Viktor und Viktoria | Chicago Reader

Viktor und Viktoria

An underemployed actress (Renate Müller) takes over a fellow actor's female-impersonation gig with sensational success—she's a more convincing woman onstage than he is but has to portray a man offstage to maintain the deception. A man in the audience of one of her performances starts to fall for her without realizing she's supposed to be a man pretending to be a woman—he just thinks she's a woman. This 1933 German production makes the knockoff directed by Blake Edwards nearly 50 years later seem bold for not letting James Garner discover Julie Andrews's true gender until he's acknowledged that he's attracted to the man he's convinced she is. Some of the cinematography—long takes that reveal unexpectedly extensive sets, lighting, and composition that emphasize the texture of the actors' costumes and the geometric choreography of the stage shows—is mildly interesting, but otherwise this musical comedy, directed by Reinhold Schünzel, is tiresome.

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