Synopsis by Mark Deming
The complicated relationship of two men who have given their lives to the theater forms the basis for this acclaimed drama. During World War II, an aging but once famous Shakespearean actor, addressed by his cast and crew only as "Sir" (Albert Finney), continues to tour the British theater circuit with a rag tag group of elderly and handicapped actors who are exempt from military service. Sir has grown frustrated, senile, and is on the verge of a nervous breakdown; he's come to rely upon his dresser Norman (Tom Courtenay), an endlessly loyal homosexual who would do anything for the man he's come to love. Norman tries to guide Sir through yet another tour of the hinterlands in The Tempest. This expanded film adaptation of Ronald Harwood's award-winning stage drama also stars Edward Fox as Oxenby, an unhappy member of Sir's company; Sir was said to be based on real-life actor Donald Wolfit.
actor, employer/employee, alcoholism, theater-troupe, bombing, relationship, war
High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance