4.9 10
Director: Blake Edwards

Cast: Blake Edwards, Julie Andrews, James Garner, Robert Preston


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On the verge of starvation in 1930s Paris, erstwhile entertainer Victoria (Julie Andrews) is rescued by gay cabaret performer Toddy (Robert Preston). What she needs to succeed, opines Toddy, is a gimmick. What if she becomes a male impersonator? Better still: what if she becomes a male impersonator, pretending to be a female impersonator? As "Victor/Victoria," s/he… See more details below


On the verge of starvation in 1930s Paris, erstwhile entertainer Victoria (Julie Andrews) is rescued by gay cabaret performer Toddy (Robert Preston). What she needs to succeed, opines Toddy, is a gimmick. What if she becomes a male impersonator? Better still: what if she becomes a male impersonator, pretending to be a female impersonator? As "Victor/Victoria," s/he becomes the toast of Paree, and an object of fascination for big-time Chicago gangster King Marchan (James Garner), who can't quite understand the teasing sensations he experiences whenever watching her in action-especially since he, like everyone else, assumes that she is a he. Enjoyable though the stars of Blake Edwards' comedy may be, the film is stolen by Lesley Ann Warren, who won an Oscar nomination as King's screechy-voiced moll, and Alex Karras as King's chief henchman, who, assuming that his boss is "that way," literally comes out of the closet. Victor/Victoria was a remake of the 1931 German film Viktor und Viktoria, which had previously be reworked in 1937 as the Jessie Mathews vehicle First a Girl. In 1996, Victor/Victoria was transformed into a Broadway musical, again directed by Edwards and starring Andrews.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Greg Fagan
Writer-director Blake Edwards, who reaches for high notes and often falls painfully flat, achieved perfect pitch in this comedy musical matching Julie Andrews (his wife) with a brilliant cast of supporting players, including Robert Preston and James Garner. Andrews portrays Victoria Grant, a talented soprano struggling to find work in Depression-era Paris whose encounter with nightclub singer Carroll Todd (Preston) during a failed audition leads to a new lease on life. The life she leases (actually, one conjured from whole cloth by "Toddy"), is that of Count Victor Grezhinski, a female impersonator. As a woman impersonating a man impersonating a woman, Andrews dazzles pretty much from start to finish, displaying both her comedic charm and vocal virtuosity, as Count Victor becomes the toast of the town. The great complication at the plot's center is introduced when Garner, portraying a macho American gangster named King Marchan, finds himself curiously and uncomfortably smitten with the Count. Twisting the plot into a fine, farcical mess are Lesley Anne Warren (as Marchan's moll, a talented singer-dancer and relatively dim bulb) and Alex Karras (as Marchan's closeted bodyguard). Edwards, who successfully reworked the material for Broadway in 1996, lets this gender-bending bouillabaisse bubble along at a crisp pace, building to a deeply satisfying climax. Released in conjunction with the film's 20th anniversary, the DVD affords feature-length commentary from Edwards and Andrews and has been remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1, all the better to appreciate Henry Mancini's delightful score. Mancini's work (with Leslie Bricusse) earned an Academy Award, the film's sole win among its seven nominations, including nods for Andrews, Warren, Preston, sets, costumes, and adapted screenplay (for Edwards).
All Movie Guide
This witty, energetic film is one of the best and most memorable efforts in the accomplished career of Blake Edwards. The story's fusion of screwball comedy and musical review is a potentially unwieldy combination, but Blake Edwards manages to make it work with a thoughtful script that weaves rich characterizations into a carefully-constructed but sprawling plot that gives them room to breathe. Victor/Victoria is lengthy but never feels overlong thanks to Edwards' stylish work behind the camera: he excels at crafting complex slapstick setpieces but shows equal skill with the film's many rousing musical numbers (the highlight is a stunning cabaret number called "Le Jazz Hot"). His work is ably supported by the film's handsome production values, which include a dazzling Henry Mancini score full of memorable cabaret tunes and excellent cinematography by Dick Bush that adds just the right veneer of Hollywood glamour. However, the true appeal of Victor/Victoria lies in the magnificent performances that add heart to its combination of style and wit. Julie Andrews finds the right combination of vulnerability and cynicism to make her demanding double role work, Robert Preston brings warmth and razor-sharp verbal wit in equal measure to his role as her protector, and James Garner is a subtle delight as the mobster who is forced to reevaluate his concept of masculinity. The film also features plenty of scene-stealing supporting performances, especially Lesley Ann Warren's turn as King's oversexed mistress and Alex Karras' deadpan work as King's surprisingly sensitive and perceptive bodyguard. All these elements jell together beautifully to create a film that manages to work as a valentine to the screwball comedy and musical genres while also adding thoroughly modern theme of social and sexual tolerance into the mix. As a result, Victor/Victoria manages to feel classic and progressive all at once and this duality makes it one of Blake Edward's finest cinematic achievements.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Archives
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Special Features

Feature-length audio commentary by Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Julie Andrews Victor/Victoria
James Garner King Marchan
Robert Preston Toddy
Lesley Ann Warren Norma
Alex Karras Squash
John Rhys-Davies Cassell
Graham Stark Waiter
Peter Arne Labisse
Sherloque Tanney Bovin
Neil Cunningham Nightclub Master of Ceremonies
Matyelock Gibbs Cassell's Receptionist
George Silver Fat Man with Eclair
Stuart Craig Turton Boy Friend to Actress
Bill Monks LeClou
Michael Robbins Hotel Manager
Norman Chancer Sal
David Gant Restaurant Manager
Maria Charles Madame President
Malcolm Jamieson Richard
John Cassady Juke
Christopher Good Stage Manager
Jay Benedict Guy Langois
Olivier Pierre Langois' Companion
Joanna Dickens Large Lady in Restaurant
Simon Chandler Chorus Boy
Vivienne Chandler Chambermaid
Elizabeth Vaughan Opera Singer
Paddy Ward Photographer
Tim Stern Desk Clerk Third Rate Hotel
Sam Williams Chorus Boy
Geoffrey Beevers Police Inspector

Technical Credits
Blake Edwards Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Tony Adams Producer
Leslie Bricusse Score Composer,Songwriter
Dick Bush Cinematographer
Roy Charman Sound Mixer
Harry Cordwell Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Paul Engelen Makeup
Harry Frampton Makeup
Peter Frampton Makeup
Tim Hutchinson Art Director
Henry Mancini Score Composer
Rodger Maus Production Designer
Pat Norris Costumes/Costume Designer
Mary Selway Casting
William Craig Smith Art Director
Paddy Stone Choreography
Ralph Winters Editor

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Victor/Victoria
1. Credits [2:27]
2. Too Legitimate [3:34]
3. Her Story State [4:20]
4. Gay Paree [3:26]
5. Rockefeller Dines [4:38]
6. Cockroach Gambit [5:43]
7. Roommates [5:15]
8. Toddy's Inspiration [4:33]
9. Cassell's Office [2:34]
10. Divine Rehearsals [2:11]
11. Opening Night [1:38]
12. Le Jazz Hot [4:34]
13. "It's a Guy" [1:48]
14. Another Kind of Man [3:08]
15. Mutual Attraction [1:49]
16. Bedding Down [6:24]
17. No Soap For Norma [3:44]
18. The Shady Dame From Seville [1:51]
19. King Pays a Call [3:19]
20. The Naked Truth [3:52]
21. Hasty Exits [3:33]
22. Chicago, Illinois [3:32]
23. Dinner and Cigars [3:38]
24. Two-Faced Dance [4:42]
25. You and Me... [2:02]
26. ...and a Melee [3:00]
27. Banging in, Coming Out [3:28]
28. Both Pretenders [1:36]
29. In Unlikely Places [4:42]
30. Liaisons [2:07]
31. Crazy World [2:25]
32. Nights on the Town [3:20]
33. Lightning Rod [1:08]
34. King's Guy Thing [1:15]
35. Victoria's Decision [4:50]
36. "Lock the Door" [2:48]
37. The Greatest Diguise [2:08]
38. The Shady Dame From Seivlle (II) [2:07]
39. The Finger [2:13]
40. The Shady Dame From Seville (II) [:32]
41. Cast List and End Credits [3:26]

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