Although my preferred film genre is actually Asian horror, I just love this film. I saw it on TV a few years ago and was really pleased to see it out on DVD. Quaint old films really are a lovely way to while away a spare afternoon and although this was actually made in 1992 it really does have the feel of an older movie which was the intention. It's not sophisticated, it doesn't try to be clever, it's just a good old-fashioned tear-jerker. Just watch it when you want a little escapism!
When a cockney charwoman (Angela Lansbury) sees one of her employer's Dior gowns, she becomes determined to own one herself and to that end, saves her money to fulfill her dream of going to Paris and buying a Dior evening gown. Directed by Anthony Shaw (Lansbury's son) and based on the novel by Paul Gallico (who wrote a series of novels featuring the character of Mrs. Harris), this is a perfectly charming low-keyed adult fairy tale. Set in the mid 1950s, the film deviates from the Gallico novel in order to give it a happier, if more conventional, ending. The detail of the period is quite good and, of course, Lansbury is wonderful. The romantic subplot between a top Dior model (Tamara Gorski) and an accountant (Lothaire Bluteau, BENT) in the house of Dior is weak, much more interesting is the elegant widow (Diana Rigg) who supervises the Dior fashion house. With Omar Sharif as a French government official who befriends Lansbury and Lila Kaye as Lansbury's charwoman neighbor.
The Pegasus DVD (via Great Britan) is a full screen (it was made for television) transfer and while, perhaps, a bit on the soft side, nonetheless a decent transfer.