Paul Robaix is a well known director, married to Lucy Dell, a famous movie star. Robaix wants to make a movie of the classic play Madame Butterfly, but he doesn't want his wife to play the ... See full summary »
Paul Robaix is a well known director, married to Lucy Dell, a famous movie star. Robaix wants to make a movie of the classic play Madame Butterfly, but he doesn't want his wife to play the leading part, as in his previous pictures. Producer Sam Lewis and Lucy Dell think up a scheme to get her in the picture after all. Lucy disguises as a Geisha, and gets the leading part in the picture. When Robaix finds out he gets so mad, he wants to divorce Lucy... Written by
Christian Siemons <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Shu Uemura took over the makeup for MacLaine's Geisha role after Michael Westmore fell ill. The international recognition Uemura received for his work enabled him to launch his own cosmetics company. See more »
A huge premiere is planned for the movie Lucy is working on mere days after the final scene is shot; in reality, a major film of the magnitude she's starring in would take months for editing and other post-production work. See more »
"My Geisha" never quite manages its transitions smoothly, but they were trying something quite difficult for the period: a comedy with some genuine depth of feeling. They get there in the end, thanks to MacLaine and Montand, but there are a couple of stops along the way. You've read the setup by now, and know that Bob Cummings is playing her leading man, while her husband (Montand) is the Director of his first serious film without his wife's fame to help him succeed. He Has to Do It On His Own. It takes both his wife and his producer much too long to take this seriously, and thereby endanger both marriage and friendship. Because they think he'll come around, or appreciate the joke of her disguise, we do too...until he finally recognizes her. At that point, Montand stops being a supporting player and moves into full partnership. We believe him, and ache for him. We don't believe that "Bob Moore" is his best friend. Cummings' "arrested adolescent" is unfunny and unappealing, and he's given way too much screen time. Edward G Robinson is a pleasure throughout, but a lot of the gags - mixed bathing, sumo wrestling - are fairly condescending and forced in spite of the obvious admiration for Japan and its culture. The scenery is stunning, but there's sadness too in seeing it now. Nobody shoots beautiful films about Japan IN Japan any more; "Last Samurai" was largely shot in New Zealand, "Memoirs of a Geisha" in California. And the undercurrents - the Parker/MacLaine marriage and its eventual dissolution - sometimes haunt the script. Franz Waxman's peppy score keeps preventing us from really believing we're watching a shoot about "Madame Butterfly". When the Puccini music finally arrives, it's marvelous. And when Shirley lip-synchs the aria, she breathes like a singer. Shirley MacLaine went on to prove over and over again that she was more than a kooky comedienne...but at the time this film was made, it was a case of Art imitating Life. It's uneven, but parts of it are definitely worth seeing.
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