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Theatrical release poster by John Alvin
Directed byBlake Edwards
Screenplay byBlake Edwards
Story byHans Hoemburg
Based onVictor and Victoria
by Reinhold Schünzel
Produced by
CinematographyDick Bush
Edited byRalph E. Winters
Music bySongs:
Henry Mancini
Leslie Bricusse (lyrics)
Henry Mancini
Distributed by
Release dates
  • March 16, 1982 (1982-03-16) (Filmex)
  • March 19, 1982 (1982-03-19) (United States/Canada)[1]
  • April 1, 1982 (1982-04-01) (United Kingdom)
Running time
132 minutes
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Budget$15 million[2]
Box office$28.2 million

Victor/Victoria is a 1982 musical comedy film written and directed by Blake Edwards and starring Julie Andrews, James Garner, Robert Preston, Lesley Ann Warren, Alex Karras, and John Rhys-Davies. The film was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, produced by Tony Adams and scored by Henry Mancini, with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse. Victor/Victoria was adapted as a Broadway musical in 1995. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score or Adaptation Score. It is a remake of the 1933 German film Victor and Victoria.



In 1934 Paris, Carroll "Toddy" Todd, an aging gay performer at Club Chez Lui in Paris, sees Labisse, the owner, auditioning frail and impoverished soprano Victoria Grant. After her failed audition, Victoria returns to her hotel room to find herself about to be evicted, as she is unable to pay her rent. That night, when Richard, a hustler with whom Toddy is romantically involved, comes to Chez Lui as part of a straight foursome, Toddy incites a brawl resulting in major damages and the police locking up whomever they can get their hands on. Labisse fires Toddy and bans him from the club. Walking home, Toddy spots Victoria in a restaurant. She invites him to join her. As neither of them can pay for the meal, she has a plan to dump a cockroach in her salad to avoid paying, but it escapes and mayhem ensues.

The duo run through the rain to Toddy's, and he invites her to stay when she discovers the rain has shrunk and damaged her decrepit clothing. The next morning Richard shows up to collect his things. Victoria, who is wearing his suit and hat, hides in Toddy's closet. When Richard opens the closet door she punches him, breaking his nose before finally kicking him out. Seeing this, Toddy is struck with the inspiration of passing Victoria off as a man and presenting her to Andre Cassell, the most successful talent agent in Paris, as a female impersonator.

Cassell accepts her as Count Victor Grazinski, a gay Polish female impersonator and Toddy's new boyfriend. Cassell gets her a booking in a nightclub show and invites a collection of club owners to the opening. Among the guests are Chicago gangster King Marchand, his ditzy blonde moll Norma Cassidy and burly bodyguard Mr Bernstein, also known as Squash. Victoria is an immediate hit and King is smitten, but he is shocked when she "reveals" herself to be a man at the end of the act. King, however, is convinced that "Victor" is not a man.

After Norma violently attacks King during a quarrel, he sends her back to the United States. Determined to uncover the truth, King sneaks into Victoria and Toddy's suite and confirms his suspicion when he spies her getting into the bath. Back in Chicago, Norma, still angry over being dumped, tells King's business partner Sal Andretti that King is having an affair with a man. King invites Victoria, Toddy and Cassell to Chez Lui. Another major fight breaks out. Squash and Toddy are both arrested, along with many of the club clientele, but King and Victoria manage to escape. King kisses Victoria, pretending that he does not care about Victoria's assumed gender.

Squash returns to the suite and catches King in bed with Victoria. King tries to explain, but then Squash reveals that he himself is gay. Victoria and King argue over whether or not the relationship could work and Victoria discovers that King is not really a gangster but someone who pretends to be in order to stay in the nightclub business, leading Victoria to point out that they are both pretending to be something they are not. Victoria returns to her room and finds Squash in bed with Toddy.

Meanwhile, Labisse hires a private investigator, Charles Bovin, to tail and investigate Victor. Victoria and King attempt to live together for a while, but keeping up her deception strains the relationship to breaking point, and King ends it.

At the same time that Victoria has decided to give up the persona of Victor in order to be with King, Sal arrives and demands that King transfer his share of the business to Sal for a fraction of what it is actually worth. Squash tells Victoria what is happening, and she shows Norma that she is really a woman, saving King's stake. That night at the club, Cassell tells Toddy and Victoria that Labisse has lodged a police complaint against him and "Victor" for perpetrating a public fraud. After checking for himself, the inspector tells Labisse that the performer he saw in the room, after opening the door, is a man and that Labisse is an idiot.

In the end, Victoria joins King in the club as her real self. The announcer says that Victor is going to perform, but instead of Victoria, Toddy masquerades as "Victor". After an intentionally disastrous but ultimately hilarious performance, Toddy claims that this is his last performance.



Musical numbers


The vocal numbers in the film are presented as nightclub acts, with choreography by Paddy Stone. However, the lyrics or situations of some of the songs are calculated to relate to the unfolding drama. Thus, the two staged numbers "Le Jazz Hot" and "The Shady Dame from Seville" help to present Victoria as a female impersonator. The latter number is later reinterpreted by Toddy for diversionary purposes in the plot, and the cozy relationship of Toddy and Victoria is promoted by the song "You and Me", which is sung before the audience at the nightclub.[3]

  1. "Gay Paree" – Toddy
  2. "Le Jazz Hot!" – Victoria
  3. "The Shady Dame from Seville" – Victoria
  4. "You and Me" – Toddy, Victoria
  5. "Chicago, Illinois" – Norma
  6. "Crazy World" – Victoria
  7. "Finale/Shady Dame from Seville (Reprise)" – Toddy

Occasionally, Victoria and Toddy sing "Home on the Range" when they are in the hotel.



The film's screenplay was adapted by Blake Edwards (Andrews' husband) from the 1933 German film Victor and Victoria written and directed by Reinhold Schünzel from an original story treatment by Hans Hoemburg. According to Edwards, the screenplay took only one month to write. Andrews watched the 1933 version to prepare for her role. The film had been planned as early as 1978 with Andrews to star alongside Peter Sellers, but Sellers died in 1980 while Andrews and Edwards were filming S.O.B. (1981), so Robert Preston was cast in the role of Toddy.

The costume worn by Andrews in the number "The Shady Dame from Seville" is in fact the same costume worn by Preston at the end of the film. It was made to fit Preston, and then, using a series of hooks and eyes at the back, it was drawn in tight to fit Andrews' shapely figure. Black silk ruffles were added to the bottom of the garment to hide the differences in height. The fabric is a black and brown crepe, with fine gold threads woven into it, that when lit appears to have an almost wet look about it.[4]



Victor/Victoria was the opening night film at Filmex on March 16, 1982. It opened in New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto on March 19, 1982.[1]



Critical response


Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it 3 out of 4 stars and wrote: "Not only a funny movie, but, unexpectedly, a warm and friendly one."[5] Todd McCarthy of Variety called it "sparkling, ultra-sophisticated entertainment from Blake Edwards."[6]

The New York Times was enthusiastic: “Get ready, get set, and go—immediately—to the Ziegfeld Theater, where Blake Edwards today opens his chef d’oeuvre, his cockeyed, crowning achievement....It’s called ‘Victor/Victoria,' and it stars Julie Andrews, Robert Preston and James Garner, each giving the performances of his and her career in a marvelous fable about mistaken identity, sexual role-playing, love, innocence and sight gags....Although ‘Victor/Victoria’ preaches tolerance and understanding of homosexuality, and though it uses the word ‘gay’ in a way that I doubt was much used in 1934 Paris, even in the demimonde portrayed in this film, the roots of the comedy are as ancient as the use of masks and disguises in the theater....’Victor/Victoria’ is so good, so exhilarating, that the only depressing thing about it is the suspicion that Mr. Edwards is going to have a terrible time trying to top it.”[7]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 97% based on 33 reviews, with an average rating of 8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Driven by a fantastic lead turn from Julie Andrews, Blake Edwards' musical gender-bender is sharp, funny and all-round entertaining."[8] On Metacritic, it has a score of 84 out of 100 based on reviews from 12 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[9]


Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Academy Awards Best Actress Julie Andrews Nominated [10]
Best Supporting Actor Robert Preston Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Lesley Ann Warren Nominated
Best Screenplay – Based on Material from Another Medium Blake Edwards Nominated
Best Art Direction Art Direction: Rodger Maus, Tim Hutchinson, and William Craig Smith;
Set Decoration: Harry Cordwell
Best Costume Design Patricia Norris Nominated
Best Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Adaptation Score Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse Won
British Society of Cinematographers Awards Best Cinematography in a Theatrical Feature Film Dick Bush Nominated [13]
César Awards Best Foreign Film Blake Edwards Won [14]
David di Donatello Awards Best Foreign Film Nominated [15]
Best Foreign Director Nominated
Best Foreign Screenplay Won
Best Foreign Actress Julie Andrews Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Nominated [16]
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Julie Andrews Won
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Robert Preston Nominated
Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Lesley Ann Warren Nominated
Best Original Score – Motion Picture Henry Mancini Nominated
Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing – Foreign Feature – Dialogue Won
Grammy Awards Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or
Television Special
Victor/Victoria – Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse Nominated [17]
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actress Julie Andrews Won[a] [18]
National Board of Review Awards Best Supporting Actor Robert Preston Won [19]
New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Supporting Actor Runner-up [20]
Best Supporting Actress Lesley Ann Warren Nominated
Sant Jordi Awards Best Foreign Film Blake Edwards Won
Best Performance in a Foreign Film Julie Andrews Nominated
Robert Preston Won
Turkish Film Critics Association Awards Best Foreign Film 7th Place
Writers Guild of America Awards Best Comedy – Adapted from Another Medium Blake Edwards Won [21]

In 2000, American Film Institute included the film in AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs (#76).[22]

See also



  1. ^ Tied with Meryl Streep for Sophie's Choice.


  1. ^ a b Victor/Victoria at the AFI Catalog of Feature Films
  2. ^ Moses, Antoinette (Fall 1982). "British Production 1981". Sight & Sound. Vol. 51, no. 4. p. 258. ISSN 0037-4806.
  3. ^ "Victor/Victoria". AllMovie. Archived from the original on December 16, 2009. Retrieved January 2, 2009.
  4. ^ Stirling, Richard (2008). Julie Andrews: An Intimate Biography. Macmillan. pp. 272. ISBN 978-0-312-38025-0.
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger (October 23, 2004). "Victor/Victoria movie review & film summary (1982)". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on September 2, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  6. ^ McCarthy, Todd (March 17, 1982). "Film Reviews: Victor/Victoria". Variety. Archived from the original on July 19, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  7. ^ Canby, Vincent. “A Blake Edwards Farce.” New York Times, 19 March 1982, C8.
  8. ^ "Victor/Victoria". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on May 30, 2024. Retrieved October 6, 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  9. ^ "Victor Victoria". Metacritic. Archived from the original on February 27, 2021. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  10. ^ "The 55th Academy Awards (1983) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on November 13, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  11. ^ "NY Times: Victor/Victoria". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2010. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved January 1, 2009.
  12. ^ Oldham, Gabriella (2017). Blake Edwards: Interviews. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781496815675. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  13. ^ "Best Cinematography in Feature Film" (PDF). British Society of Cinematographers. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 4, 2021. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  14. ^ "The 1983 Caesars Ceremony". César Awards. Archived from the original on August 4, 2021. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  15. ^ "Cronologia Dei Premi David Di Donatello". David di Donatello. Archived from the original on August 10, 2023. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  16. ^ "Victor/Victoria". Golden Globe Awards. Archived from the original on September 23, 2021. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  17. ^ "25th Annual GRAMMY Awards". Grammy Awards. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  18. ^ "KCFCC Award Winners – 1980-89". Kansas City Film Critics Circle. December 14, 2013. Archived from the original on December 1, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  19. ^ "1982 Award Winners". National Board of Review. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  20. ^ "1982 New York Film Critics Circle Awards". Mubi. Archived from the original on August 13, 2021. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  21. ^ "Awards Winners". wga.org. Writers Guild of America Awards. Archived from the original on December 5, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
  22. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs" (PDF). American Film Institute. 2002. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 13, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2016.