Victoria is a poverty striken performer trying to suceed in 1930s Paris. With the help of Toddy, a gay cabaret performer, she creates her famous alter ego Victor, a femeale impersonator. As a woman pretending to be a man who is impersonating a woman, she becomes the toast of Paris, and the object of affection for Chicago mob boss, King Marchan.
Lesley Ann Warren
George Lane Cooper
Graham V Hartstone
Gordon K. Mccallum
Gerald T Nutting
William Craig Smith
Ralph E. Winters
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Art Direction
Best Costume Design
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
In a trend set by Cabaret (1972), all musicals numbers are performed in a nightclub, making Victor/Victoria a movie with music rather than a movie musical. The Mancini/Bricusse songs include "You and Me," "Gay Paree," "Le Jazz Hot," "Crazy World," "Chicago, Illinois" and "Elegant." Mancini was a longtime Edwards collaborator, having previously worked with him in TV's Peter Gunn and Mr. Lucky series and numerous films including Operation Petticoat (1959), The Great Race (1965), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), Darling Lili (1970) and the Pink Panther movies.
Along with the laughs and Mancini's music, Victor/Victoria offers amusing observations about gender perceptions and the nature of sexual attraction. Writer-director Blake Edwards originally conceived the movie as a vehicle for Andrews (his wife) and Peter Sellers, another frequent Edwards collaborator. After Sellers' untimely death in 1980, Robert Preston stepped into the role of the irrepressible Toddy, giving one of his liveliest screen performances and winning an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor.
Victor/Victoria also was nominated in categories of Best Actress (Andrews), Supporting Actress (Lesley Ann Warren, for her hilarious turn as a screechy-voiced chorus girl), Adapted Screenplay (Edwards), Art Direction and Costume Design. Edwards won a Writers Guild of America award for his screenplay, and Victor/Victoria was named Best Foreign Film in France's Cesar awards.
Victor/Victoria was eventually transformed into a Broadway musical in 1996, again written and directed by Edwards and starring Andrews. By then the star appeared to have made peace with the role that, despite her dazzling success with it, had troubled her at the time the film was made. "There were so many things to be worked out," she said. "As someone who likes to be in control, I felt wobbly. There was something else, too: When you get older, you kind of get on to yourself. You know the tricks you play to get by, and you like them less and less if you care about your work. I was trying hard to get away from them and was sometimes falling back."
Producers: Tony Adams, Blake Edwards
Director: Blake Edwards
Screenplay: Blake Edwards, from Hans Hoemburg/Reinhold Schunzel screenplay
Production Design: Rodger Maus
Cinematography: Dick Bush
Costumes: Patricia Norris
Editing: Ralph E. Winters
Original Music: Henry Mancini, Leslie Bricusse
Choreographer: Paddy Stone
Principal Cast: Julie Andrews (Victor/Victoria), James Garner (King Marchand), Robert Preston (Toddy), Lesley Ann Warren (Norma), Alex Karras (Squash), John Rhys-Davies (Cassell), Graham Stark (Waiter)
C-134m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.
by Roger Fristoe
Soundtracks - Victor/Victoria
VICTOR/VICTORIA - Now on CD
Turner Classic Movies Music & Rhino Movie Music have just released the original soundtrack of Victor/Victoria which marks the first time Henry Mancini's ENTIRE score as written for the screen has appeared on CD. Although an LP and subsequently an expanded-CD reissue of the film's music were both previously released, this collection contains a slew of additional tracks never before available, all derived from the original 24-track master session tapes as recorded in England. As additional bonus tracks, the CD includes the Andrews-Preston duet "You and Me" featured on the original 1982 soundtrack LP (as the song is not sung to completion in the film, an alternate album version was created during production). It also includes a previously unissued and very amusing "rehearsal" track of Preston's "Shady Dame" performance, wherein his antics clearly broke up everyone in the studio.
Based upon Reinhold Schunzel's 1933 German film, Viktor and Viktoria (which served as the basis for a 1935 British remake, starring Jessie Matthews, entitled First a Girl), Edwards' Victor/Victoria premiered on March 19, 1982, at three theatres in the U.S., including New York's much-beloved Ziegfeld Theatre. Esteemed New York Times film critic Vincent Canby greeted the opening by proclaiming, "Get ready, set and go - immediately to the Ziegfeld Theatre where Blake Edwards today opens up his chef d'oeuvre, his cockeyed crowning achievement.
The film received unanimous critical praise worldwide, and would earn seven Academy Award nominations, resulting in an award for Best Song Score by Henry Mancini and lyricist Leslie Bricusse. Its warm reception was an out-and-out triumph for leading lady Julie Andrews, whose director-husband Edwards tailored the effort to showcase her multiple and highly underrated talents. The success was long overdue for Andrews, who suffered a series of box office disappointments in the late '60s and early '70s, after her superb turns in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music/
To purchase a copy of the Victor/Victoria CD, go to RHINO RECORDS.
By George Feltenstein
YANKEE DOODLE DANDY - The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Rhino Movie Music and Turner Classic Movies have just released on CD the original soundtrack to Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) which marks the first authorized release of the film's entire soundtrack score. Although most of the prerecordings from Warner Bros. films made prior to 1950 no longer exist, several tracks from B>Yankee Doodle Dandy miraculously survived the intervening years, and were discovered and preserved in 1997. This new collection comprises tracks that have been combined with selections taken directly from the original nitrate-composite optical soundtrack of the feature itself.
Yankee Doodle Dandy rates as the favorite film of its star, James Cagney. Although he now seems the only logical choice, Cagney would have missed out on his big chance if a deal between Cohan and MGM to make a film to be called The Four Cohans hadn't fizzled out. Covering the years when Cohan had toured with his father, mother and sister, the movie would have starred Mickey Rooney as the young Cohan. The deal collapsed after studio head Louis B. Mayer refused to allow Cohan the right to final cut on the proposed film. The next movie mogul to show an interest in the project was Samuel Goldwyn, who had a commitment to make a film starring Fred Astaire. When Astaire refused the role of Cohan as not right for him, the rights were picked up by Warner Bros., who cast resident star Cagney in the role with Cohan's blessings. Cagney, in particular, was eager to play Cohan because he was, at the time, suspected of being a communist sympathizer due to his union activities (he was president of the Screen Actors' Guild) and because of his open support of the New Deal. He wanted to show his patriotism on screen, and the George M. Cohan story was the perfect vehicle to do this.
Yankee Doodle Dandy, with its many flag-waving musical numbers, proved just the ticket for World War II-era audiences and became the top-grossing movie of its year, as well as Warners' top-grossing movie to that time. It was nominated for Academy Awards in eight categories, including Best Picture and Director (Michael Curtiz), and won three Oscars, including one for Cagney as Best Actor. One of Curtiz' keys to success was the decision to allow Cagney free rein in his scenes, permitting the actor to improvise as the cameras were rolling. A prime example, and reportedly Cagney's favorite moment in the film, is when he suddenly breaks into a tap-dance as he comes down the stairs in a scene at the White House where Cohan has met with President Franklin Roosevelt. "I didn't think of it till five minutes before I went on," Cagney later recalled. "And I didn't check with the director or anything; I just did it." The ordinarily hard-boiled Curtiz was so moved by the scene in which Cohan bids farewell to his dying father (Walter Huston) that he reportedly ruined a take with his loud sobs. According to Cagney biographer Michael Freedland, tears streamed down Curtiz' face as he stumbled away to find a handkerchief and exclaimed to Cagney, "Gott, Jeemy, that was marvelous!"
The Rhino CD of Yankee Doodle Dandy comes with 16 tracks featuring "Mary's a Grand Old Name," "Over There," and "Yankee Doodle Boy," PLUS four bonus tracks - "You Remind Me of My Mother" (an outtake), rehearsal versions of "Give My Regards to Broadway" and "You're a Grand Old Flag," and a piano only version of a Medley of "Oh, You Wonderful Girl/Blue Skies, Gray Skies/The Belle of the Barber's Ball."
For more information about Yankee Doodle Dandy or Rhino's other movie soundtracks, visit Rhino Records.
Soundtracks - Victor/Victoria
Released in United States Spring March 1982
Released in United States 1982
Released in USA on video.
Released in United States Spring March 1982
Released in United States 1982 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Opening Night) March 16 - April 1, 1982.)