"Lynn Redgrave stars as Georgy, an awkward young woman living in 60s swinging London. Her roommate Meredith (Charlotte Rampling) is gorgeous and has men lining up to woo her, including her somewhat clownish long-time beau, Jos (Alan Bates). Poor Georgy has only James (James Mason) chasing after her; he's the much older employer of her butler father. However, clearly Georgy wants much more - will she take chances to get the life she desires?
"Georgy Girl" is a marvelous movie that flawlessley combines comedy and drama. I had put off watching this movie, as I thought it would be another dated comedy from the era. However, the film is fairly universal in theme and technique. As is typical for movies of this era, there's a sadness underlying all the wacky shenanigans and a plethora of moral issues bubble under the surface. Many hit movies from the 60s explored moral issues - here it's all about monogamy and marriage. However, very few movies from that era stand up this well; the film never comes across as preachy or over-reaching.
All elements blend beautifully in "Georgy Girl." Lynn Redgrave gives the performance of her career - she manages to make Georgy by turns wacky and vulnerable, but always endearing. She deservedly won the Golden Globe for Best Actress (Musical/Comedy) and was nominated for an Oscar. Alan Bates is also very good, although toward the end he starts to be a bit grating. He was nominated for a Golden Globe but passed over by the Oscars. Finally, James Mason was Oscar nominated for his role as Georgy's pursuer. Credit should also go to director Silvio Narizzano who balances all of this craziness, allowing the melancholy to shine through the laughs; unfortunately, his career peaked with this effort - none of his previous or subsequent films made much impact.
Perhaps my favorite part of the movie is the title and end credits, over which the Seekers' hit song "Georgy Girl" plays. I've heard the song a million times, never paying close attention to the lyrics. However, in the title sequence, the song perfectly sums up Georgy as she walks down a crowded British street. Redgrave's acting is impeccable here - title sequences don't usually require much acting, but she totally scores. Likewise, the song plays over the end credits, again neatly summarizing what has happened and where everyone will go from here. The lyrics for this section of the song apparently aren't in the hit single version, so you won't know the ending just from having heard the song.
In some ways, "Georgy Girl" is a precursor to "Muriel's Wedding" and any number of other movies about so-called `ugly ducklings' who find their confidence before the end credits roll. However, this genre has never been done so well as here. Overall, "Georgy Girl" is a tremendous surprise: a nearly perfect comedy that deftly explores some potentially difficult topics. Most highly recommended. "
Vintage Sixties Comedy
Cowboy Buddha | Essex UK | 06/27/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Another of those films from the Sixties that one tends to remember as being better than it really is, Georgy Girl is nonetheless an enjoyable little comedy - even if its style and attitudes now seem more quaint than innovative or even shocking. If nothing else, it has probably the catchiest theme song of any film from that music-obsessed era.Lyyn Redgrave is the title character - an eternal optimist with a quick wit, an open mind, and a body that was definitely out of place in a decade when everybody was nearly anorexic. She, of course, wants to be loved but fears that no man would want her. Incredibly, a couple of blokes do. One of them is James Mason, the well-to-do and unhappily married employer of Georgy's parents - a pair of morally uptight domestics. Mason, who has always had a "fatherly" interest in Georgy, now wants her to be his mistress and puts his proposition in the form of a business offer. ("Will we have annual meetings?" asks Georgy.) Her other suitor - albeit initially a reluctant one - is Georgy's flatmate's randy boyfriend. As played by Alan Bates, he is a wonderful mix of easy charm, swagger, insecurity, lust and sharp one-liners, and easily steals most of the scenes he's in. Georgy's flatmate is the luscious Charlotte Rampling who is not only extremely sexy but manages to raise self-interest to an art form.In this atmosphere of free love and loose morals, Bates gets Rampling pregnant, has a fling with Redgrave before the birth, then, when Rampling realises she is not the maternal type and walks off, Bates and Redgrave set up house together with the baby. But Georgy, of course, loves the baby more than anyone and responsibility-shy Bates has no more interest in being a father than Rampling did in being a mother. Exit Bates, re-enter James Mason...Despite these somewhat dreary circumstances, the film plays everything mostly for laughs. Stuck in their drab black and white surroundings, the characters seem to refuse to take anything too seriously. That is left for the older generation to do, as exemplified by Bill Owen as Georgy's father and gentleman's gentleman to Mason. A look of disapproval sits permanently on his craggy face. This supporting performance is amazing, especially considering that Owen later became a national favourite by playing a rascally old reprobate in a long running British sitcom.Georgy Girl remains an enjoyable film primarily because it is filled with wonderfully quirky performances. Back in the Sixties, it seemed rather daring but it is very tame by today's standards. It is a typical film of its time - very Sixties and very British. American viewers may have to strain on occasion to catch all the dialogue and bits of slang may remain a mystery. But Georgy Girl remains a more honest and affecting romantic comedy than most of today's contrived output."
Delightful memento of 1960s Swinging London... Acceptable B&
dooby | 07/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a film which is better known for its title song than for the movie itself. Which is a little unfair because the film is quite delightful in its own quirky 60-ish fairytale way. Georgy, played by a young Lynn Redgrave is a plain, homely British girl living in the swinging London of the 60s. Her roommate, the "sensational" Meredith, played by an equally young and very sexy Charlotte Rampling, is intent on enjoying life to the fullest. While Meredith goes out partying every night, with or without her semi-steady boyfriend (Alan Bates), poor dowdy Georgy remains at home. When Meredith gets pregnant and decides to keep the baby, Georgy is exhilarated. Exhibiting maternal intincts sorely lacking in her fun-loving friend, she takes it upon herself to care for the baby while the real mother and father disappear back into the swinging single life. Acknowledging the fact that she wants to be a mother more than a trophy wife, and accepting her lack of looks in a society that values physical beauty above all else, she accepts the proposal of marriage from her father's elderly millionaire boss (James Mason). It is a fairytale tinged with the sadness of compromises which most of us would be all too familiar with in real life, but as the song goes in the final scene, "at least he's a millionaire". If you're familiar with the title song, watching the movie will bring an added poignancy to the words. A little sad at times but uplifting overall, this is a treasure from a bygone era.
The movie was nominated for 4 Academy Awards including Best Actress, Supporting Actor, Cinematography and Best Song but won none, not even for its famous title song. "Georgy Girl" sung by The Seekers, lost out to John Barry's "Born Free" but has remained a classic ever since.
Sony/Columbia have issued a barebones DVD with the film transferred in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio (anamorphic). This is obviously not the film's original theatrical aspect ratio simply because no films were shot in this ratio at that time. The original presentation was either 1.66:1 or 1.85:1 and it has been cropped so as to make a perfect fit for the new widescreen TV format. For years we have had to endure widescreen movies being panned-&-scanned to fit standard TV screens, now we have to endure movies being cropped to fit the new 16:9 widescreen TVs. When will these studio executives learn to leave viewers in peace to watch movies in their original presentation? That said, the visual composition of this transfer is not unduly harmed. This film was originally shot in Black and White, and it is presented that way on DVD, not in color as stated at Amazon's website. The picture looks fairly good with a certain amount of speckling on the source print but otherwise no overt print damage. Greyscale is fairly well rendered. Blacks are rich and deep but at the expense of shadow detail in darker portions of the image. Dark scenes look too dark. Sound is in the original 2.0 mono with optional English and Japanese subtitles. The music sounds just fine on this transfer. Aside from the trailer, there are no other extras."
Why isn;'t GEORGY GIRL on DVD???
dooby | 04/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Georgy is a young adult with noone to love her (so it seems at first) except her parents' rich employer, who chases her in private.The plot itself doesn't convey how fun (and sometimes wacky) this film is to watch. I remember the GEORGY GIRL song as a big hit back in 1966. But I didn't see the film till grown... Couldn't have seen "GEORGY" then...Mom wouldn't have let me. GEORGY a little edgy for the times (the mod London mid 196's)...but I would let my daughter see it now...& we would wade thru Georgy's choices together
...(& learn & have fun at the same time).Without giving it all away, James Mason is fun and weird; scary and even kind...all at the same time--- as he pursues Georgy. Watch his wardrobe versus the other leading man's (Alan Bates)wardrobe. Savile Row versus...Fruit of the Loom. Shocking then...Funny now. And Alan is as casual in pursuing Georgy as when in his "fruit of the looms"...Georgy dives into love and makes her mistakes, but one of her choices is --- outstanding. And life defining. (I imagine her making similar choices &becoming later---when she gets power---a great lady of London.)You go girl!!! (Again, I'm not telling you more.) She's the cousin, older sister, friend that most girls want... So she belies the "ugly duckling" film inage. And actually, despite the film's not quite happy ever after ending.....in the car...
(Watch her face. She conveys without words "WHAT HAVE I JUST DONE!!???!) I always imagine "Georgy" rising above that too & actually finding an unlikely but loving "prince charming".
THIS FILM NEEDS TO BE ON DVD...NOT EXPENSIVE OLD VHS ($40 ++)"
One of the Sweetest Films of All Time!
dooby | 09/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just bought this beautiful film a few days ago, and I love it! I immediately grew to love Georgy (excellently portrayed by Lynn Redgrave), who is such a sweet British lass with so much love in her heart, for everyone around her. Although she is often appallingly used and mistreated by so many people, James Mason's character recognizes Georgy's inner beauty, and dearly adores her.I give this movie a well deserved five-star review! We love you, Georgy!"