.... plus of course cross-dressing has been a comedy staple since FIRST A GIRL and the original VIKTOR UND VIKTORIA (see 1930s label) in the 1930s, the era of the music halls and OLD MOTHER RILEY, and Julie Andrews had her last big success with VICTOR AND VICTORIA in 1982.
The subject has hardly been treated seriously until TRANSAMERICA, and of course Glenn Close labooured over ALBERT NOBBS (above), where she was quite convincing too (2000s label), but back in 1972 there was I WANT WHAT I WANT, hot on the heels of the gender bender comedy GIRL STROKE BOY in 1971 - I caught that during its brief run as it starred my great favourite, Joan Greenwood. Interesting to catch both these latter two now on dvd ...
So, I WANT WHAT I WANT:
|Anne's usual glamour|
Here is the blurb:
PS: Also today I opened the new BFI programme for April, to see praise for Anne Heywood in a 1962 thriller they are reviving: THE VERY EDGE, with Richard Todd and Jeremy Brett: "What is remarkable and unexpected about the film, however, is Anne Heywood's transition from a 'Stepford Wife' to a woman who is determined, literally, to stand on her own two feet.. Sounds promising ...
We focus on a dotty older couple, Lettice and George, who live in the country as their son Clive Francis is paying them a visit with his West Indian girlfriend Jo. Clive has never seemed interested in girls before so they are naturally delighted, as we watch them get ready - cue lots of funny business for Joan and that great actor/farceur Michael Hodern as George. His reactions including stunned incredulity are a joy to see, and Joan of course is in her element, with that voice and vocal inflections of hers. Add in the young Patricia Routledge (later Hycinth Bouquet) and more laughs are guaranteed.
The young couple look suitably hippieish, but Jo - played by Straker (later Peter Straker) - is so obviously male that one wonders what planet the others are on. Since they - and we - never discover if it's a boy or a girl that their son has brought home, they don't know if he is gay or straight. Its all terribly dated now of course, but thats the charm here. Its a demented comedy of gender confusion and was one of the first British films to portray a gay relationship and is an almost forgotten minor gem from the dark ages of British cinema. At least it tried to push boundaries unlike charmless dated unfunny piffle like PRUDENCE AND THE PILL!
Next: finally on dvd, our 1962 favourite: THE CHAPMAN REPORT, plus reports on ONLY GOD FORGIVES, DJANGO UNCHAINED, THE GREAT BEAUTY, THE LONG GOODBYE and GRAVITY on Blu-ray, and more impersonations with BEHIND THE CANDELABRA and BURTON AND TAYLOR, another Ruth Roman double-bill and more delicious Trash classics.