Oscar Actors: Warren, Lesley Ann, Supporting Actress, Victor/Victoria

One of the most popular and most Oscar-nominated films, Victor/Victoria, Blake Edwards’ period piece, received seven Oscar nominations.

Actress: Julie Andrews

Supporting Actor: Robert Preston

Supporting Actress: Lesley Ann Warren

Screenplay (Adapted): Blake Edwards

Art Direction-Set Decoration: Rodger Maus, Tim Hutchinson, William Craig Smith: Harry Cardwell

Costume Design: Patricia Norris

Song Score (Original or Adaptation): Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse; adaptation score Henry Mancini.

James Garner plays King Marchand (James Garner), an owner of multiple clubs in Chicago, who is in league with the mob. King attends the club where Julie Andrews is singing with his ditzy moll Norma Cassidy, played with great panache by Lesley Ann Warren.

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Lesley Ann Warren excels as the ditzy bombshell, who is made up to look like a cheap version of Jean Harlow.

In one of many hilarious exchanges with Robert Preston, she delivers her lines with the right eccentricity. When Preston says, “au revoir,” in French, she responds with, “me, too.”

“What a waste,” Norma claims, holding that “the right woman can reform you.”

Dumb as Norma is, she is the first to tell Garner’s King and Andrews’ masquerade as a man: “I knew he was a man right away.”

After a quarrel with Norma, King sends her back to America. Determined to reveal Victor’s real gender, King sneaks into Victoria and Toddy’s suite and confirms his suspicion when he spies her taking a bath. He keeps his knowledge secret and invites Victoria, Toddy, and Cassell to Chez Lui, where Toddy is welcomed due to Victor’s stardom.

Another fight breaks out with the same foursome, and Squash and Toddy are arrested but King and Victoria escape. King kisses Victoria pretending that he does not care about gender (though he knows she is a woman).

Squash returns to the suite and catches King with Victoria in bed. King tries to explain, but he’s soon shocked, when Squash comes out. Meanwhile, Labisse hires a P.I., Charles Bovin, to investigate Victor. Victoria and King live together, but Victoria’s secret creates tension in the relationship and King ends it.

Back in Chicago, Norma tells King’s club partner Sal Andretti (Norman Chancer), that King is having an affair with Victor. Victoria decides to give up Victor’s persona in order to be with King.  Sal demands that King transfer his share of the empire. Victoria interrupts the paperwork, showing Norma that she is really a woman, thus preventing King from losing his stake.

Cassell tells Toddy and Victoria that Labisse has lodged a complaint against him and “Victor” for fraud. The Inspector confirms to Labisse that the performer is a man and Labisse is an idiot. In the end, Victoria joins King in the club as her real self. King is stunned, as the announcer had announced that Victor is going to perform. It’s revealed that Toddy is masquerading as Victor. After a disastrous but hilarious show, Toddy claims it’s his last performance. The film ends with applause by King, Squash, Victoria, and Cassell.

 

Oscar Awards: 1

Song Score

Oscar Context:

In 1982, the historical biopicture “Gandhi” swept most of the Oscars, including Art Direction and Costumes for John Mollo and Bhanu Athalia. The Adapted Screenplay Oscar went to Costa-Gavras and Donald Stewart for the political thriller “Missing.”

The acting awards went to Meryl Streep, Best Actress for “Sophie’s Choice”; Jessica Lange, Supporting Actress for “Tootsie”; and Louis Gossett, Jr., Supporting Actor for “An Officer and a Gentleman.”

This was the fourth of Mancini’s Oscar, and the second of Leslie Bricusse.