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Best Performance by a Male Playing a Female and Vice Versa


CaveGirl
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I kind of like Tony Curtis in "Some Like It Hot". He really is quite attractive but I can't say the same for good old Jack Lemmon.

I often wonder if Osgood Fielding the III, had a stigmatism or cataracts.

For women pretending to be men, I'll go with Elspeth Dudgeon playing the character of Sir Roderick Femm in James Whale's classic, "The Old Dark House".

Your turn... 

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John Travolta in "Hairspray"; he was not only convincing but an endearing mom.

Katharine Hepburn's young man in "Sylvia Scarlett" has always been my favorite in this category.

 

* The worst/ funniest example of a man masquerading as a woman in a movie would be Cary Grant in " I Was a Male War Bride".

I don't know how he could have fooled anyone but it was a good tour de force for his comedic abilities.

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There's Dustin Hoffman as Tootsie. 

Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire (believe it or not though there are some people who are more sympathetic to Miranda, the ex played by Sally Field, even once he's exposed!).

My personal favorites though HAVE to be Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in SOME LIKE IT HOT. Curtis reminds me of Eve Arden in drag, and of course he is deliberately channeling Cary Grant when he's pretending to be the millionaire.

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4 hours ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

There's Dustin Hoffman as Tootsie. 

Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire (believe it or not though there are some people who are more sympathetic to Miranda, the ex played by Sally Field, even once he's exposed!).

My personal favorites though HAVE to be Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in SOME LIKE IT HOT. Curtis reminds me of Eve Arden in drag, and of course he is deliberately channeling Cary Grant when he's pretending to be the millionaire.

I asked early on in this thread if the intention was characters who dress in drag to advance the plot or actors who show up playing the opposite gender without any explanation or plot relevance. You're only describing the former, whereas my feeling was maybe the thread was supposed to be about the latter. But I don't know that I ever got an answer.

Will this sort of thing even be allowed anymore? Scarlett Johannsen had accepted a role as a transgender woman born male, but as social media nearly broke with the backlash of hate from the LBGTQ crowd ("We don't want no stinkin' cisgender playing no transgender! What kinda Nazi hate crap is that? Hate crime! Hate crime!"), she gave up the role and had to issue all the customary apologies to the LBGTQ community that automatically accompanies these situations for essentially being an insensitive pig for accepting the role in the first place. Possibly playing the completely opposite gender is not quite the same, but the writing is on the wall that you need to stick to your own race and gender identity when selecting roles in the modern world.

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10 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I asked early on in this thread if the intention was characters who dress in drag to advance the plot or actors who show up playing the opposite gender without any explanation or plot relevance. You're only describing the former, whereas my feeling was maybe the thread was supposed to be about the latter. But I don't know that I ever got an answer.

The OP gave the example of Elspeth Dudgeon in The Old Dark House, which simply represents an actress playing a man. A question for me is whether the example I gave -- Linda Hunt played Billy Kwan in The Year of Living Dangerously -- would be allowed today, since Linda Hunt is not a Chinese-Australian.

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4 hours ago, Swithin said:

The OP gave the example of Elspeth Dudgeon in The Old Dark House, which simply represents an actress playing a man. A question for me is whether the example I gave -- Linda Hunt played Billy Kwan in The Year of Living Dangerously -- would be allowed today, since Linda Hunt is not a Chinese-Australian.

No, Linda Hunt's performance would not be possible today.

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The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Privates on Parade remains one of the best things I've ever seen on stage. Sadly, the movie is not so good (John Cleese, who took the role Nigel Hawthorne played so brilliantly on stage,  helped to ruin it). However the movie does capture Denis Quilley's brilliant performance, which features impersonations of Carmen Miranda, Patty Andrews, Vera Lynn, and Marlene Dietrich.

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Denis Quilley (center) as Patty Andrews

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24 minutes ago, Swithin said:

The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Privates on Parade remains one of the best things I've ever seen on stage. Sadly, the movie is not so good (John Cleese, who took the role Nigel Hawthorne played so brilliantly on stage,  helped to ruin it). However the movie does capture Denis Quilley's brilliant performance, which features impersonations of Carmen Miranda, Patty Andrews, Vera Lynn, and Marlene Dietrich.

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Denis Quilley (center) as Patty Andrews

Quilley is great in Privates on Parade.  I saw a revival in the West End a couple of years ago with Simon Russell Beale which was pretty good too.

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1 hour ago, Bogie56 said:

Quilley is great in Privates on Parade.  I saw a revival in the West End a couple of years ago with Simon Russell Beale which was pretty good too.

I wanted to see that production but wasn't in London when it was on. I love Simon, worked with him once. I'm going to see him in The Lehman Trilogy at the NT in London in a couple of weeks. He and two other actors play many roles, including women, but I believe without much change of costume.

http://www.playbill.com/article/what-did-critics-think-of-the-lehman-trilogy-at-londons-national-theatre

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48 minutes ago, Swithin said:

I wanted to see that production but wasn't in London when it was on. I love Simon, worked with him once. I'm going to see him in The Lehman Trilogy at the NT in London in a couple of weeks. He and two other actors play many roles, including women, but I believe without much change of costume.

http://www.playbill.com/article/what-did-critics-think-of-the-lehman-trilogy-at-londons-national-theatre

I was working with Simon when our director, another Sir asked him how he liked the garden party at Buckingham Palace on the weekend.  Instead of answering him directly he turned to me and told me the story of his afternoon at the Palace.  I thought that was a very classy thing to do.  To include me in his story.  I've seen quite a bit of his stage work and he is a very talented actor.

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You knew my reply before starting the thread. Victor/Victoria.

Then again ... Yentl.

By the way, Astigmatism is all one word.

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On 7/14/2018 at 3:40 PM, CaveGirl said:

I kind of like Tony Curtis in "Some Like It Hot". He really is quite attractive but I can't say the same for good old Jack Lemmon.

 

I like Curtis, as well, in that classic screen comedy. The one flaw of his characterization, though, is that he did not provide the voice of Josephine. That was supplied by voice artist Paul Frees.

Apparently Curtis's attempts at a feminine voice just didn't cut it with Billy Wilder.

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On 7/15/2018 at 1:46 PM, rayban said:

Would Patrick Swayze qualify as Vida Boheme in "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar"? - 

to-wong-foo-thanks-for-everything-julie-

:D 

Actually, my wife and I thought JOHN LEGUIZAMO made the cutest "girl" in that flick.

I'll throw in NATHAN LANE as both the female impersonator performer in THE BIRDCAGE, and too, trying to portray ROBIN WILLIAM's actual female wife and mother of Robin's son.  

Sepiatone

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