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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Victor/Victoria
Directed by Blake Edwards
Warner Home Video 03/82 DVD/VHS Feature Film
PG

Paris, 1934. Victoria, a singer unable to find work, meets Toddy, a nightclub entertainer who has just lost his job. Together, they share a dinner and later concoct a scheme to make them both the toast of the town. Victoria becomes Victor — a female impersonator who can hit all the high notes. The scam works until King, a Chicago entrepreneur with a big bankroll, sees Victor in a show and falls in love with her. Although his daffy girlfriend Norma believes he's a he, King knows in his heart he's a she.

Blake Edwards tripped badly with his last film, S.O.B., a black comedy that gave off bitter vibes. This entertaining musical comedy boasts a clever screenplay, several top-notch performances, a bevy of pleasant musical numbers, and a handful of hilarious slapstick sequences. While some will also find edification in the story's wry observations on gay lifestyles, most are sure to be thoroughly satisfied with Victor/Victoria's élan and light hearted romanticism.

Julie Andrews gives a flawless performance as the lead character; her charm, buoyancy, and vocal talents are well used. Robert Preston is totally believable as Toddy, an entertainer who enjoys life to the fullest. James Garner's King is a strong man who learns a thing or two when he becomes vulnerable to love. Lesley Ann Warren almost steals the movie with a saucy song-and-dance routine and her dumb blonde routine. Finally, Graham Stark's humorous schtick as a pompous waiter is one of the year's best cameo comic performances.

 

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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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