George CukorUSA114 minutes1957ColourEnglish
The last of Gene Kelly's '50s musicals and perhaps the least-known, Les Girls nevertheless deserves a prideful place in the pantheon of great Hollywood musicals. Derived from a novel by Laura author Vera Caspary, directed by the great George Cukor and featuring songs by Cole Porter, the film takes place in Rashomon-style flashback, as a London libel trial leads to a recounting of the tangled professional (and romantic) history of a dance troupe comprised of brash Barry Nichols (Kelly) and the multinational "girls" of the title: wholesome American Joy (Mitzi Gaynor), tart-tongued Brit Sybil (Kay Kendall), and flirty Frenchwoman Angele (Taina Elg). Packed with lively late-period Porter tunes — including the title number, the mutual-admiration duet "You're Just Too Too!," and "Why Am I So Gone (About That Gal)?", which features Kelly as Marlon Brando in a Wild One parody — Les Girls is "a delight to match that other Cukor musical, A Star is Born" (Geoff Andrew, Time Out London).