Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Comedy, Music
  • 1982
  • 132 mins

Victor/Victoria

Victor/Victoria

Synopsis

Julie Andrews takes going in drag to new levels in Blake Edwards' hugely entertaining musical

About

A star vehicle for his wife Julie Andrews, Blake Edwards' Victor/Victoria takes its gender-bending premise to preposterous levels, but results in a sparkling and hugely enjoyable musical comedy.

Adapted from a 1933 film by the German director/writer Reinhold Schunzel (who also wrote the original Some Like It Hot), it tells the story of struggling singer Victoria Grant (Andrews) who, together with unemployed singer Toddy (Robert Preston), hatches one of the most original plans to gain employment - she is to pose as singer Victor Grezhinski; a Polish Count famous for his female impersonations.

Surprisingly it works, and Victor is the toast of the Paris nightlife, with audiences unaware that he is really a woman playing a man playing a woman (think about it). That is until a confused and amorous Chicago club owner King Marchand (James Garner) enters the scene, posing the biggest threat to Victoria's secret identity.

Made during a period when film musicals weren't considered to be top box office draw, it was Edwards' reputation at MGM that got Victor/Victoria the green light. Considering too that an overtly homosexual character such as Toddy was unusual even for this time, it's to his eternal credit that he got the film made.

And we should be grateful he did. Its sparkling script explores and expounds upon sexual identity without becoming crass or didactic, mixing slapstick comedy with romance and many opportunities for Andrews to showcase her singing and dancing talents.

With strong performances all round, especially Robert Preston's camp but not caricatured turn as Buddy, and some rich lighting from cinematographer Dick Bush, it's a real pleasure to watch.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Robert Preston, Julie Andrews, James Garner, Lesley Ann Warren, John Rhys-Davies, Alex Karras
  • Director: Blake Edwards
  • Writer: Reinhold Schünzel, Blake Edwards, Hans Hoemburg
  • Producer: Tony Adams, Blake Edwards
  • Photographer: Dick Bush
  • Composer: Henry Mancini, Leslie Bricusse

In a nutshell

Verdict
Victor/Victoria is a highly entertaining musical posing as an exploration of sexual politics posing as a highly entertaining musical… Whatever, it's really very good.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Apache Territory

    Western with Rory Calhoun. A drifter finds himself in charge of a desperate stand against Apache warriors who are determined to either expel incomers from their domain or kill them.

    On Film4: 31 May 11:00AM

  • Film4

    I Wish

    Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda's critically acclaimed, charming drama explores the lives of two young brothers whose parents have separated.

    On Film4: 31 May 1:00AM

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House 2016

    Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House, London¿s groundbreaking open-air film festival, returns between 4-17 August, with a prestigious programme of classic and contemporary films, and a total of thr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Film4-backed film deals at Cannes 2016

    In addition to Andrea Arnold's American Honey taking home the Jury Prize, Film4 are thrilled to report that a number of deals were announced for Film4-backed films in Cannes... THE KILLING OF

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share