Plot Summary (3)

  • A musical biography of Gertrude Lawrence, who led a hustling and bustling life on the stage.
    —Knox Morris
  • This is a movie based on the life of Gertrude Lawrence (Dame Julie Andrews), on and off-stage. It takes the opportunity to feature extravagant musical production numbers with Andrews acting, singing, and dancing.
    —Stewart M. Clamen <clamen@cs.cmu.edu>
  • Semi-fictional account of the life of British actress and singer Gertrude Lawrence (Dame Julie Andrews). It's 1940 and approximately two decades into Gertrude's so far highly successful stage career. Gertrude is watching a just completed newsreel of her life compiled by Jerry Paul (Damian London), who has asked for her critique and input, which leads to her reminiscing about her life. It tells of Gertrude's humble beginnings in Clapham, and her early career working with her vaudeville performing father. At that time, she did whatever was required to stand out from the crowd. She worked in the chorus of stage revues for impresario Andre Charlot (Alan Oppenheimer), with whom she had a love/hate professional relationship. An opportunity eventually led to starring roles, fame in Britain and ultimately in the United States on Broadway. But the want always to be "on" and to have all the world be her stage led to issues in her personal life, including some financial difficulties, and being a largely absent mother to her only child, Pamela Roper (Jenny Agutter). She had relationships with several men over her life including stage manager Jack Roper (John Collin), nobleman Sir Anthony Spencer (Michael Craig), actor Charles Fraser (Robert Reed), financier Ben Mitchell (Anthony Eisley), and banker Richard Aldrich (Richard Crenna), only one of whom probably understood and thus could handle her temperamental nature. Arguably the most important symbiotic relationship she had was with actor, Writer, and Director Noël Coward (Daniel Massey), a life-long friend, and the person who would ultimately create many of her professional opportunities.
    —Huggo