French Dressing (1964)


French Dressing Poster

French Dressing Poster © Warner-Pathé Distributors

Director: Ken Russell

Starring: James Booth, Roy Kinnear, Marisa Mell

Production Company: Associated British Picture Corporation, Kenneth Harper Production

Kent Locations Used: Herne Bay, Kings Hall, Medway Queen Paddle Steamer

French Dressing is a comedy film set in the fictional seaside town of Gormleigh-on-Sea about a deckchair attendant, Jim Stephens (James Booth) who is deputised to organise a film festival. After finally convincing French movie star pin-up Françoise Fayol (Marisa Mell) to attend, a series of unplanned mishaps threatens the festival’s success.

The directorial debut of Ken Russell (Tommy, The Devils, The Lair of the White Worm), French Dressing stars James Booth (Zulu, Keeping Mum, Pray for Death), Roy Kinnear (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Help!, The Hill) and Marisa Mell (Marta, One on Top of the Other One, Casanova ’70).

French Dressing Screenshot - a man taking a picture on Herne Bay beach

French Dressing Screenshot on Herne Bay beach © Warner-Pathé Distributors

French Dressing Screenshot at Herne Bay - men walking alongside blow up people on the seafront

French Dressing Screenshot at Herne Bay © Warner-Pathé Distributors

French Dressing Screenshot - men exiting the Kings Hall building

French Dressing Screenshot at Kings Hall © Warner-Pathé Distributors

French Dressing Screenshot - men walking along Herne Bay seafront

French Dressing Screenshot at Herne Bay seafront © Warner-Pathé Distributors

The film was almost entirely filmed in Herne Bay which doubles as Gormleigh-on-Sea and the Kings Hall doubles as the Council Offices. The Medway Queen Paddle Steamer is used in the scenes when Jim Stephens (James Booth) and Henry Liggott (Roy Kinnear) take the boat to France.

Herne Bay is a traditional seaside town offering two miles of splendid coast including a delightful beach with colourful beach huts, bandstand and seafront gardens as well as many shops and eateries and amusement arcades. Herne Bay has been used as a film location on projects such as Boomers (2014), Big Bad World (2013) and Things I Haven’t Told You (2008).

French Dressing was released in 1964 and is now available on DVD.


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