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King Marchand: I don't care if you are a man.
This 1982 comedy film directed by Blake Edwards, and starring his wife Julie Andrews as well as Robert Preston and James Garner, is the tale of a down-on-her-luck actress/singer who disguises herself as a man to take a job as a drag queen in 1930s Paris. Hilarity Ensues. The film received a Screen to Stage Adaptation in 1995 which also starred Andrews and was directed by Edwards; this version was filmed for television.
This film and its stage adaptation provide examples of:
- Attractive Bent Gender: While performaing dressed as a woman, "Victor" is considered very attractive.
- Bar Brawl: "Victor" accidentally starts a brawl by accidentally pulling off a woman's wig after intentionally tripping one of her companions. In the ensuing chaos, she even accidentally punches King. In the film version, Toddy gets fired early in the film after indirectly causing a bar fight in Chez Lui, and King later starts a bar brawl intentionally in order to feel more masculine.
- The Beard: Maybe Richard's female companion. He's possibly just Bi the Way.
- Beta Couple: Prominently in the stage version, Toddy and Squash are this to Victoria and King.
- Bi the Way: Toddy's ex Richard, maybe. It's possible his female companion is just The Beard.
- Blatant Lies: Toddy deliberately gives Victor an obviously fake backstory as a disinherited Polish aristocrat named "Count Victor Grazinski" under the assumption that once people see through this lie, they won't look for another.
'Victoria: They'll know he's a phony!
- Brainless Beauty: Norma Cassidy is King Marchand's ditzy arm-candy.
- Butt Monkey: The private investigator hired by the club owner Monsieur Labisse to unmask Victoria. Every scene where he appears (all four of them) has him on the receiving end of a slapstick gag, starting with this gem:
Labisse: Be careful.
- California Doubling: The movie is set in Paris (with a brief jaunt to Chicago), but was shot on a sound stage in England.
- Camp Gay: Toddy, though only in the stage version--he's not particularly camp in the film version.
- Character Exaggeration: In the film version, Norma Cassidy has a few moments that show she's not the sharpest tool in the shed. In the stage adaptation, this becomes her defining character trait. The result is Played for Laughs, to the point that in the filmed version of the stage musical, Norma gets the biggest laughs.
- Coming Out Story: Squash eventually "hoists [their] true colors" in response to mistakenly thinking another character has done the same. Though things are a little awkward at first, all of their friends are supportive--the only people who end up hostile already had a reason to feel that way.
- Distant Duet: In the stage version, Victoria and King sing "Almost a Love Song" in adjacent rooms.
- The Ditz: Norma Cassidy tends to fail while attempting to seem intelligent, particularly in the stage musical.
- Drag Queen: "Victor", as well as several of the minor characters.
- Drink Order: While doubting his masculinity due to his attraction to Victor, King goes to a seedy bar and orders milk to try and start a Bar Brawl. One of the tough guys sarcastically asks him if he's ordering cow's milk or mother's milk. King replies, "How about your sister's?" He gets the brawl he was looking for.
- Dropped a Bridget On Him: Double dropped. Andrews' character is a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman, after all.
- Dumb Blonde: Norma Cassidy has bleached blond hair, while Victoria Grant is a redhead. One is The Ditz, and it isn't the main character.
- Faux Yay: Victoria pretends to be Toddy's lover as Victor in order to provide a plausible reason for living together.
- Gayngster: one of Sal's bodyguards in the stage version
- Gay Paree: In both senses. It even has a musical number so titled.
- Genre Savvy: This exchange between Victoria and Toddy after her and King's first meeting:
Victoria: King Marchand is an arrogant, opinionated, chauvinistic pain in the ass.
- Glass-Shattering Sound: The high note at the end of Victoria's stage show. Also Chekhov's Skill.
- Hello, Sailor!: Toddy's aware of the stereotype in the stage version:
King: You must have been in the army.
King: I don't care if you are a man. (kisses Victoria)
- Inadvertent Entrance Cue: In the stage version.
Norma: Well, well, well, if it ain't big shot King Marchand, who these days maybe ought to change it to "Queen".
- Incompatible Orientation: Norma Cassidy quickly develops an attraction to Toddy, who is gay.
- Irrelevant Act Opener: The second act of the stage adaptation opens with a song about Marie Antoinette. As it's a performance by "Victor", it's not entirely out of place, but it has nothing to do with the plot. It was eventually cut.
- Large Ham: Norma.
- The Loins Sleep Tonight: King, distracted by thoughts of "Victor", suffers this when he tries sleeping with Norma.
- Love Dodecahedron: Toddy is initially involved with Richard, who starts seeing bit-character Simone. King and Norma are together, but once they get to Paris, Norma goes after Toddy and King falls for "Victor", with Victoria reciprocating King's feelings. Toddy, for his part, seems taken with Squash. The stage version goes even further by making Toddy explicitly attracted to King and implying that he and Andre had been...close. The Love Dodecahedron does get resolved, but not to everyone's liking.
- Mugging the Monster: While at the gym trying to reinforce his masculinity, King gets bumped into by another guy. King refuses to accept the apology and challenges him to a boxing match. The man turns out to be the gay middleweight boxing champion.
- His sexuality is important, because the story says that gay men will go out of their way to be tougher, stronger and more masculine than normal men to prove they're not wusses.
- The Musical: In the movie, the songs are only for the characters' stage performances, but it was adapted for Broadway in 1995 as an all-out musical.
- The Musical Musical: The story is a musical about a stage performer who advances her career through Recursive Crossdressing.
- Musical World Hypotheses: The film is entirely diegetic, with Victoria, Toddy, and Norma giving performances. The stage adaptation introduces songs that are either All In Their Head or an Adaptation of the events. Toddy's opening number even starts in his head and moves on to an actual performance at Chez Lui.
- Nobody Over 50 Is Gay: Wonderfully averted.
- Playing Against Type
- Recursive Crossdressing: A woman dressing as a man who does performance art dressing as a woman.
- Screen to Stage Adaptation: The 1982 film was adapted for Broadway in 1995.
- Sexy Coat Flashing: Norma does this to Squash from the back of the train after he sends her off.
- Sorry, I'm Gay: Toddy rebuff's Norma's advances by (accurately) claiming to be gay.
- Straight Gay: Richard (though he may fall under Bi the Way) and very much Squash
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: An uncomfortable pause while discussing Victor's performance reveals to Norma that King is attracted to "Victor".
- Suppressed Mammaries: Victoria does this to pass as a man, and lampshades it hilariously.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Victoria spends most of the story as "Victor"
- Sweet on Polly Oliver: King is so attracted to "Victor" that he's convinced that "Victor" is really a woman.
- The Thirties
- Unsatisfiable Customer: Early in the film a broke Victoria attempts to cadge a free meal at a restaurant by planting a cockroach in her salad.