One of the world's most talented and best-loved performers, Julie Andrews reaches new heights in the most challenging role of her career as a woman pretending to be a man impersonating a woman! Filmed on the Broadway stage... more » in 1995 (and based on the 1982 film), the immensely popular Victor/Victoria is a warm, funny, wildly energetic look at the nature of love, gender perceptions and the battle of the sexes. Written and directed by Blake Edwards, with an unforgettable score by Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse, Victor/Victoria tells the story of an out-of-work singer whose life changes when she meets the flamboyant Toddy (Tony Roberts). With his help, she becomes "Victor," an overnight singing sensation in the nightclubs of Paris. But success becomes hilariously complicated when she meets the love of her life, King Marchan, a macho Chicago gangster (Michael Nouri). Adding her two cents to the couple's troubles is Marchan's ex-girlfriend, the ditzy Norma Cassidy (Rachel York). From the electrifying excitement of "Le Jazz Hot" to the contemplative "Crazy World," from the humor of "Chicago, Illinois" to the touching "Almost a Love Song," this truly classic musical has it all. 146 minutes. Filmed in High-Definition video. 16x9 anamorphic widescreen transfer.« less
"Knowing that his wife possessed one of the best examples of on-stage charisma in all of the theater, Blake Edwards (and company) crafted an old-fashioned musical extravaganza specifically to showcase the wonderful talents of Julie Andrews. In an unusual move, Edwards adapted his 1982 film VICTOR/VICTORIA for the Broadway stage, thereby serving up Andrews in conjunction with one of his biggest film hits, and one of her best movie roles. Adapting the farce for the theater required filling out the film's score, and re-structuring the story in order for it to work on stage. The final result was terrific fun to watch, but rather disconcerting for those who loved the movie version. Andrews was a hit, of course, and the play moved along with pace and flair. This new DVD is a high-definition tape version of a performance of the play that was prepared for Japanese television. It looks great, letterboxed at about 1.75:1, with the camera(s) moving subtly to give us different angles that we would never have seen from the theater seats.The sound is a problem, however, in that the Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks isolate the front channels to the two left/right front speakers, with the center channel only occasionally coming into active play. This makes the sonic experience rather hollow-sounding, and oddly displaces the action. The cast and orchestra sound fine, but pulling the sonic field toward the edges, as it were, is unsettling.But at least we have the show documented, and that is a major triumph, as this production marks the last time that Julie Andrews sang in public before losing her voice to botched vocal chord surgery. The stunning impact of that loss is shocking to think about, as it means that one of the finest, most versatile and appealing musical theater performers of the last century has been silenced. It's therefore wise to enjoy and hold onto this copy of the production, despite its shortcomings, because of what it means, and I choke even as I write this line - most likely the last we'll hear of Julie's incomparable singing voice."
Julie's Last Triumph
Byron | Australia | 03/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am thrilled that this production,Julie's first appearance on Broadway in thirty years is now to be captured forever.Filmed at the Marquis Theatre,it boasts the entire original cast,before Julie was first replaced by Liza Minnelli,then by Raquel Welch. This was a steller production and director Blake Edwards brought out all the fun and frolic of the film version all in its gaudy glory."
The best filmed production of a stage musical ever?
Matthew Murray | New York City, NY USA | 08/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let's get the tough stuff out of the way first: No, the show ain't that great. It is, in a number of significant ways, inferior to the 1982 film. The book has a number of problems, mostly on display in the first act. However, it's pretty easy to overlook most of the show's flaws, because what it gets right it gets right in spades. The cast is impeccable: Julie Andrews, Tony Roberts, Michael Nouri, Rachel York, Gregory Jbara, and everyone else give their all and then some. The show was, for the most part, well directed. The sets are stunning. The costumes are quite good. Just about every song works onstage, and most of the new material fits into the show quite well. Perhaps most importantly, this show is stunningly produced. You really feel like you're in the theater watching the show, and you see everything you need to see, when you need to see it. Whether you like or hate the show, if you like musicals, you need to get Victor/Victoria. It is, perhaps, the best video adaptation of a stage musical ever, at once flawlessly preserving the stage production, while still being a completely "television" experience."
Impressive Filming of a Flawed Show
Byron Kolln | 04/11/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The stage version of "V/V" is inferior to the film. Among the problems: Rachel York---a terrific talent who deserved better---was clearly encouraged to imitate Lesley Ann Warren's performance from the film rather than create a character on her own, and the new songs are mediocre or worse. But fans of Julie Andrews will no doubt enjoy it, and Blake Edwards (in his stage directing debut) excels in the comedy sequences (the sequence in the second act which has many of the characters sneaking in and out of hotel bedrooms without being detected is classic Edwards). Very smooth filming of the show---the hi def transfer looks great. Note that the filming occured early in the show's Broadway run, and Edwards continued to make major changes to the show in the months following the opening. For example, Edwards cut the "Louis Says" number that opens the second act (the number was not replaced) and brought back the balloon act that was used during the show's Midwest tryouts but dropped prior to the Broadway opening. The DVD has "Louis Says" but no balloon act."
FANTASTIC, CREATES THE STANDARD FOR BROADWAY DVD'S!
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 10/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This fantastic DVD sets the standard for all Broadway DVD presentations!Filmed at the Marquis Theatre, VICTOR/VICTORIA was filmed for Japanese television broadcast by NHK. This remarkable transfer boasts a dynamic 5.1 sound mix and a flawless picture.Starring the entire original cast led by Julie Andrews, Tony Roberts, Michael Nouri, Rachel York, Gregory Jbara and Tara O'Brien, it is one of the most delightful musicals ever written.This will probably be Andrews' last musical role; after completing her run and handing over the role to Liza Minnelli, she was admitted to hospital with throat problems. During the run she was frequently out with the flu or vocal problems.
Similarly, Liza Minnelli was frequently out with vocal problems relating to the show. Raquel Welch stepped in and closed with the show. VICTOR/VICTORIA ran for almost three years on Broadway.This classic, old-fashioned musical will be a God-send to die-hard Broadway and musical theatre fans. Buy it today!"