women when the youngest (Jane Horrocks) becomes involved with an American soldier (Tim Ransom). Competently written by John McGrath and directed by Jim O’Brien, with an acceptable period flavor, this rather morbid tale about respectability and sexual repression never really catches fire, although fans of Whitelaw and Plowright will certainly get their money’s worth. With Peter Postlethwaite, Rosemary Martin, and Pippa Hinchley. (JR)

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