The woman in the dressing gown

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German title The woman in the dressing gown
Original title Woman in a dressing gown
Country of production Great Britain
original language English
Publishing year 1957
length 93 minutes
Director J. Lee Thompson
script Ted Willis
production Frank Godwin
J. Lee Thompson
music Louis Levy
camera Gilbert Taylor
cut Richard Best

The Woman in the Dressing Gown is a 1957 British film.


Amy and Jim Preston are a middle-aged couple. They live in London with their teenage son Brian in a small, nondescript apartment. Amy is a very likeable person, but she sinks into the chaos of everyday life and has no control over her household. Jim has an affair with his young colleague Georgie Barlow. He tells his wife that he has to work on Sundays to see Georgie. Georgie pressures Jim to leave his wife.

On the evening of this Sunday, Jim wants to explain to his wife that he would like to separate from her. They go to a pub together, but are interrupted by friends before Jim can start the subject. The next day, Georgie continues to pressure him while he is working. When he comes home that evening, Amy has prepared a special supper for him. However, they get into an argument over nothing, while Jim casually tells her that he wants to break up with her. Amy is completely surprised because she thought they were a very happy couple. Jim tells her about Georgie, but the conversation is interrupted by the sudden appearance of son Brian with his girlfriend. The young people wonder. Jim tries to pretend normalcy, but Amy locks herself in the bathroom and bursts into tears.

The next day, Amy does the housework and tries to get the messy apartment under control. She thinks her marital crisis can only be superficial. She borrows money from her son Brian and goes to the hairdresser. She would like to invite Jim together with Georgie and put herself in a positive light towards Jim.

While Amy prepares the evening with Jim and Georgie, she drinks some whiskey on the side, but gets drunk very quickly and breaks down. Brian comes home and finds her. He puts his mother to bed. Then finally come Jim and Georgie. Brian is extremely angry with his father and blames him for destroying the family. The drunk Amy comes out of the bedroom and attacks Georgie on how she ends up stealing her husband from a wife. Jim and Georgie leave the apartment. But on the street, Jim doubts, leaving his son and wife behind. He turns back and finds normalcy. Brian asks if he can help him with homework and Amy makes him a cup of tea.


British film critic Jeffrey Richards compared The Woman in a Dressing Gown to David Lean's film Brief Encounter , but in the social housing environment. It is the story of little people falling into great tragedy. In its brittle realism, this film is already reminiscent of the British New Wave films in the early 1960s.


  • "A middle-aged woman, who lets herself go in the deceptive security of a marriage that has become a habit, realizes her husband's unexpected intention to divorce the necessity of having to re-conquer conjugal love and togetherness every day. Exceptionally designed realistic drama . " - (film dictionary)
  • "An extraordinarily designed, multiple award-winning, discussion-worthy film that nobly meets the high demands of truthfulness. Worth seeing." - 6000 films. Critical notes from the cinema years 1945 to 1958 . Handbook V of the Catholic film criticism, 3rd edition, Verlag Haus Altenberg, Düsseldorf 1963, p. 123
  • "An excellently staged and acted film about a marital crisis that subsides in resignation. Carried by high ethics and wholesome wisdom. Recommended for adults." - Protestant film observer , review No. 735/1957

The Wiesbaden film evaluation agency awarded the production the rating of particularly valuable .


Leading actress Yvonne Mitchell received a Silver Bear for her portrayal of Amy Preston at the 1957 Berlinale for best actress at the festival. J. Lee Thompson also received the FIPRESCI Award from Film Critics. In 1958, the film won the Golden Globe Award for best foreign film.

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