Semi-autobiographical tale from the early life of director Franco Zeffirelli looks at the illegitimate son of an Italian businessman. The boy's mother has died, and he is raised by an ... See full summary »
World War II: Allied Command learns that in 60 days three Japanese generals and an admiral party at a bordello on a tiny Philippine island. It's fortified and hard to attack, so a creative,... See full summary »
Late in World War II, the Brits still want their hands on a German Enigma, the typewriter-like machine that constructs and sends coded messages. Parachuting behind enemy lines - with two days to find the factory where Enigmas are made, grab one, and get out - are an unlikely quartet: a queen, a pencil pusher, a bookworm, and an almost secret agent. Plus they are all dressed as women, with only a crash course from the queen. They reach their destination, rendezvous with their German contact, a lovely librarian, and start their search. They seemed doomed to fail; is this a fool's errand? Written by
Matt LeBlanc filmed his role while Friends was still shooting, and had to fly back and forth between sets once per week in order to do both projects at the same time. See more »
Nicolette Krebitz tells Matt LeBlanc that she got him a long-sleeved dress because "German women don't shave their underarms" (and Matt had shaved). However, she introduces Matt as an Italian, not a German. See more »
[whispering to Parker, watching O'Rourke write a note to Romy]
Didn't he tell us not to put anything in writing?
Don't you get it? He's never gonna see her again.
See more »
This German-Austrian-Hungarian-USA co-production was directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky and stars Matt Leblanc. The premise was that British and American agents during the Second World War tried to infiltrate the espionage mechanism in Berlin by disguising themselves in drag, in order to steal a precious Enigma encoding and decoding machine from an all-female factory. That was plausible enough (the image of Leblanc in a frumpy "German lady" dress aside), but I didn't hold much hopes of coming out of the movie satisfied. Well, I was disappointed, but in a good way. This is a breezy, entertaining, light-hearted action flick. How could one not like Udo Kier as a perverted Nazi general? How could one not love Eddie Izzard as the British drag queen who teaches his team the ropes of hair, makeup, and frocks?
Izzard, mostly known as a standup comedian, turned in a bravura performance, starting out with a hilarious rendition of Marlene, and ending with deceptively spirited performance of imperialist German favorites, which completely fooled and kept Izzard's Nazi audience enrapt while the espionage mission climaxed, literally right behind the stage curtains.
This film seems to have been made for American tastes, judging by how much of the humor content is directed toward stereotypes of British fuddy-duddiness and arrogance. It also suffers from a few plot implausibilities. The sixtyish Archie (played by veteran British character actor, James Cosmo) is a beefy, mustachioed walrus of a man who, even after shaving his face, couldn't pass for a woman plausibly no matter if he was all dowdied up in a head scarf and a charwoman's dress. Polyglot math genius Johnno Johnson--played by David Birkin, who some of you might recognize from his role as a "young" Jean-Luc Picard in the Star Trek:TNG episode where a handful of Enterprise crew are suddenly turned into twelve-year-olds--was sent off on this mission instead of being kept on home turf, where his linguistic and cryptographic abilities would be much more valuable. And finally, the escape sequence at the end requires suspension of disbelief, quite literally.
Still, these flaws seem minor when compared to the overall entertainment value of the movie. Izzard's performance as a whole, Cosmo's endearing takes as a "grandmother" to a German war orphan, and Leblanc's hilarious seduction of Kier highlight an overall very enjoyable 105 minutes.
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