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Victor/Victoria (Widescreen)

 Unrated   VHS Tape
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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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 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.

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Fans of Julie Andrews will delight in this 1995 videotaping of the stage musical Victor/Victoria, based on the 1982 movie of the same name. The plot has been kept intact: an out-of-work British soprano (Julie Andrews) in Paris falls in with a down-on-his-luck gay man (Tony Roberts), who gets the idea to present Victoria as the world's greatest female impersonator, Victor. The plan is a phenomenal success until a Chicago mobster on vacation (Michael Nouri) sees Victor in a nightclub and falls in love--and refuses to believe that Victor is a man. Due to the needs of the stage, the musical doesn't have the snap, crackle, and propulsive drive of the movie, which is a sprightly romp; to make up for this, the story has been expanded (some might say padded) with extensive dance numbers and new songs by Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse, with additional musical material by Frank Wildhorn. While Roberts and Nouri don't quite have the charisma of Robert Preston and James Garner, who played their roles in the movie, they're seasoned stage performers and make the most of things--Nouri in particular has a strong singing voice, which may surprise people who only know him from his movie career. And Julie Andrews is Julie Andrews; at this point in her career, you either love her or you don't. Victor/Victoria isn't going to change anyone's mind, but Andrews knows her audience and knows how to give them what they want. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A "Must Have" for Julie Andrews Fans Aug. 31 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This video of the stage production of "Victor/Victoria" preserves what is likely to be the last Broadway performance of a living legend of the musical theater - Julie Andrews. Complications from vocal chord surgery performed not long after Dame Andrews left this production damaged her singing voice, probably permanently. The opportunity to see her in this historic Broadway performance should therefore not be missed by any of her fans.
The show isn't perfect. It gets off to a bit of a slow start with a moody opening number, "Paris By Night," then it takes a while for the story to unfold. There is a bit more exposition than is necessary, and the show really doesn't get into full swing until Julie and company's notable "Le Jazz Hot." From that point on, however, "Victor/Victoria" accelerates, and the laughs come quickly and often.
The energy boost is thanks in large part to the comic genius of Drama Desk Award Winner Rachel York as the dizzy blond gangster moll, Norma Cassidy. She takes the Oscar-winning role created in the 1982 movie version by Lesley Ann Warren and makes it her own. She finds the vulnerable core underneath the crass exterior and turns Norma into a lovable lunatic. Her timing is perfection, and the unexpected little twists in her delivery and physicality delight at every turn. She almost steals the show, but not quite. What she does accomplish, however, is to give Ms. Andrews a venerable foil. When the two of them are onstage together, the chemistry is electric. They have a tango toward the end of the first act that is one of the funniest pieces of choreography ever staged.
All the dance numbers are stellar, in fact. Credit goes to Rob Marshall, who has now become famous for his direction of the Academy Award winning movie adaptation of "Chicago.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Dangers of putting films on stage Oct. 31 2001
Format:DVD
In cinematic history, studios have quite frequently gone to the theatre stage as a source of inspiration. More and more, lately, the reverse is proving true with the likes of Broadway and London's West End attempting to put the screen on stage. From the Lion King, to The Graduate, and now, Victor/Victoria.
The 1982 film was one of Blake Edward's most successful in a long history of filmmaking. Never really a musical, as such, it used music and musical numbers in a purely natural setting; singing in a cabaret act for example, but never did it cross the barrier into pure musical-dom by having casts of characters all singing the same song in the middle of a street for no apparent reason.
Given the nature of Victor/Victoria, it seems almost natural to carry it through to a stage version. And for the most part, the attempt succeeds. (Although, knowing the film version well, it was difficult to see the actors breaking the wall of musical numbers between cabaret acts, and bedroom antics.) The new musical numbers are well written, witty, and fun. Everybody does an exceptional job with the singing and are able to belt out the numbers with confidence. The dance routines are sparkling, and the orchestrations exquisite.
Where the stage version begins to falter, is the slapstick routines that only barely worked in the film. Blake Edwards is known for and is keen on slapstick. We have seen this in his previous works such as The Pink Panther series and The Party. There is always a poor sap getting his hand caught in a door, falling off a stepladder, tripping over a rug. The breath of fresh air in Victor/Victoria, the film, is that this was kept to a minimum, and the central story remained the focus.
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Format:DVD
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!
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5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT PRESERVATION OF A WONDERFUL NIGHT March 10 2001
Format:VHS Tape
On December 2, 1995, I was lucky enough to be in New York City and saw "Victor-Victoria" on Broadway. The excitement and anticipation of seeing Julie Andrews on Broadway was so great-- I'll never forget that. We would have applauded and cheered like mad if Julie had merely appeared on stage and read from the phone book. Naturally, I was thrilled when the Broadway production was released on video. The show is excellently presented in wide-screen format. I'm still in awe of Robin Wagner's wonderful set designs-- one of the production's best assets. Andrews is well supported by Tony Roberts as Toddy. Michael Nouri is super sexy as King Marchan, and Gregory Jhbara is endearingly sweet as his gay bodyguard. Rachael York is extremely funny, but, in retrospect, the best she can do in the role of Norma is give a carbon-copy of Lesley Ann Warren's inspired performance in the 1982 film. Despite what some have said, the Broadway production does flow and move well, with just as much sparkle and bounce as the 1982 film (in some cases, perhaps more). These are professional actors. They know what they're doing, and they give their very best. Let's face it: either you like Julie Andrews (with all her amazing stamina and energy; thankfully captured here before her devastating 1997 throat surgery) and "Victor-Victoria" or you don't. Not much more needs to be said. Having this video in my collection is like having my wonderful night in New York City over and over again. A real treat-- if you were "there" or not.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars This was a disappointment. I thought it was the movie and it ...
This was a disappointment. I thought it was the movie and it turned to be a filming of a stage production.
Published 3 months ago by LS
4.0 out of 5 stars Julie Andrews at her best
There are a few musicals which are true classics, with a superb score, clever lyrics, and an engaging book that combines comedy and suspense in equal measure. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Barbara Florio Graham
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong order
Very disapointed, I tought it was the DVD of the movie

The description of the product was not sufficient to realize that it was not the movie
Published 21 months ago by Nicole Lortie
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a gift - so hope they love it.
Gift recipient s a BIG Broadway fan so this seemed the perfect fit!
7 more words required so I can push submit.
Published 22 months ago by S. Poudrier
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome!
Great movie a classic so glad I could pick it up on blue ray! Always a winner couldn't find anywhere but at amazon!
Published on Sept. 25 2011 by Tara Calestani
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing!
It was my own mistake ordering Victor/Victoria, thinking I was getting the original movie. The cover should be changed to make sure no one else makes the same error. Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2011 by Linda Gearing
3.0 out of 5 stars It was okay....
I bought this thinking it was the movie, but it wasn't. We watched it though, and didn't mind it, but would prefer to get the movie version, not the broadway play. Read more
Published on Dec 3 2010 by Duchess
1.0 out of 5 stars A mangled shadow of a great movie
The story is of circumstances that make it possible for a singer (Julie Andrews) to pretend to be a man pretending to be a woman. Read more
Published on April 28 2007 by bernie
4.0 out of 5 stars A really fun show, luckily preserved
I was lucky enough, in 1995 to not only see "Victor/Victoria," but to get backstage to meet the lovely and truely gracious Ms. Andrews. Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2002 by Lon Barrera
5.0 out of 5 stars VICTOR/VICTORIA 1995 BROADWAY PRODUCTION
I HAD THE CHANCE TO VIEW THIS WONDERFULL PLAY LAST NIGHT. I WAS VERY IMPRESSED WITH THE PROFORMANCE THAT MS. ANDREWS DID IN THIS PLAY. Read more
Published on July 12 2002 by ROBERT LUSSE
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