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
The Broadway musical "Victor Victoria", based on this movie, opened at the Marquis Theater in New York City, New York on October 25, 1995 and ran for seven hundred thirty-four performances. Liza Minnelli substituted for Julie Andrews, while she was on vacation, and Raquel Welch took over for her when she left the show. See more »
After "Victoria" first reveals herself as Victor, Marchand checks his program and sees pics of both Victor and Victoria. The whole gimmick is the gender swap. Publishing those photos would blow the gimmick. See more »
You know, I know he's supposed to protect you, but does he have to stay in the same suite with us? I mean I just keep expecting him to break in while we're, uh... while we're making love.
He'd only do that if he heard something unusual. Like if I got excited!
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The opening credits are a montage of Art Deco illustrations, with most of them reflecting the functions of the credited persons. 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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