Academy Awards 1982 -
Best Adapted or Musical Song/Score: Henry Mancini & Leslie Bricusse
Variety - 03/17/1982
"...VICTOR/VICTORIA is a sparkling, ultra-sophisticated entertainment....This is undoubtedly Andrews' most rewarding role in years..."
New York Times - 03/19/1982
"Get ready, get set and go -- IMMEDIATELY -- to [Blake Edwards's] chef d'oeuvre, his cockeyed, crowning achievement, his DUCK SOUP, his CHARLEY's AUNT, his HOTEL PARADISIO, his SOME LIKE IT HOT, his urban AS YOU LIKE IT, and maybe even his CITIZEN KANE....[Andrews is] at peak form..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
A man impersonating a woman on stage? Piece of cake. But a woman whose livelihood depends on pretending to be a man who pretends to be a woman? Now you've got problems! You've also got laughs when Julie Andrews plays Victor and Victoria in this clever delight, from filmmaker Blake Edwards, boasting a marvelous Academy Award-winning score by Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse.
Robert Preston plays a cabaret performer who devises the gender-bender stage act. Farcically complicating matters are James Garner as a mobster suspecting Victor is a Victoria and Lesley Ann Warren as a short-fused floozy.
Of this movie's seven Oscar nominations, three went to Golden Globe Winner Andrews (Actress), National Board of Review Award winner Preston (Supporting Actor) and Warren (Supporting Actress).
Blake Edwards tones down the broadly farcical style that is his signature with this sly musical comedy starring Julie Andrews as British entertainer Victoria Grant. She and an older friend, gay impresario Toddy (Robert Preston), are close to starvation in 1930s Paris. Desperate for work, he changes her image, introducing her to the cabaret world as Polish female impersonator Victor/Victoria. Victoria, now a woman pretending to be a man in drag, becomes a huge success in the nightclub world. Chicago gangster King Marchan (James Garner) becomes especially intrigued by Victor/Victoria while visiting Paris with his dim-witted girlfriend, Norma (Lesley Anne Warren), and his ever-faithful bodyguard, Squash (Alex Karras), who's more than a little concerned by his boss's interest in a transvestite. As Marchan tries to get to the source of his attraction to the entertainer, trying to uncover the truth behind the rhinestone headdress, the farce commences, and the meaning of gender and sexual preference comes into question for all the characters. A director who often shows a willingness to let the seams in his work show for comic effect, Edwards has opted for stylish smoothness here while opening himself to questions of gender that his earlier films had anxiously mocked. Robert Preston steals the film as Victoria's graceful Svengali.
A down-and-out female singer takes a job as a female impersonator and to her surprise becomes the toast of Paris cabarets in the 1930s, delighting her gay mentor and confusing an American admirer. Academy Award Nominations: 7, including Best (Adapted) Screenplay, Best Actress--Julie Andrews. Academy Awards: Best Original Song Score.
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