My Geisha

Overview

In this romantic comedy, a popular actress disguises herself as a Japanese geisha to land a part in a film directed by her husband. Shirley MacLaine stars as Lucy Dell, a comic actress married to equally successful director Paul Robaix Yves Montand. Though Paul has found success creating comic vehicles for Lucy, he wants to expand his range by making a lavish adaptation of Madame Butterfly on location in Japan, using a local actress as the star. Lucy feels she can play the part just as well as any Japanese woman,...
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Overview

In this romantic comedy, a popular actress disguises herself as a Japanese geisha to land a part in a film directed by her husband. Shirley MacLaine stars as Lucy Dell, a comic actress married to equally successful director Paul Robaix Yves Montand. Though Paul has found success creating comic vehicles for Lucy, he wants to expand his range by making a lavish adaptation of Madame Butterfly on location in Japan, using a local actress as the star. Lucy feels she can play the part just as well as any Japanese woman, and, with the help of the film's producer Edward G. Robinson, she hatches a plot to prove it. She poses as Yoko Mori, an innocent young geisha on her way to joining a convent, and her husband is immediately determined to cast her. Of course, the masquerade proves more difficult than imagined, and things become especially complicated when Lucy's Hollywood playboy co-star Robert Cummings falls in love with her demure Yoko persona. Opting for mild, character-driven humor over farce, My Geisha provides a few knowing jibes at Hollywood and comfortable performances from MacLaine and Montand, but the film's treatment of Japanese culture will likely seem dated to modern audiences.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
My Geisha would be very easy to dismiss were it not for Shirley Maclaine's captivating star performance. Certainly, the plot is so ludicrous that it would take a screenwriter with enormous insight and sensitivity (and, hopefully, an unerring ability to craft witty and incisive dialogue) to lift the film anywhere above average. Suffice it to say that, while Norman Krasna does supply a few one-liners and does manage to give the film a somewhat surprisingly serious side, he does not otherwise overcome the limitations of the plot. A really strong director would also have helped, but Jack Cardiff's work in terms of storytelling, pacing, and melding the comic and the serious into a unified whole are merely average. However, credit does go to Cardiff for the film's lovely travelogue look, and for letting Edith Head have her way in designing the gorgeous costumes. But it's Maclaine that is the film's saving grace, using her pixieish charm, oddly appealing looks, and quirky combination of winsomeness and ambition to give the film abundant life. She's funny even when handed lines that ought to fall flat, can break your heart when required, and only has to let those weirdly enthralling eyes get a hint of moisture to have you ready to follow her anywhere. True, there's absolutely no spark between her and Yves Montand, who seems uncomfortable throughout, but most viewers won't care. She's much more than My Geisha deserves, and without her, there would be little reason to watch.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/6/2013
  • UPC: 883316755167
  • Original Release: 1962
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount (Pmt)
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:59:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 13,145

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Shirley MacLaine Lucy Dell/Yoko Mori
Yves Montand Paul Farley
Edward G. Robinson Sam Lewis
Robert Cummings Bob Moore
Yoko Tani Kazumi Ito
Tatsuo Saito Kenichi Takata
Alex Gerry Leonard Lewis
Ichi Hayakawa Kaida
George Furness Butler George
Marion Furness Bob's Girl Friend
Satoko Kuni Maid
Tamae Kyokawa Amatsu Hisako
Taugendo Maki Shiga
Technical Credits
Jack Cardiff Director
Harry Caplan Production Manager
Charles Grenzbach Sound/Sound Designer
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Makoto Kikuchi Art Director
Norman Krasna Screenwriter
Harold Lewis Sound/Sound Designer
Arthur Lonergan Art Director
Archie Marshek Editor
Steve Parker Producer
Hal Pereira Art Director
Shu Uemura Makeup
Franz Waxman Score Composer
Frank Westmore Makeup
Wally Westmore Makeup
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