Elizabeth dreams of being a music-hall singer. She gets to know Victor, that quite unexpectedly gets a female part in a music-hall number. He unfortunately finds himself voiceless, so, why w... Read allElizabeth dreams of being a music-hall singer. She gets to know Victor, that quite unexpectedly gets a female part in a music-hall number. He unfortunately finds himself voiceless, so, why wouldn't Elizabeth replace him in it?Elizabeth dreams of being a music-hall singer. She gets to know Victor, that quite unexpectedly gets a female part in a music-hall number. He unfortunately finds himself voiceless, so, why wouldn't Elizabeth replace him in it?
Elizabeth (Jessie Matthews) is a British shop girl working in a fashion boutique that caters to the wealthy. She dreams of being a famous entertainer. One rainy day - while wearing the fancy clothes she is supposed to be delivering - she runs into Victor, aspiring Shakespearean actor and actual female impersonator who works the bawdy music halls of London. He is down to his last shilling when he gets a one-time engagement to work in one of these halls. Unfortunately, the rain has taken a toll on his voice and he is unable to take the job. Likewise, Elizabeth has ruined the clothes she was supposed to deliver and can't go back to her job. They forge an alliance for what is supposed to be a one-time thing - Elizabeth will go on as Victor and be a woman impersonating a man impersonating a woman so they both can collect the money they badly need. A high-class booking agent sees the act and offers the pair a chance to be the toast of Europe. A reluctant Elizabeth agrees since it does give her a chance at her dream.
The complications arise in France where a princess and her fiancé, which the princess treats more as a lapdog than a man, see her act. The fiancé arrives late to the performance and is at first attracted to Elizabeth, whom he believes is a woman performing as a woman. The princess enjoys telling him the joke is on him when she shows him the program that introduces Victoria - the great female impersonator.
The differences between this film and Victor/Victoria are that the princess sees her fiancé's attraction to "Bob" and yet wants to prove "Bob" to be a girl, opening up a pathway for a romance between the two, and also the princess starts a romance of sorts with Elizabeth's mentor, Victor. Thus the princess is not the jealous gun moll that Leslie Ann Warren plays in Victor/Victoria. Instead she is a Marie Antoinette-like character that seems to take nothing seriously. There are implausibilities in both films. In Victor/Victoria the film would lead you to believe that most of 1930's Paris is gay. In this film no trace of a gay lifestyle is ever mentioned. Instead Victor is supposed to be a straight man who lives in close quarters with the very attractive Elizabeth and apparently never has an impure thought or act. However, the rather unlikely pairing of Victor with the princess seems to be thrown in just so that the audience is assured of his straightness.
There are several very good Busby Berkeley-like musical numbers in the film as well as some very good and catchy tunes to go along with them.
- Nov 14, 2009