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.
Academy Awards Best Adapted or Musical Song/Score 1982 Henry Mancini American Songwriter/Composer, THE PINK PANTHER Theme
Academy Awards Best Adapted or Musical Song/Score 1982 Leslie Bricusse Songwriter and composer