6.8/10
2,868
56 user 26 critic

The Boy Friend (1971)

When the leading lady of a low-budget musical revue sprains her ankle, the assistant stage manager is forced to understudy and perform in her place, becoming a star and finding love in the process.

Director:

Ken Russell

Writers:

Ken Russell (screenplay), Sandy Wilson (based on the musical play by)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Twiggy ... Polly
Christopher Gable Christopher Gable ... Tony
Max Adrian ... Max
Bryan Pringle ... Percy
Murray Melvin ... Alphonse
Moyra Fraser ... Mme. Dubonnet
Georgina Hale ... Fay
Sally Bryant Sally Bryant ... Nancy
Vladek Sheybal ... De Thrill
Tommy Tune ... Tommy
Brian Murphy ... Peter
Graham Armitage ... Michael
Antonia Ellis ... Maisie
Caryl Little Caryl Little ... Dulcie
Anne Jameson Anne Jameson ... Mrs. Peter (as Ann Jameson)
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Storyline

The assistant stage manager of a small-time theatrical company (Polly Browne) is forced to understudy for the leading lady (Rita) at a matinée performance at which an illustrious Hollywood director (Cecil B. DeThrill) is in the audience scouting for actors to be in his latest "all-talking, all-dancing, all-singing" extravaganza. Polly also happens to fall in love with the leading man (Tony) and imagines several fabulous fantasy sequences in which the director is free to exercise his capacity for over-the-top visuals in this charming 1920's era flick. Written by Bliss Blood <soundex@sccsi.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Glittering Super Colossal Heart Warming Toe-Tapping Continously Delightful Musical Extravaganza See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the end of the film Murray Melvin's character says, "I think I'll take up the cloth." Melvin had played a demented priest in Ken Russell's previous film The Devils (1971). See more »

Quotes

Tommy: Every word's the truth, cub scout's oath.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Ken Russell's Talking Picture See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1987 re-release by M-G-M/United Artists Classics restored 26 minutes that had been trimmed for the original theatrical release from director Russell's initial 134-minute cut. The longer version included two songs, "It's Nicer in Nice" and "The You-Don't-Want-To-Play-With-Me Blues" as well as the seven minute Grecian bacchanal party fantasy. See more »

Connections

References City Lights (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Nicer in Nice
Music & Lyrics by Sandy Wilson
Performed by Barbara Windsor and Girls & Boys
See more »

User Reviews

 
truly hilarious
21 February 2004 | by ptb-8See all my reviews

As hilarious today as it was in 1971, this much loved comedy is probably to musicals what Blazing Saddles is to westerns. I know that might sound odd but the analogy describes how much of a very funny send up of Busby Berkeley musicals and wobbly British seaside theatre this film really is. I saw the longer 139 min version in a 1997 reissue in Australia, and it actually is not as tidy as the shorter 109 min version originally released, It is too excessive and impromptu (cast laughing etc) whereas the shorter version does work better. However it does allow for 2 more songs and some extras in the dance numbers that you will want to see... Twiggy is gorgeous, the art direction superb and the end result hilarious and charming. Interestingly it was made because MGM fumbled the possibility of a straight stage reworking with Julie Andrews (she made Thoroughly Modern Millie instead), and by 1968 the world went to hell in the Vietnam war and street riots. The Boyfriend has aged well, and so has Twiggy. Alert viewers will see some of the same clothes previously in Women In Love because Shirley Russell used to buy the real 1920s garments from London markets and used them in several films her husband made. BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS is a good 2003 equivalent in art direction and style.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

24 December 1971 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Boyfriend See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Russflix See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (short UK) | (director's cut) | (US) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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