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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly Sandy Wilson's The Boy Friend, but...
...it's a wonderful (and hilarious) movie!!
Most of the play is in this movie (on stage), but everything funny in this movie is on stage but has to do with things off stage or off stage.
I love the show, The Boy Friend and I am not at all offended at what Ken Russell did with it: one of the mains things is the Busby Berkeley style numbers (hilarious)...
Published on July 10, 2003

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED THIS BUT........
Say what you will - it's not the sweet stage version but it's pretty wild - and how great is TWIGGY?
Now, if I loved this movie then why only 3 stars instead of 4 or 5? Simple... the darn video was modified to "fit my screen". If a movie ever deserved widescreen letterbox, it's THIS one! In fact, some of the musical numbers are so large, the video pops into...
Published on June 28, 2002 by John Gibson


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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly Sandy Wilson's The Boy Friend, but..., July 10, 2003
By A Customer
...it's a wonderful (and hilarious) movie!!
Most of the play is in this movie (on stage), but everything funny in this movie is on stage but has to do with things off stage or off stage.
I love the show, The Boy Friend and I am not at all offended at what Ken Russell did with it: one of the mains things is the Busby Berkeley style numbers (hilarious).
Other things I like about this movie is much of the casting: Twiggy is absolutely wonderful as Polly; Glenda Jackson makes an unforgettable appearence as Rita; Moyra Fraser has a great stage presence, playing Mme Dubonnet; Antonia Ellis is hilarious and steals the movie as the jerky Maisie; Georgina Hale is both cold and sweet as Fay; Tommy Tune could not have been better as Tommy (originally Bobby); Barbara Windsor is priceless as Hortense; Sally Bryant is great as the thick-headed Nancy; Murray Melvin is sweet as Alphonse; Max Adrien is fun as The Show's Director and Catherine Willmer is delightful as the Director's uptight wife.
I didn't really care much for Vladek Sheybal (De Thrill). I thouht he could have done much better. Christopher Gable (Tony) is much better off as a dancer. And Bryan Pringle was pretty lifeless.
The dream sequences are beautifully put together and wonderful with Christopher Gable's choreogrophy. The sets were beautiful (and way too complicated for an actual performance of The Boy Friend) and the props were hilarious. The backstage charactor personalities (along with reat actors) contributed so much to making this film funny. And I couldn't get enough of Busby Berkeley styled numbers.
As for singing: Twiggy suprised me with her nice and gentle voice; Antonia Ellis sung with many diferent levels and she was great at it; Tommy Tune can sing, of course; Barbara Windsor's voice may not have been beautiful, but her voice is warm and charming and that absolutely fit the part she played; Georgina Hale's voice is thin and a little flat, but her seductive tone fit her (offstage charector) part; Moyra Fraser may be the only one who SANG all the way through "Fancy Forgetting," but I wasn't convinced that she could actually sing. When she spoke through songs, I felt that it was to cover up the fact that she has an exremely limited range, however "Fancy Foretting" was good; Max Adrian sung just right for his character (while carrying a tune), but outside of that, he probably wouldn't be on Broadway; Christopher Gable was good; Bryan Prinle was also good.
The movie also has many memorable moments:
Maisie (snobbish) [Offstage Charactor]: Don't cry Polly, you weren't that bad.
Tommy's Life Story
Rita's entire part
Everything Polly had to do to memorize lines
Maisie's ad-libs/Attempt to seduce De Thrill
Fay's attempt to seduce De Thrill
Nancy trying to learn French
Bad Props (on stage)
...and many, many more.
The reason that I give this movie 5 stars instead of 4 or 3 (which my review may sound like thats right) is that I can re-watch it and still find it Fabulous! This movie is definetly going on my 10 Funniest Movies list!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That certain thing called...MAGIC., April 12, 2003
By 
roy tan (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This year 2003 marked the 50th anniversary of Sandy's Wilson's THE BOY FRIEND. Not only the stage musical is a hit but Ken's Russell's film The Boy Friend should have given more credits.The film was cleverly put togther and the production is A class.At the right time this film should get a lot of oscar nominations for best director, best choreography and most of all best musical. If ever they produce the 50th anniversary cd of this UK muiscal you should buy it. Just to hear Lilian Montevecchi singing as Madame Dubonnet is worth getting the cd.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Twiggy's show, November 11, 2002
By 
Beth "bethiejw2" (Mesa, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
No this is not based on the original "Boy Friend", so all of you original fans will have to go elsewhere. I thought the original was outdated so was delighted with Ken Russell adding a backstage story and straight out going druggy.. I think 30 minutes should have been edited, (explains why it's only 4.)
The main surprise in this movie is Twiggy. People who dismissed her as a phase in modeling should watch this. She sang wonderfully back in the 70's. She had a sweet gentle voice. I think the soundtrack of this movie should be released. I just bought the record and am happy with it. Also this movie is flat out magical. I had many daydreams about it when I was 15.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "T[r]APPINGS OF A STAR!", January 30, 2002
By A Customer
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This extravagant, multi-layered roadshow was TWIGGY's, [that ultrawaif fashion darling, with the big blue eyes, now occasionally seen on episodes of "AB/FAB"] movie debut! Then strangely compared to Garbo [same thing happened to Berenson "Barry Lyndon"] - she certainly did make us sit up and take notice!
Only Ken Russell could do justice to this fun, but flimsy little work [originally a break-through vehicle for Julie Andrews] and only Ken Russell [then a very hot ticket] could turn it into a multi-layered fantasy basically about a 2nd rate - no make that 3rd rate Anglo Theatrical Group's matinee performance. Not only do we go "behind the scenes" we also see the show through the eyes of a visiting [anonymous] Hollywood Movie Mogul, watching the show from the stalls, all hell breaks out as the actors, as actors only can, try to upstage each other in a futile bid for Stardom! Very funny stuff, especially some of the extreme close-ups of the performers, certainly a world of illusion on stage! But the Mogul has other interests.....
TWIGGS is the unlikely Assistant Stage Manager thrust into Stardom [shades of 42nd street here, well meant] since the actual star [an originally unbilled Glenda Jackson - literally brings new meaning to the "Break a Leg Darling" comment].
Rest of the cast? Russell alumni abound - Christopher Gable ["Music Lovers"] as the on-stage love interest, Murray Melvin ["The Devils"] - the ageless Chorus Boy type, Georgina Hale ["Mahler"], blonde and beautiful, suitably covered this time, not forgetting Max Adrian ["The Devils", "Music Lovers", etc.] as "Max" the director of our troupe, and Vladek Sheybal ["Music Lovers", etc.] as "De Thrill" - not quite on the hunt for new Hollywood talent ..... also TOMMY TUNE's debut [naturally, brilliant tap sequences!]
Costumes and Art Direction excel, conveying not only a sense of period - the seedy little theatre and the group, etc., but also in the fantasy re-creations - a sense of what Hollywood was like during the 30ties!
Ken Russell's works must be transferred to DVD - intact, restored as they were originally presented - shameful to see this work so mangled on tape, but still worth adding to one's collection.
[Footnote - According to "Legend" Miss Jackson consented to the originally unbilled cameo as a peace offerring for refusing the role of Sister Jeanne in "The Devils" - it was just slightly too much!]
Companions? "Thoroughly Modern Millie", "42nd Street", even "Kiss Me Kate".
For the flipside? "An Awfully Big Adventure" - same basis, but darker.........
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the Bee's Knees!, September 9, 2005
I was actually in a production of 'The Boy Friend' and we watched this movie and just tore it to shreds. Then someone bought it for me and I watched it again.

Needless to say, many dozens of viewings later, I love this movie. The songs will stick in your head, and it brings me back to a time when I too had dreams of dancing in the spotlight. Being familiar with backstage culture, I could identify with all the prop gaffes, costume malfunctions, botched lines, offstage drama, and killer egos. Glorious fun!

Twiggy is such a cutie, and she's perfect for the role of Polly--she would have been very fashionable for the 20's! The only thing I still think is a little odd are the dream-like sequences, but they're lavish and quite funny.

'Maisie' is my very favorite--the way she dances can only be described as athletic, and she's got an endless supply of moxie. Her 'duel' with Tommy over the attentions of DeThrill is probably my favorite number of the entire movie.

This probably shouldn't be shown to kids younger than 13--there's some sexual innuendo and the humor gets a little suggestive in places. Otherwise, it's a marvel of set decoration, precision dancing in the Busby Berkeley tradition, and a good spoof of the early days of 'talkies' as well as the drama--onstage and off--of theatre.

Now if it only could come out on DVD so I wouldn't be anxious about wearing out my video!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...a delightful romp of a musical..., December 8, 1999
...this film is a little long (one number that is included was cut from release prints)--but full of so many visually delightful things it is easy to forgive a few excesses. There are Twiggy, Glenda Jackson (in a cameo) Christopher Cable, and Tommy Tune...just for starters. Then there are the stage sets by Tony Walton and the recreations of Busby Berkeley effects that are all the more delightful because here they are in color. And then there are the tap dancing jelly fish! Well, I think you can see that there are lots of treasures here to be enjoyed--and I certainly have enjoyed them--I hope that you will!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest, June 19, 2006
In our house, this is one of the all-time favourite movies. *Everyone* is perfectly cast, the style constantly changes (on-stage, off-stage, fantasy projections of how numbers could be staged...) and it manages to be convincing as a small-time theatre production while at the same time being colourful and imaginative. Covent Garden could learn a thing or two about staging from this movie. This is Ken Russell's greatest movie. We want a DVD!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TAGLINE SAYS IT ALL, June 19, 2006
"A Glittering Super Colossal Heart Warming Toe-Tapping Continuously Delightful Musical Extravaganza"
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dvd please...., February 22, 2009
TCM just played this again and I realized how clever and modern this adaption is. Ken Russell's direction and the added surprise of Twiggy actually being amazing in it begs for a re-release of this minor classic to DVD....
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED THIS BUT........, June 28, 2002
By 
Say what you will - it's not the sweet stage version but it's pretty wild - and how great is TWIGGY?
Now, if I loved this movie then why only 3 stars instead of 4 or 5? Simple... the darn video was modified to "fit my screen". If a movie ever deserved widescreen letterbox, it's THIS one! In fact, some of the musical numbers are so large, the video pops into widescreen for them and then retuns to formatted when finished (wouldn't that be even harder to do?!).
Anyway, if you're listening MGM, it's time to release this one on DVD, letterbox - and don't forget to add lots of tasty tid-bits... how bout comentary by Tommy Tune, Twiggy, Glenda Jackson and Ken Russell???
By the way, the stage version is really wonderful and deserving of a Broadway revival - the movie is indeed VERY different and in some ways Ken Russell erases the innocence of the stage version - but for a film, this movie is GREAT... just eliminate your expectations of what the stage version is like because there's no comparison.
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The Boy Friend
The Boy Friend by Ken Russell (DVD - 2011)
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