John Waters

Polyester

Polyester

For his first studio picture, filth maestro John Waters took advantage of his biggest budget yet to allow his muse Divine to sink his teeth into a role unlike any he had played before: Baltimore housewife Francine Fishpaw, a heroine worthy of a Douglas Sirk melodrama. Blessed with a keen sense of smell and cursed with a philandering pornographer husband, a parasitic mother, and a pair of delinquent children, the long-suffering Francine turns to the bottle as her life falls apart—until deliverance appears in the form of a hunk named Todd Tomorrow (vintage heartthrob Tab Hunter). Enhanced with Odorama™ technology that enables you to scratch and sniff along with Francine, Polyester is one of Waters’ most hilarious inventions, replete with stomach-churning smells, sadistic nuns, AA meetings, and foot stomping galore.

Film Info

  • John Waters
  • United States
  • 1981
  • 86 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #995

Director-Approved Special Edition Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director John Waters, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring Waters from the 1993 Criterion laserdisc release of the film
  • New conversation between Waters and critic Michael Musto
  • New program featuring interviews with Waters collaborators Tab Hunter, Dennis Dermody, Pat Moran, Vincent Peranio, Mink Stole, Mary Garlington, and Greer Yeaton
  • Interviews from 1993 with crew members Moran, Peranio, and Van Smith
  • Archival interviews with Waters, Moran, and actors Divine and Edith Massey, featuring footage from the making of the film
  • Twenty minutes of deleted scenes and alternate takes
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Elena Gorfinkel, a foldout poster of the cover, and a scratch-and-sniff Odorama™ card

New cover by Sam Hadley with Raphael Geroni

Purchase Options

Released Sep 17, 2019

Special Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director John Waters, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring Waters from the 1993 Criterion laserdisc release of the film
  • New conversation between Waters and critic Michael Musto
  • New program featuring interviews with Waters collaborators Tab Hunter, Dennis Dermody, Pat Moran, Vincent Peranio, Mink Stole, Mary Garlington, and Greer Yeaton
  • Interviews from 1993 with crew members Moran, Peranio, and Van Smith
  • Archival interviews with Waters, Moran, and actors Divine and Edith Massey, featuring footage from the making of the film
  • Twenty minutes of deleted scenes and alternate takes
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Elena Gorfinkel, a foldout poster of the cover, and a scratch-and-sniff Odorama™ card

New cover by Sam Hadley with Raphael Geroni

Polyester
Cast
Divine
Francine Fishpaw
Tab Hunter
Todd Tomorrow
Edith Massey
Cuddles Kovinsky
David Samson
Elmer Fishpaw
Mary Garlington
Lu-Lu Fishpaw
Ken King
Dexter Fishpaw
Mink Stole
Sandra Sullivan
Joni Ruth White
La Rue
Hans Kramm
Heintz
Stiv Bators
Bo-Bo Belsinger
Rick Breitenfeld
Dr. Quackenshaw
Credits
Director
John Waters
Written by
John Waters
Produced by
John Waters
Executive producer
Robert Shaye
Associate producer
Sara Risher
Director of photography
David Insley
Music
Chris Stein
Music
Michael Kamen
Line producer
Robert Maier
Production manager
Robert Maier
Assistant director
Pat Moran
Casting
Pat Moran
Editor
Charles Roggero
Sound editor
Skip Lievsay
Costumes and makeup
Van Smith
Art director
Vincent Peranio
"Polyester" lyrics by
Deborah Harry
"Polyester" sung by
Tab Hunter
Still photographer
Larry Dean
Odorama™ consultant
Jeffrey Buhai
Bonkers trained by
Friendship Animal Kennel

From The Current

A Divine Transformation
A Divine Transformation

Two of John Waters’ frequent collaborators detail the hard work that went into turning the director’s muse into a garishly outfitted suburban housewife.

Polyester: The Perils of Francine
Polyester: The Perils of Francine

After a string of punkish subcultural shockers, John Waters set out to make something different with this hilariously foul take on Hollywood melodrama, his first studio picture.

By Elena Gorfinkel

A Whiff of Polyester: Inside the Odorama Process
A Whiff of Polyester: Inside the Odorama Process

The legendary scratch-and-sniff cards that made John Waters’ movie a unique olfactory experience are featured in our new edition of the film. Take a look at how they got made!