Review: ‘Woman in a Dressing Gown’

The principal character in Ted Willis' screenplay is reminiscent of the Shirley Booth role in Come Back, Little Sheba. Yvonne Mitchell plays an endearing slut on the verge of losing her husband to a younger, more attractive and more wholesome girl, The uncanny depth of her portrayal lifts the story from a conventional rut and gives it a classy stature.

The principal character in Ted Willis’ screenplay is reminiscent of the Shirley Booth role in Come Back, Little Sheba. Yvonne Mitchell plays an endearing slut on the verge of losing her husband to a younger, more attractive and more wholesome girl, The uncanny depth of her portrayal lifts the story from a conventional rut and gives it a classy stature.

Mitchell plays the wife who is never able to keep pace with the demands of life. Every day she tries in vain to make her home attractive for her husband and son, but the odds are always overwhelming. Inevitably, her husband (Anthony Quayle) is attracted to a girl in the office (Sylvia Syms) but at the moment of crisis cannot make the break.

Astute writing and adroit direction help to retain sympathy for the leading character, although her tiresome behavior rarely justifies it. There’s one moving scene in which she persuades her husband to bring the other girl to the house, so that the three of them can talk it over as adults.

Mitchell’s performance is the walk-away highlight of the production, but Anthony Quayle does a solidly reliable job as the husband. J. Lee Thompson’s crisp direction sets the pattern for the okay technical credits.

Woman in a Dressing Gown

UK

Production

Godwin-Willis. Director J. Lee Thompson; Producer Frank Godwin, J. Lee Thompson; Screenplay Ted Willis; Camera Gil Taylor; Editor Richard Best; Music Louis Levy (arr.); Art Director Robert Jones

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1957. Running time: 98 MIN.

With

Yvonne Mitchell Sylvia Syms Anthony Quayle Andrew Ray Carole Lesley Olga Lindo

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