Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Julie Andrews
James Garner
Robert Preston
Lesley Ann Warren
Alex Karras.
Directors
Blake Edwards.
Screenwriters
Blake Edwards.
Running Time
133 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Tony Benn: Will And Testament
5 Star Empire Rating
Life After Beth
4 Star Empire Rating
Palo Alto
4 Star Empire Rating
Nightcrawler
5 Star Empire Rating
Wilde Salomé
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Tony Benn: Will And Testament
5 Star Empire Rating
Nightcrawler
5 Star Empire Rating
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating

Victor/Victoria


submit to reddit


Plot
Down on their luck in 1934 Paris, entertainers Victoria Grant and Carroll Todd hatch a scheme to pass her off as female impersonator Count Victor Grezhinski. However, Chicago club owner King Marchand begins to fall for him/her, much to the dismay of his ditzy blonde lover Norma Cassady and macho bodyguard, Squash Bernstein.


Review

In its heyday, the musical had been very much a cosy form of family entertainment. However, by the 1980s, a yen for the genre had become stereotypically synonomous with homosexuality. Consequently, Blake Edwards chose to stress the gay element that had lain dormant in previous adaptations of Viktor Und Viktoria in this calculating reworking that owed as much to Edouard Molinaro's La Cage Aux Folles (1978) as to Reinhold Schünzel's 1933 screwball musical.
 
       Although Renate Müller still cross-dressed her way to celebrity in the original scenario, she got her break as a secret replacement for female impersonator Hermann Thimig. Moreover, London lothario Adolf Wohlbrück quickly discerns her true identity and puts her through a hellish macho initiation before declaring his love. In 1934, Victor Saville stuck closely to this storyline in tailoring it as First A Girl for Jessie Matthews and Sonny Hale, as did Karl Anton in his 1957 version with Annie Cordy.
 
       But Blake Edwards opted to turn Robert Preston's mentor into a gay confidante and mock James Garner's growing disquiet about his feelings through macho henchman, Alex Karras. Thus, a sniggering sense of innuendo was introduced to a situation that already had a delicious ambiguity. Moreover, Edwards and Andrews insisted on using the picture to drive another nail into her detested Mary Poppins image, although this time they resisted the resort to momentary nudity that had made S.O.B. such a succès de scandale.
 
       Andrews and Preston landed Oscar nominations in the film's unlikely haul of seven. But both the nominated Lesley Ann Warren and the overlooked Garner are infinitely more amusing in a double act that's part Clark Gable and Jean Harlow and part an inversion of Judy Holliday and Broderick Crawford's characters in Born Yesterday.
 
          However, the least deserving recipients were Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse, who won the award for Best Song with a dismal collection of ditties that even riffed on the `Lady of Seville' routine that Müller had performed with infinitely greater allure half a century before.


Verdict
Edwards odd reworking of his orginal German-language film garnered awards at the time but hasn't aged well.


Reviewed by David Parkinson

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Future Of Film: A Woman Will Direct Star Wars
No longer a men’s club, Hollywood is going to start opening its doors...

The Empire Podcast #130: Interviews With Rosamund Pike, Lee Child And Antoine Fuqua
The Gone Girl star, Jack Reacher author and The Equalizer director pop in for a chat

The Future Of Film: Movie Posters Will Talk To You (And Buy Your Tickets)
Movie posters will be bigger, better... and talk to you?

The 50 Greatest Voice Performances In Movies
Who has the most talented tonsils in town?

25 Movie Songs Bigger Than The Movie
The film tunes that transcend their origins...

Denzel Washington: A Viewer’s Guide
The highs and lows of The Equalizer star’s career to date

The Making Of The Lost Pilot: An Oral History
The cast and crew look back at the epic season opener…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)