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critics consensus

As proudly tacky as its titular fabric, Polyester finds writer-director John Waters moving ever so slightly into the mainstream without losing any of his subversive charm. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

A frustrated housewife, Francine Fishpaw (Divine), tries to maintain her sanity while taking care of her dysfunctional household. Elmer (David Samson), her husband and the owner of an adult theater, is sleeping with his secretary, and her delinquent teen son, Dexter (Ken King), and pregnant teen daughter, Lulu (Mary Garlington), aren't helping matters any. But when Francine meets dashing Todd Tomorrow (Tab Hunter), the owner of a theater specializing in art films, her life appears rosier.

Cast & Crew

Divine
Francine Fishpaw
Tab Hunter
Todd Tomorrow
Edith Massey
Cuddles Kovinsky
Mink Stole
Sandra Sullivan
David Samson
Elmer Fishpaw
Mary Garlington
Lu-Lu Fishpaw
Ken King
Dexter Fishpaw
Stiv Bators
Bo-Bo Belsinger
Robert Shaye
Executive Producer
Deborah Harry
Original Music
Michael Kamen
Original Music
David Insley
Cinematographer
Vincent Peranio
Art Direction
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News & Interviews for Polyester

Critic Reviews for Polyester

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Polyester

  • Apr 28, 2015
    Like a Fassbinder or Douglas Sirk movie made by John Waters, it is a mess with all his trademark filth, irritating overacting and ridiculous lack of structure and focus, and I guess it would be only amusing and worth seeing in the cinema for the Odorama scratch-and-sniff gimmick.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 21, 2010
    POLYESTER (1981) Written & Directed by John Waters. Filmed in 'Odourama' (I still have my original "scratch-&-sniff" card!!). This was one of Waters' first tentative forays into mainstream cinema. It was still too bizarre for commercial success (despite the innovative gimmick of being "filmed in Odourama!"), but remains one of the better of his 'old-school' films. Starring the irrepressible Divine as poor Francine Fishpaw, a housewife driven to drink by the atrocious behaviour of her dysfunctional family,& a host of other Waters regulars (including Mink Stole & the ever-delightful Edith Massey), it is a another treat for all Waters fans. ****4 & a half out of 5 stars****
    mirabella 1 Super Reviewer
  • Feb 09, 2010
    Classic John Waters. Bad in all the right ways.
    Robert F Super Reviewer
  • Dec 05, 2008
    I wish I could meet the characters of this movie in real life. A slutty sister, a brother with a foot stomping fetish, a self serving dad who owns a porno theater, and a 300 pound, alcoholic "mother" that just wants a normal family.
    Shane D Super Reviewer

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