The Cinema Museum, London

The Vito Project LGBTQ+ Film Club presents Victor and Victoria (1933) + Victor/Victoria (1982) – SOLD OUT

Sun 23 Apr 2023 @ 14:30 · Events

Victor and VictoriaFollowing the success of its sold-out season on Classic Hollywood ‘Camp’, THE VITO PROJECT QUEER FILM CLUB presents its new season. DRESSED TO THRILL: A Series of Films Exploring Dress Code and Gender Expression celebrates characters that use dress as a means to subvert gender and societal rules. We will journey through different decades and countries to explore narratives that defy, confront, or expose gender expectations. We invite you to dress to impress, open the celluloid closet with us, and marvel at a line-up of magnificent misfits – be they anarchic, playful, detestable, or absolutely fabulous.

A musical double bill featuring the rarely seen original German version, followed by the Julie Andrews classic. Two gender-bending classics that inspired many imitators, but that have rarely been equalled.

Victor and VictoriaVictor And Victoria (Viktor und Viktoria) (1933), directed by Reinhold Schünzel. Running time: 90 minutes.

Not screened in the UK for decades and not officially available in this country in any format, this is the original movie that inspired not only the Julie Andrews remake, but also the British comedy First a Girl (1935). This musical sex farce was the most successful film of its year at the German box office and is a remarkable example of late Weimar popular cinema. It also marks the end of the decadent sexual freedom which so characterised the period, as 1933 would bring the end of the Weimar Republic and the beginning of Hitler’s ascension to power.

In this delightful musical comedy, aspiring singer Susanne (Renate Müller) takes over one night for her sick colleague, the slapstick drag performer Viktor (Hermann Thimig), at a small cabaret in Berlin where he works as a female impersonator. By chance, Susanne is then “discovered” by an agent, who thinks she′s really a man. She becomes famous and goes on tour to London. But love interferes and things get very complicated when the local womanizer Robert (dashing Anton Walbrook of The Red Shoes fame) suddenly finds himself strangely fascinated and attracted by the ‘fake’ Viktor. German with English subtitles.

Victor/VictoriaVictor/Victoria (1982), directed by Blake Edwards. Running time: 134 minutes.

The 1982 version was adapted by director Blake Edwards (Breakfast At Tiffany’s, The Pink Panther) from the 1933 German film as a starring vehicle for his wife Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music). This return to musical comedies proved to be Andrew’s biggest hit in many years, bringing her first Best Actress Oscar nomination since 1966, and the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical.

Victoria Grant (Julie Andrews), a down-and-out British soprano, struggles to find work in the nightclubs of 1930s Paris. While trying to scam a free meal, Grant meets cabaret performer Toddy (Robert Preston), who comes up with an idea that will change everything. Acting as her manager, Toddy bills Grant as a male female impersonator. When the nightclubs eat it up, the duo makes it big – even a Chicago mobster (James Garner) is enamoured with Grant. But keeping the truth a secret is no easy task.

This joyfully camp and colourful musical comedy sizzles with classic moments, and still stands as one of the most unabashedly queer popular entertainments ever made by Hollywood. Don’t miss the chance to see it on the big screen with an appreciative audience.

Event format: Doors open one hour before start times for socialising. Screening is preceded by an introduction and followed by a Q&A. Drinks and homemade food by the Electric Elephant Café available.

About The VITO Project Queer Film Club: The popular series has been running at The Cinema Museum since 2015, promoting a safe space to promote dialogue between different generations of LGBTQ+ people, allies, and film lovers. It takes its name after Vito Russo (1945-1990), New York-native a gay rights activist, film historian and author best known for his book The Celluloid Closet, a ground-breaking chronicle of the LGBTQ+ experience in film. Russo famously screened movies in a space for them to be discussed and debated, and the Project continues to honour his tradition at the historic Cinema Museum London.

Doors open at 14.30, for a 15.30 start.

Refreshments will be available in our licensed cafe/bar.


Tickets £14 in advance or on the door.

Advance tickets may be purchased from Ticketlab, or direct from the Museum by calling 020 7840 2200 in office hours.