On the verge of starvation in 1930s Paris, erstwhile entertainer Victoria (Julie Andrews) is rescued by gay cabaret performer Toddy (Robert Preston). What she needs to succeed, opines Toddy, is a gimmick. What if she becomes a male impersonator? Better still: what if she becomes a male impersonator, pretending to be a female impersonator?
As Victor/Victoria, s/he becomes the toast of Paree, and an object of fascination for big-time Chicago gangster King Marchan (James Garner), who can't quite understand the teasing sensations he experiences whenever watching her in action-especially since he, like everyone else, assumes that she is a he.
Enjoyable though the stars of Blake Edwards' comedy may be, the film is stolen by Lesley Ann Warren, who won an Oscar nomination as King's screechy-voiced moll, and Alex Karras as King's chief henchman, who, assuming that his boss is that way, literally comes out of the closet.
Victor/Victoria was a remake of the 1931 German film Viktor und Viktoria, which had previously be reworked in 1937 as the Jessie Mathews vehicle First a Girl. In 1996, Victor/Victoria was transformed into a Broadway musical, again directed by Edwards and starring Andrews.