7.8/10
2,561
50 user 25 critic

The Boy Friend (1971)

When the leading lady of a low-budget musical revue sprains her ankle, the assistant stage manager is forced to understudy and perform in her place, becoming a star and finding love in the process.

Director:

Ken Russell

Writers:

Ken Russell (screenplay), Sandy Wilson (musical)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Twiggy ... Polly
Christopher Gable Christopher Gable ... Tony
Max Adrian ... Max
Bryan Pringle ... Percy
Murray Melvin ... Alphonse
Moyra Fraser ... Mme. Dubonnet
Georgina Hale ... Fay
Sally Bryant Sally Bryant ... Nancy
Vladek Sheybal ... De Thrill
Tommy Tune ... Tommy
Brian Murphy ... Peter
Graham Armitage ... Michael
Antonia Ellis ... Maisie
Caryl Little Caryl Little ... Dulcie
Anne Jameson Anne Jameson ... Mrs. Peter (as Ann Jameson)
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Storyline

The assistant stage manager of a small-time theatrical company (Polly Browne) is forced to understudy for the leading lady (Rita) at a matinée performance at which an illustrious Hollywood director (Cecil B. DeThrill) is in the audience scouting for actors to be in his latest "all-talking, all-dancing, all-singing" extravaganza. Polly also happens to fall in love with the leading man (Tony) and imagines several fabulous fantasy sequences in which the director is free to exercise his capacity for over-the-top visuals in this charming 1920's era flick. Written by Bliss Blood <soundex@sccsi.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

EMI-MGM Presents The Return Of Entertainment See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

25 February 1972 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

The Boyfriend See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Russflix See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (short UK) | (director's cut) | (US) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Max Adrian, Murray Melville and Georgina Hale had all appeared previously earlier in the same year in Ken Russell's "The Devils" (1971). See more »

Quotes

Mme. Dubonnet: [singing] I am so good, At spreading mirth and joy
Percy: But it's no good, With such a sulky boy
MaisieFayDulcieNancy: I try, To play the game the other fellows all choose
Percy: The other fellows all choose
MaisieFayDulcieNancy: I sigh, Because you always refuse
Mme. Dubonnet: What is a girl to do, With such a boy as you? I've got those
PercyMme. DubonnetMaisieFayDulcieNancy: Dreary, Weary, You-Don't-Want-To-Play-With-Me Blues
See more »

Crazy Credits

Ken Russell's Talking Picture See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 38 minutes from this film for its 1975 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

References Flying Down to Rio (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Nicer in Nice
Music & Lyrics by Sandy Wilson
Performed by Barbara Windsor and Girls & Boys
See more »

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User Reviews

Some films age superbly
3 June 2003 | by chris-1124See all my reviews

Russell's homage to the twenties has aged better than most of his films because the tone is so right. The orchestration is period-perfect, and the costumes (by Russell's then-wife, Shirley) are astounding. Likewise the amazing sets echo the designs of Clarice Cliff, Lucy Atwell and a host of others. Twiggy is that rare star, a model who made a great transition to film, and she's supported by a Who's Who cast of English performers, especially bad girl Antonia Ellis, who went on to star in the British stage version of 'Chicago'. To cap it all, the film works on three distinct levels, the backstage musical, the onstage drama and the fantasy version. Some lines have even become catchphrases. Sandy Wilson, the original show's author, wrote a sequel called 'Divorce Me, Darling', which parodied the thirties. Some prints are shown without the 'Woodland Pastoral' dance sequence.


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