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|
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 and produced by Sol C. Siegel, with Saul Chaplin as associate producer. The screenplay was by John Patrick, based on a story by Vera Caspary. The music and lyrics were 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 Rashomon-style narrative presents the story from three points of view. Sybil accuses Angele of having an affair with Barry (Gene Kelly). 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 writing just 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 honors
- 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.
- 2006: AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals – nominated
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.
- "AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-13.
- Scheuer, Philip K., "Sequel Slated for 'Les Girls': Two Leads Proffered Newman; Janet Poised on 'Precipice'", Los Angeles Times (1923–Current File); Nov 18, 1957; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times (1881–1990) pg. C11