Original movie poster
|Directed by||George Cukor|
|Produced by||Sol C. Siegel
Saul Chaplin (associate producer)
|Written by||John Patrick
Vera Caspary (story)
|Music by||Cole Porter (music and lyrics)|
|Edited by||Ferris Webster|
|Running time||114 minutes|
Les Girls, also known as Cole Porter's Les Girls, is a 1957 musical comedy film made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was directed by George Cukor, produced by Sol C. Siegel with Saul Chaplin as associate producer from a screenplay by John Patrick based on a story by Vera Caspary with music and lyrics by Cole Porter.
After writing a tell-all book about her days in the dance troupe "Barry Nichols and Les Girls", Sybil Wren (Kay Kendall) is sued for libeling her fellow dancer Angele (Taina Elg). A Rashômon (1950)-style narrative presents the story from three points of view where Sybil accuses Angele of having an affair with Barry (Gene Kelly), while Angele insists that it was actually Sybil who was having the affair. Finally, Barry gives his side of the story.
- Gene Kelly - Barry Nichols
- Mitzi Gaynor - Joy Henderson
- Kay Kendall - Sybil Wren
- Taina Elg - Angele Ducros
- Jacques Bergerac - Pierre Ducros
- Leslie Phillips - Sir Gerald Wren
- Henry Daniell - Judge
- Patrick Macnee - Sir Percy
- Stephen Vercoe - Mr. Outward
- Philip Tonge - Associate Judge
- Barrie Chase - Dancer
- The story by Vera Caspary was inspired by an article which appeared in The Atlantic — a reminiscence of a dancer's touring years. Miss Caspary's version turned the memoir into a point of dispute and raised questions about the nature of truth. As only the title was used from Miss Caspary's story for the screenplay, she joked that she was the highest paid writer in the world as she was paid $80,000 for two words - "Les Girls"
- Les Girls was Gene Kelly's last musical under his contract at MGM which began in 1942.
- Les Girls was the last film score by Cole Porter and the next-to-last score of his career.
- The film's original female leads were to have been played by Leslie Caron, Cyd Charisse, Jean Simmons and Carol Haney.
Awards and nominations
- Les Girls won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design for Orry-Kelly and was nominated for two other awards, Best Art Direction (William A. Horning, Gene Allen, Edwin B. Willis, Richard Pefferle) and Best Sound (Wesley C. Miller).
- The film won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Musical/Comedy and for Best Actress, Kay Kendall and Taina Elg together.
Immediately after the film was released tentative plans were announced for a sequel called Les Boys.
According to MGM records the film made $2,415,000 in the US and Canada and $1,450,000 elsewhere, but because of its high production cost lost $1,635,000.
Les Girls was a major vehicle for choreographer Jack Cole, and one of the first films to feature the role of choreographer in the opening credits.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- Les Girls (1957) - Plot summary
- p.249 McGilligan, Patrick George Cukor: A Double Life London: Faber and Faber 1992
- Parish, James Robert, Mank, Gregory W, Picchiarini, RichardThe Best of MGM: The Golden Years (1928-59) 1981 Arlington House
- "The 30th Academy Awards (1958) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
- "NY Times: Les Girls". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-23.
- Sequel Slated for 'Les Girls': Two Leads Proffered Newman; Janet Poised on 'Precipice' Scheuer, Philip K Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Nov 18, 1957; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times (1881-1990) pg. C11