Ok all of you musical lovers in our debating society. My first choice for viewing was “Victor/ Victoria”. This is one of my all time favorite movies. Basically, the plot goes like this. Down-on-her-luck singer Victoria Grant (the glorious Julie Andrews) meets her fairy godfather, in the form of the fabulous Carroll “Toddy” Todd (an equally glorious Robert Preston). Madcap slapstick antics and beautiful music ensue as Victoria becomes the toast of Paris, as the Polish female impersonator Count Victor Grezhinski. S/he attracts the attention of a Chicago nightclub owner King Marchand (James Garner), and his girlfriend/moll Norma Cassady (a truly inspired Lesley Ann Warren). Meanwhile Toddy attracts the attention of King’s equally yummy bodyguard Mr Bernstein (Alex Karras) . With amazing music by Henry Mancini, direction by Blake Edwards , amazing cinematography, art direction, and choreography, Victor/ Victoria amazes me every time I watch it.
Personally, I have many favorite parts of this movie. The cockroach scene in the diner always make me laugh. The staged musical numbers "Le Jazz Hot" and "The Lady from Seville" have my toes tapping. Robert Preston's interpretation of the latter number makes me laugh hard. Lesley Ann Warren cracks me up every time she appears on screen. Just watching her reaction as she finds out about Victoria in the first nightclub scene leaves me in stitches. Even James Garner teaching "Sweet Adeline" to a bunch of rough french barroom brawlers leaves me laughing. Even the bittersweet romance between the two leads resonates with me. As a gay man, I can identify with living in the closet with the one you love. "Crazy World" says it all. This one is in permanent rotation in my DVD collection. When and if it wears out it will be replaced quickly. A classic! ***** five stars on my board.