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The Boy Friend (1971 film)

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Comedy, Musical, Romance



Music director

The Boy Friend (1971 film) movie poster

Release date
December 16, 1971

Based on
Ken Russell (screenplay), Sandy Wilson (musical)

Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

(Polly Browne), (Tony Brockhurst), (Max Mandeville aka Mr. Max / Lord Hubert Brockhurst), (Percy Parkhill / Percy Browne), (Alphonse)

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The boy friend preview clip

The Boy Friend is a 1971 British-American musical comedy film directed by Ken Russell and starring Twiggy, Christopher Gable, Tommy Tune, and Max Adrian with an uncredited appearance by Glenda Jackson. It is an adaptation of the musical The Boy Friend by Sandy Wilson. It was released on DVD on April 12, 2011.


The Boy Friend (1971 film) movie scenes

The boy friend 1971 theatrical trailer


The Boy Friend (1971 film) movie scenes

The plot exists on three levels.

The Boy Friend (1971 film) movie scenes

First there is the frame story where in the south of England in the 1920s a struggling theatrical troupe is performing a musical about romantic intrigues at a finishing school for young women in the south of France. To ongoing backstage dramas and audiences smaller in number than the cast, two extra ingredients arrive: a famous Hollywood film producer turns up to see the show, and Polly, the mousy assistant stage manager, is forced to go on when the leading lady breaks a leg. As Polly struggles to keep her cool while acting opposite the male lead she secretly loves, the rest of the company backstab each other trying to impress the impresario.

The Boy Friend (1971 film) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters4219p4219p

Next there is the musical itself. Four of the girls at the school are very forward and acquire boy friends but Polly is shy and has nobody to take her to the carnival masked ball that night. Tony, a messenger boy from a dress shop brings her a costume and the two young people are struck with each other. They meet again in the afternoon and reach an understanding, she pretending she is only a secretary so as not to seem above him. He comes to the ball and, when unmasked, is recognised as a peer's son. So Tony and Polly are both rich and can marry openly.

The Boy Friend (1971 film) Film Style The Boy Friend 1971 Cinestylography

Thirdly, there are extensive fantasy sequences during which the characters' dreams are enacted in music and dance without words.


The Boy Friend (1971 film) Twiggy in THE BOYFRIEND Research Pinterest Films

  • Twiggy - Polly Browne
  • Christopher Gable - Tony Brockhurst
  • Max Adrian - Max Mandeville aka Mr. Max / Lord Hubert Brockhurst
  • Bryan Pringle - Percy Parkhill / Percy Browne
  • Murray Melvin - Alphonse
  • Moyra Fraser - Moyra Parkhill / Madame Dubonnet
  • Georgina Hale - Fay
  • Sally Bryant - Nancy
  • Vladek Sheybal - De Thrill
  • Tommy Tune - Tommy
  • Brian Murphy - Peter
  • Graham Armitage - Michael
  • Antonia Ellis - Maisie
  • Caryl Little - Dulcie
  • Anne Jameson - Mrs. Peter
  • Catherine Willmer - Catherine Max / Lady Catherine Brockhurst
  • Robert La Bassier - Chauffeur
  • Barbara Windsor - Rosie / Hortense
  • Glenda Jackson - Rita (uncredited)
  • Production

    The Boy Friend (1971 film) The Boy Friend 1971 Theatrical Trailer YouTube

    MGM bought the rights to the musical in 1957.

    The Boy Friend (1971 film) Download The Boy Friend 1971 DVD9 movie world

    Dan Ireland thought Russell was motivated to make the film in response to the controversy of The Devils (1971).


    The Boy Friend (1971 film) ken russell Archives Cinestylography

    Head of MGM James Aubrey ordered 25 minutes be removed from the movie for its US release.

    Critical reception

  • Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "Even when he’s not deliberately doing Berkeley takeoffs, (Ken Russell's) camera is so joyless that it undermines every scene".
  • Roger Greenspun wrote in The New York Times: "I am surprised to find that it is rather greatly to my taste; partly because it is often as witty as it is elaborate, partly because it works its variations on the fully recognizable and still quite wonderful Sandy Wilson words and music, and partly because it is supported by a charming and energetic cast".
  • Awards and nominations

    The National Board of Review voted Ken Russell best director, and Twiggy won two Golden Globe awards as best newcomer and best actress (musical/comedy). The film was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Music, Adaptation and Original Song Score, losing to Fiddler on the Roof.


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