Guest Author - Rain Battle
In a dazzling musical comedy directed Blake Edwards, Julie Andrews is Victoria a talented singer who is barely surviving. Along comes Toddy (Robert Preston), a shyster and know-it-all who happens to be gay. He suggests that she try performing as a female impersonator - a woman pretending to be man being a woman. Practically penniless, Victoria agrees to try his crazy scheme, though she has serious doubts that she'll be able to pull it off.
They begin by taking her act to the smallest venues and shockingly, Victoria is a hit! Audiences believe that she is man impersonating a woman; so she and Toddy find instant success, and a gold mine of a scheme. The act is soon in high demand and she quickly shortens her name to Victor. In the midst of their success enters Marchand (James Garner), a night club owner eager to check out a new act. When he watches him/her perform, he is instantly smitten - and convinced Victor is not really a man. Marchand's crush on Victor infuriates his jealous girlfriend Norma (Ann Warren), and she makes plans of her own to find out about him/her. Meanwhile, the more she gets to know him, the more Victoria falls for Marchand, but admitting that she is a fraud will ruin her. She cannot tell him that she is really a woman.
This is certainly one of my favorites from Blake Edwards who is famous for "The Pink Panther" and "10" and is a real masterpiece. Although I don't prefer musicals, this one is an exception. The musical numbers are fun and vibrant, the costumes are detailed and lavish, and the songs themselves will have you humming along. Perhaps a bit on the too-long side, Victor Victoria provides much to explore regarding sexuality. It's fun to watch the farce of Marchand's conviction that Victor cannot possibly be a man, because he would never be attracted to another man. Ann Warren is very funny as the girlfriend who is often ignored, and not as ditzy as she pretends to be. Alex Karras (he was George on TV's "Webster") is hilarious as Squash, Marchand's friend and bodyguard, wondering what's wrong with his boss. I really liked Julie Andrews in this role, and as usual, she was superb. Fighting feelings of love and the constant fear of discovery made her character a bit anxious, only able to relax when she was doing what she loved most - singing.