In 1934 Paris, trained coloratura soprano Victoria Grant (Dame Julie Andrews), 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 (Robert Preston) 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 their problems, Toddy comes up with what he considers to be 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 (John Rhys-Davies), who, impressed, gets him a gig ...Written by
Dame Julie Andrews and James Garner appeared in The Americanization of Emily (1964) and One Special Night (1999). See more »
In both scenes of "Shady Dame from Seville", first with Victoria, the second with Toddy, the stars in the window behind the fountain keep changing positions. During close-ups, the arrangement of the lights (stars) differ from distant shots. Only once did the camera position change while following Victoria, where otherwise it stayed in one position, and should not have affected the position of the stars. See more »
" A woman, pretending to be a man, pretending to be a woman "
Many social innovations, have often as not originated in France. Take cross-dressing for instance. In the 1930's a singer created quite a sensation when her fabulous show became the toast of Paris. She traveled throughout Europe and remained a novelty for years. Her success was due to the fact that she was not a woman after all. She was a man. This fact became the inspiration for the film "Victoria/Victoria." In the movie, a talented female singer (Julie Andrews) named Victoria Grant (aka Count Victor Grezhinski) schemes with an out of work cabaret singer, Carroll 'Toddy' Todd (Robert Preston, who is fantastic in this role) to create a female impersonation act. With the help of Andre Cassell, (John Rhys Davies) a night club owner they hope to get rich with the unusual act. Complications arise however, the least of which is a visiting gangster named King Marchand (James Garner) who takes a liking for Victoria. His Chicago girlfriend Norma Cassady (Lesley Ann Warren) become jealous and informs other hoodlums to come to Paris. Alex Karras, plays Mr. Bernstein, Garners' bodyguard). The film is a solid hit for the cast and lays the foundation of it become a classic. ****
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