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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 <email@example.com>
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My Geisha is a film that I'm not sure why it is overlooked. Essentially Shirley MacLaine plays two roles in this film. One she's Lucy Dell, a Hollywood Actress not unlike Shirley MacLaine. But with a lot of heavy makeup she's also playing a geisha girl who husband/director Yves Montand picks to star in a film version of Madame Butterfly.
Shirley at that time was married to Steve Parker who lived and worked in Japan and they had one of the weirdest marriages on record. They stayed together almost thirty years, basically because they only saw each other once or twice a year with her living in Hollywood. But this film with Steve Parker producing it for his wife brought them together for a much longer sojourn.
Montand directs his wife's films and she's known as a good comic actress in the profession. He and her perennial leading man Bob Cummings want to do a serious drama, Madame Butterfly, film the Puccini opera with dubbed in singers.
MacLaine and producer Edward G. Robinson go to Japan, Shirley in secret and for a lark she puts on geisha makeup and outfit. Montand and Cummings are so taken with her that Montand hires the geisha that Shirley is pretending to be as the lead in Madame Butterfly.
The masquerade is kept going, but the joke runs into some unforeseen complications for all concerned.
My Geisha glides effortlessly from comedy to drama when the careers and egos of both MacLaine and Montand are on the line. It works out in a highly unusual way. Both Montand and MacLaine do very well by their lead parts with Bob Cummings portraying a wolfish leading man and Edward G. Robinson to dispense wise counsel for all.
It's a very good part for Shirley MacLaine. She summons some hidden depths for the film in portraying the tragic geisha of Madame Butterfly. It's one of her best films.
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