42 user 23 critic

Les Girls (1957)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical | 26 December 1957 (Sweden)
The former members of a dance troupe are suing because of recently published memoirs. Each one insists on own point of view.


George Cukor


John Patrick (screenplay), Vera Caspary (story)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Gene Kelly ... Barry Nichols
Mitzi Gaynor ... Joanne 'Joy' Henderson
Kay Kendall ... Lady Sybil Wren
Taina Elg ... Angèle Ducros
Jacques Bergerac ... Pierre Ducros
Leslie Phillips ... Sir Gerald Wren
Henry Daniell ... Judge
Patrick Macnee ... Sir Percy
Stephen Vercoe Stephen Vercoe ... Mr. Outward
Philip Tonge ... Associate Judge


After writing a tell-all book about her days in the dance troupe "Barry Nichols and Les Girls", Sybil Wren (Kay Kendall) is sued for libeling her fellow dancer Angele (Taina Elg). A Rashomon (1950)-style narrative presents the story from three points of view. Sybil accuses Angele of having an affair with Barry ( Gene Kelly ), while Angele insists that it was actually Sybil who was having the affair. Finally, Barry gives his side of the story. Written by Azure_Girl

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's a passport to pleasure See more »


Comedy | Musical


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The car driven by Barry Nichols (Gene Kelly) is an AC ACE-Bristol Roadster which was a precursor to the Shelby Cobra - a Ford V8 engine and transmission fitted to a modified AC Bristol body, introduced in 1963. See more »


During the European tour, multiple clips are shown of American-style steam locomotives, not European-type engines, as would have been appropriate. See more »


Barry Nichols: You really think she's gone on me?
See more »


References Rashomon (1950) See more »


Ça c'est l'amour
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Performed by Taina Elg (dubbed by Thora Mathiason)
See more »

User Reviews

A film starring Gene Kelly and directed by George Cukor where the ladies steal the show
17 September 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Gene Kelly was one of the most talented and charismatic performers in classic musicals, some of his dance routines being among cinema's most jaw-dropping. And George Cukor was a fine director with a filmography that contained a number of favourites.

Both have done better films than 'Les Girls', in fact everybody involved pretty much has, but the film is definitely well worth watching and is entertaining in its own right. To me, what came off least successfully is the story, which is basically a musical version of Akira Kurosawa's 'Rashomon' (except that film handled its story structure much better). It is certainly intriguing, and it is difficult to resist its often risqué and disarming nature, but it does struggle at times to sustain momentum and material for a running time that feels over-stretched, making the latter half pedestrian narratively. And while interesting the flashback structure doesn't always feel as smooth as it could have been, some of it clumsy and disorganised.

Cole Porter's songs have been criticised for reasons that are understandable. None of the songs are bad, Porter was too good a composer/song-writer to write bad music, and are reasonably pleasant, but this is not one of Porter's better song scores. Pleasant enough, but nowhere near as memorable or as inspired, apart from some witty and naughty lyric-writing (though there are instances where they are over-shadowed by some distracting stage business in the choreography), as they could have been, disappointing for a great composer/song-writer who should have gone out on a high note but didn't. Jacques Bergerac is also insipidly dull in a role with practically nothing to it, basically the sort of role that's there for the sake of being a plot device but nothing more.

Despite how this all sounds, 'Les Girls' does have a number of merits that it is difficult to be too hard on it. The best assets are the production values and the performances of the ladies. 'Les Girls' is simply a stunning-looking film, the colours are eye-poppingly ravishing, the sets are lavish, the costumes are beautifully chic and the cinematography often dazzles. The ladies manage to steal the show under those who most would naturally see the film for (Kelly, Cukor and Porter). Particularly note-worthy is the perfection that is Kay Kendall, who is charming and hilarious and would have had a bigger career if it hadn't been cut short so early and tragically. Mitzi Gaynor also has fun with her role and makes the character sympathetic too, while Taina Elg is suitably sultry.

Kelly is always watchable, and dances with charisma and his usual polish and technical meticulousness in routines that, while not exactly career highlights, do show off how incredible a dancer he was, even if his character is one of his least endearing (though he does bring wit and charm). Cukor makes the most of the production values and there is enough elegance and lightness of touch, but it does seem in the early parts especially that he wasn't in complete control, or entirely trust or was comfortable, with the material. The script is wonderfully witty and also has a risqué boldness and sexiness.

On the whole, not a great film, and doesn't see the enormously talented people in front of and behind the camera doing the best work of their careers, but absolutely worth watching for the production values and Kendall. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

26 December 1957 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Cole Porter's Les Girls See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (35 mm optical prints)


Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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