Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Take a survey for the chance to win an iPad
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
Queen And Country
4 Star Empire Rating
Black Souls
4 Star Empire Rating
Station To Station
4 Star Empire Rating
She’s Funny That Way
2 Star Empire Rating
Accidental Love
1 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Look Of Silence
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
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.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Podcast #162: Hugh Laurie
Is there a doctor in the house?

Who Are The New Mutants?
Fox’s X-Men spin-off features a bunch of fresh faces. Here’s what you need to know...

Stoical Supermen: 10 Quiet Heroes That Get Stuff Done
Silent but deadly...

Ana Lily Amirpour On A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
'There's nothing sexier than a vampire...'

Rick Baker: Creature By Creature
The make-up effects titan on his greatest creations

12 Of The Weirdest Things Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Done On Camera
Outside of his movies, that is...

Spooks: An Oral History
Cast and crew on the spy smash

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe now and save up to 69%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  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)