The bumbling Inspector Clouseau travels to Rome to catch a notorious jewel thief known as "The Phantom" before he conducts his most daring heist yet: a princess' priceless diamond with one slight imperfection, known as "The Pink Panther".
In 1934 Paris, trained coloratura soprano Victoria Grant, a native Brit, can't get a job as a singer and is having trouble making ends meet. She doesn't even have enough money for the basics of food and shelter. Gay cabaret singer Carole 'Toddy' Todd may befall the same fate as Victoria as he was just fired from his singing gig at a second rate club named Chez Lui. To solve both their problems, Toddy comes up with what he considers an inspired idea: with Toddy as her manager, Victoria, pretending to be a man, get a job singing as a female impersonator. If they pull this scheme off, Toddy vows Victoria, as her male alter ego, will be the toast of Paris and as such be extremely wealthy. That alter ego they decide is Polish Count Victor Grazinski, Toddy's ex-lover who was disowned by his family when they found out he was gay. The Count auditions for the city's leading agent, Andre Cassell, who, impressed, gets him a gig performing in the city's best nightclub. In the audience on the ...Written by
In the second Chez Lui nightclub brawl scene, Madame President (the older woman who has her wig ripped off) is thrown up on the piano. When the piano collapses, it is clearly seen to be made out of balsa wood or a very thin laminate of some kind. See more »
Dazzling art direction, lavish costumes, funny dialogue, a fabulous soundtrack, and Robert Preston make "Victor/Victoria" one of filmdom's most entertaining musicals of all time. Set in 1934 Paris, and filmed in luscious color, the film tells the story of two down and out friends who carry out an ingenious plan to get rich. Toddy (Robert Preston), a gay performer, persuades Victoria (Julie Andrews), a struggling singer, to change her appearance to that of a man so that she can pose on stage as a female impersonator. Blake Edwards converts the film's clever concept into a film of true cinematic flair and panache.
The film's music alone is enough to make "Victor/Victoria" a winner. With consummate verve, Andrews sings the lively "Le Jazz Hot", a stage performance that has been mimicked by, it seems, one in ten talent competitors in the Miss America Pageant for the last twenty years. The colorful song "The Shady Dame From Seville" is memorable as a cultural classic. Even the restrained "You And Me" is satisfying, with its old fashioned charm. And Henry Mancini's wistful and slightly melancholy original score adds melodic balance to the flashy stage numbers.
The casting is perfect. I cannot imagine anyone other than Julie Andrews as Victoria. James Garner is fine as King Marchand. And in support roles, Lesley Ann Warren adds sexy spunk as Norma, and Alex Karras is surprisingly effective as Marchand's bodyguard. But it is music man Robert Preston who leads this top notch Hollywood talent parade. Preston is likable throughout, and is a hoot in the film's finale.
If the film has a flaw, it might be in the editing. The plot in Act Two slows down. Or, to say it a little differently, it ... drags (so to speak). The 132 minute runtime is a tad long maybe, and so a few scene deletions here and there might have rendered a slight improvement in the pace. But, this is a minor issue, one that I raise only in my grasping-at-straws attempt to find something to complain about.
"Victor/Victoria" is an expressive, fun, one-of-a-kind musical garden party that easily makes my list of top fifty films ever made.
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