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
When Victoria says "I am a coloratura, Mr. Labisse, not a mezzo", she is responding to his telling her to stick to "Carmen". Carmen, in Bizet's opera by the same name, is a role for a mezzo-soprano. See more »
The reaction shots of Andre and Toddy watching Victoria during her first "Shady Dame From Seville" number have them wearing the same boutonnières they wore during her very first show, but when Toddy and Victoria arrive back at the hotel Toddy has a different colored one. See more »
A fine way for the stars to break away from their earlier roles, and it's pretty funny, too.
Three of the stars of this movie all made their mark playing wholesome characters, (and all in musicals, ironically) but they certainly got rid of those personas in this film. Julie Andrews finally solved the problem of Maria by playing a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman, Robert Preston's gay entertainer is a long, long way from Harold Hill, and Lesley Ann Warren... well, her floozy moll ("Ya mean you really aw... quee-uh?") basically erases all memories of Cinderella. All give excellent performances in this entertaining, funny film from director/co-writer Blake Edwards. And they all get to sing some great songs from Henry Mancini and Leslie Brucusse, among them "Le Jazz Hot," (in which Andrews sings in her lower range, and actually sizzles) "The Shady Dame From Seville," (first sung by Andrews, then hilariously reprised at the end by Preston) and "Chicago, Illinois." (Warren is great in that) Though there is a long stretch in the middle that either included jokes and/or subtleties that went over my head or just wasn't funny, though not bad, otherwise it's a great comedy. In addition to the three performers mentioned, James Garner is also good as the gangster who falls for Andrews but is unsure of her gender.
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