One of the touchstone movies of the 1980s, Tootsie stars Dustin Hoffman as an out-of-work actor who disguises himself as a dowdy, middle-aged woman to get a part on a hit soap opera. The scheme works, but while he/she keep... more »s up the charade, Hoffman's character comes to see life through the eyes of the opposite sex. The script by Larry Gelbart (with Murray Schisgal) is a winner, and director Sydney Pollack brings taut proficiency to the comedy and sensitivity to the relationship nuances that emerge from Hoffman's drag act. Great supporting work from Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, Bill Murray, and pre-stardom Geena Davis. But the film finally belongs to Hoffman, who seems to connect with the character at a very deep and abiding level. --Tom Keogh« less
Mary Ruth L. from FOSTER CITY, CA Reviewed on 7/16/2020...
Have enjoyed this movie several times over the years. My only copy was a VHS version and I finally decided after watching recently I needed to get the DVD version. So happy I did. The colors were much better. Very humorous movie. Actors surpassed themselves. My husband and I enjoyed laughing along with all the quick dialogue. Dustin Hoffman is not one of my favorite actors but in this role he is delightful. He can't find an acting job as a man but tries his luck dressed as a woman and it goes from there. Always a fun, uplifting movie to watch.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Miri R. from MARIETTA, GA Reviewed on 5/15/2014...
Highest rating! One of the greatest comedies of all times.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jennifer D. (jennicat) from ST AUGUSTINE, FL Reviewed on 3/29/2014...
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Margaret M. from HOUSTON, TX Reviewed on 8/30/2013...
One of my favorite flicks of all time...DH is amazing in the role as a woman. If you haven't seen it, you're missing out!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jean M. (geniedawn) from TUJUNGA, CA Reviewed on 3/7/2008...
I have lost count of how many times I have watched this classic comedy! It's my favorite Dustin Hoffman picture. I never get tired of it.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
25th Anniversary Edition Worth the Upgrade!
Dave | San Diego, CA | 02/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It seems that in "special" releases, Columbia and Paramount really trail behind Warner Bros., which is why I hesitated somewhat from upgrading my barebones "Tootsie" DVD to this 25th Anniversary Edition. The first extras that I looked at were the deleted scenes; there are quite a few short ones here, none of which really deserved to be inserted. Some are mildly amusing, some shouldn't have even been shot in the first place. OK, one extra down, two to go. Next I looked at Dustin Hoffman's "screen test." Source material are original betamax tapes of Dustin first doing the Dorothy Michaels character. Although theses tests are very short, they are extremely relevatory into the talents of Hoffman. Between the time he filmed these initial test and the time that his final character was put on film, Hoffman transitioned from a bad drag queen into a believable female. Truly incredible to compare the two performances which are roughly 3 years apart. 2nd extra down, last one to go: "The Making Of" documentary. I had no expectations of this whatsoever; expecting a 20 minute assortment of clips and a little narration, instead, we are treated to about an hour and a half of indepth interviews and insight into the creation of this comedy classic. There are current interviews from Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Terri Garr, and Sydney Pollack. The only major player missing is Murray, but it doesn't detract from the documentary. We learn that this movie is one of those amazing occurrances where the right creative team comes together; Hoffman is a difficult to control idea-man who definitely needs to be steered and somewhat restrained. As the Director, Pollack supplied this excellent guidance, and rather than play the movie for bawdy laughter, he went for honesty and truth. Elaine May also apparently gave the film its momentum and helped build all of the intertwined stories that lead to the exciting conclusion of the live Soap Opera reveal at the climax. Bill Murray and Terri Garr gave many classic improv moments, and Jessica Lange gives a very sweet and honest "straight" performance. In the interviews, Dabney Coleman tells how nobody ever laughed on the set; it was the editing of Pollack that made all the humor work, and when looking at the movie after hearing this, it is obvious to see the truth in his statement. This documentary all has many behind-the-scenes clips and confrontations between Pollack and Hoffman, who pushed the director to try every possible route and questioned everything about the movie. Large gripe - why couldn't the theatrical trailer have been put on here? It was on the barebones previous release...surely it could have fit on this DVD, too.
For those not familiar with the plot, here it is: Michael Dorsey is a talented but exasperating NYC actor (much like Hoffman apparently) who nobody wants to work with; he drives up budgets and is difficult to work with. Desperate for money, he disguises himself as a woman to win a role on a soap opera. After he gets the role, he must keep it a secret from his girlfriend (Terri Garr), his costar Julie (Jessica Lange) with whom he has fallen for, and from Julie's dad (Charles Durning) who has fallen for him, thinking he is a woman. The longer it continues, the harder it is to keep juggling his life and secrets, and Michael must figure out a solution.
The film itself looks good for its age in this widescreen 2:40:1 transfer in English 5.0. It is a little surprising that there's no commentary track, however, the documentary covers so much it really isn't all that necessary. Nice job and a move in the right direction, Columbia!"
AntiochAndy | Antioch, CA USA | 01/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the other reviewers here comments that "Tootsie" is a movie that doesn't get much notice anymore. I don't know if that's true or not, but if it is true, it's a real tragedy. In my opinion, this is one of the best comedies ever made. It's somewhere between the blatant slapstick of "The Great Race" and the witty sophistication of "The Pink Panther", and it doesn't have a car chase in it, but this movie is nonstop funny from beginning to end. There is humor in just about every scene, and funny lines abound. Dustin Hoffman, one of the best actors of his generation, gives one of his best peformances as a tempermental actor who can't get a job and secretly tries out for a female role on a big daytime soap opera in drag. Of course, he gets the part and becomes enormously popular, largely because he refuses to put up with the crap that other actresses put up with. Not only is Hoffman excellent, but the rest of the cast is also outstanding. Jessica Lange got a best supporting actress oscar. The oscar for best picture should have landed here, as well. If you've never seen this one, do yourself a favor -- get a copy and watch it. If you haven't seen it in years, get a copy and watch it again. Either way, you won't be sorry. This is one Hollywood's best comedies."
Astounding film fails to harness the power of DVD
tropic_of_criticism | 09/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If ever a movie got robbed on Oscar® night, it was TOOTSIE. Up against the historical powerhouse GANDHI, it didn't stand much of a chance. But in any other year, it would clearly have swept the statuettes off the stage. This sublime comedy is a must for every aspiring actor, not only for the message it delivers about the need for talent to be tempered by professionalism, but also for the sheer quality of the acting on display. There's not a single actor in the entire piece who fails the script. The editing is particularly crisp, often adding a comic punctuation of its own. For me, the standout actor is not Dustin Hoffman but the highly underrated Sydney Pollack. As Michael Dorsey's frustrated agent, and the only character actually in opposition to Dorsey's impersonation, his sense of frustration and confusion provides, I think, the funniest moments in the film. What's even more impressive is that his character echoes his behind-the-scenes role. As the film's director, his principle duty is to make sure that the film coheres into a logical narrative. Similarly, as Dorsey's agent, he provides a lot of that necessary narration. Though many of Pollack's lines are not only hilariously funny, they also serve to better define Dorsey and provide answers to fill in potential plot holes. In the end, the audience is twice served by Pollack. Not only does he direct with great comic assuredness, his character crucially makes Dorsey's madness believable. What makes this DVD disappointing is not its film. No, the woeful lack of any special features is simply inexcusable. There is really no reason to buy the DVD over the cheaper VHS. It's incredible to me that such a seminal work can be so bereft of even a simple director's commentary. Hopefully, later "special editions" will be a more complete addition to your DVD library."
What y'all really want is some gross, caricature of a woman!
M. Hart | USA | 05/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1982, Dustin Hoffman played one of his most memorable roles as Michael Dorsey in the hilarious comedy, "Tootsie". As an out-of-work actor, Michael teaches acting classes because no director will hire him due to his somewhat peremptory attitude, or so says his agent George Fields (Sydney Pollack, who also directed the film). Frustrated with being undesirable and wanting to prove himself, Michael dons a dress and high heels so that he can apply for a female role in a television soap opera. Calling himself Dorothy Michaels, the soap opera director, Ron (Dabney Coleman), thinks that Dorothy is too ugly for the part, but Dorothy's dominance earns 'her' the right to a screen test and 'she' gets hired! As the film progresses, Michael's pretense as a woman earns him the stardom and recognition that he longed for. However, it also gets him into trouble not only with a woman that he's dating, Sandy (Teri Garr), but also with two of the regular stars from the soap opera, Julie (Jessica Lange) and John Van Horn (George Gaynes). With an excellent script, superb acting and a hilarious story, it was completely unsurprising that "Tootsie" earned 10 Oscar nominations, including nominations for Best Picture, Best Director (Syndey Pollack), Best Cinematography and Best Screenplay. Dustin Hoffman was nominated for Best Actor and both Teri Garr and Jessica Lange were nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Of all the Oscar nominations, only Jessica Lange won the Oscar. Dustin Hoffman won the Golden Globe for Best Actor, as did Jessica Lange for Best Supporting Actress. The number of Oscar nominations that the film earned demonstrated the many strengths of the film, not to mention that the film will keep you laughing and fully engaged!Other very memorable characters in the film include Julie's father Les (Charles Durning), Michael's roommate Jeff (Bill Murray), soap opera producer Rita (Doris Belack) and soap opera nurse April (a young Geena Davis).If you enjoy films such as "Some Like It Hot" (1959) and "Mrs. Doubtfire" (1993), you will more than likely enjoy "Tootsie" equally as well. I rate "Tootsie" with a resounding 5 out of 5 stars and am very pleased to own it on DVD."
FUNNY. AND MEANINGFUL.
Shashank Tripathi | Gadabout | 03/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What a tightly scripted, beautifully acted, finely paced comedy! Having seen it a long time ago, I felt it must've been very much like an older version of Mrs Doubtfire, but this marvellous film has a lot more going for it than the female impersonation angle. When a failing actor cross dresses to get a job, he also discovers the inconveniences of being a "woman of the 80s". Throughout the film, there's always a pleasing sense of cynical humor (e.g., "I dont believe in hell. I believe in unemployment, but not in hell") and Hoffman is topnotch in his role. The from Morricone has a somewhat grating refrain of Stephen Bishop's "It might be you" but I guess it perfectly serves its purpose, providing the touching backdrop to the actor's increasing awareness of the strength of feminine qualities -- the touch of the baby to his cheek, the poignant sight of Julie's skirt swishing in the kitchen, the offering to Dorothy of her chocolate-covered finger to suck, etc. I can see that Hoffman must have committed to this movie bigtime, and I notice that there's a book that describes the making of this film but is currently out of print. Perhaps something to this effect would have been great to include on the DVD itself, which is incidentally quite lousy for such a classic film. At any rate, it's a great addition to any movie collection."