Guest Movie Review: Victor/Victoria

eliBy Eli Sanchez
Guest Contributor
Silver Screen Capture

imageBlake Edwards’ comedy musical Victor/ Victoria (B+) follows the path of a British Soprano singer (Julie Andrews) who begins the film down and out and desperate to give up her virtue to save eviction and a meatball, to overnight success as a female impersonator cabaret singer in Paris. The film is seemingly set in 1920’s Paris and the premise is “A woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman.” At a point when she is most down and out, a recently discharged lounge singer at a gay nightclub, Carole “Toddy” Todd (played to the hilt by Robert Preston) befriends her and hits upon the idea to use her soprano voice to their advantage and pawn her off as Count Strasinki of Poland (his lover). The film is largely a farce, but the musical numbers are very catchy and worthy of Andrews’ great vocal range particularly with the song “Le Jazz Hot.” Like typical Edwards films, almost every scene ends with some sort of slapstick or humorous fight, many of which are reminiscent of the Pink Panther films that marked his early career. The film also stars James Garner as a Chicago nightclub owner who sees the “Victor” female impersonator performance and becomes Andrews’ love interest. The film largely focuses on gender identity while putting a humorous stamp on the Roaring Twenties and the social mores of the U.S. clashing to some degree with the sexual openness of Paris.

I've reviewed films for more than 20 years. Current movie reviews of new theatrical releases and direct-to-video or streaming films are added weekly to the Silver Screen Capture movie news site. Many capsule critiques originally appeared in expanded form in my syndicated Lights Camera Reaction column.

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Posted in 1982

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