Review: ‘Les Girls’

Les Girls is an exceptionally tasty musical morsel that is in the best tradition of the Metro studio. It's an original and zestful entry that would have been greeted with critical handsprings if it had been originally presented on the Broadway stage.

Les Girls is an exceptionally tasty musical morsel that is in the best tradition of the Metro studio. It’s an original and zestful entry that would have been greeted with critical handsprings if it had been originally presented on the Broadway stage.

The musical is set in London, Paris and Granada, Spain. It’s the story of a song-and-dance team made up of Gene Kelly and Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall and Taina Elg. Known as ‘Barry Nichols and Les Girls’, they are a popular Continental act. Many years after the act has broken up, Kendall, now the wife of an English peer, has written a book of reminiscences that lands her in a London court, the defendant in a libel suit brought by Elg, now married to a French industrialist. The court trial provides the setting for a series of flashbacks. Each gives a different version of what happened.

The excursion into the past provides the setting for a number of Cole Porter tunes and dances brightly staged by Jack Cole as ‘Les Girls’ appear in niteries in France and Spain. Porter created seven new songs for the picture.

Kendall emerges as a delightful comed- ienne in her first American picture. Elg, a Finnish actress-ballerina who portrays a French girl, has a quality that is exceedingly appealing. Gaynor is the wholesome, uncomplicated member of the troupe.

1957: Best Costume Design.

Nominations: Best Art Direction, Sound

Les Girls

Production

M-G-M. Director George Cukor; Producer Sol C. Siegel; Screenplay John Patrick; Camera Robert Surtees; Editor Ferris Webster; Music Cole Porter; Art Director William A. Horning, Gene Allen

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1957. Running time: 114 MIN.

With

Gene Kelly Mitzi Gaynor Kay Kendall Taina Elg Jacques Bergerac Leslie Phillips

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