Les Girls


Sybil Wren (Kay Kendall) is sued for libeling Angéle Ducros (Taina Elg); they were both part of a dance troupe led by Barry Nichols (Gene Kelly), but everyone disagrees on what really went on behind the curtain. Probably the only musical ever to be inspired by Rashomon (1950), as we hear three different versions of events. The stories provide the cast with irresistible opportunities to play three takes on one and the same character based on how the others regard him or her. That’s a well-needed touch to a tale that is a little too familiar. The movie is good-looking and engaging, with charming but not terribly memorable Cole Porter songs. Kelly looks comfortable and Kendall is a lot of fun as the writer of a tell-all book.

1957-U.S. 114 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Sol C. Siegel. Directed by George Cukor. Screenplay: John Patrick. Novel: Vera Caspary. Cinematography: Robert Surtees. Songs: Cole Porter. Costume Design: Orry-Kelly. Cast: Gene Kelly (Barry Nichols), Mitzi Gaynor (Joy Henderson), Kay Kendall (Sybil Wren), Taina Elg (Angéle Ducros), Jacques Bergerac, Leslie Phillips… Henry Daniell, Patrick Macnee.

Trivia: Cyd Charisse and Leslie Caron were allegedly considered for parts.

Oscar: Best Costume Design. Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy), Actress (Kendall/Elg).

Last word: “Usually food in a scene is left to to the last minute to the property man who rushes off to the studio commissary to get a few pieces of ham, some bread… and spreads them all over the table. But in ‘Les Girls’ we had the most wonderful, real French food… down to the smallest details. We even looked at Cézanne’s still life… the great impressionist. On the table were wine and cheeses and with the girls all around it was pure Cézanne. There was quite a bit of loving thought put into it and it paid off – scenes must be done this way, with no slap-dash about them. I do them with a great deal of affection and detail.” (Cukor, “George Cukor: Interviews”)



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