Les Girls

Les Girls, also known as Cole Porter's Les Girls, is a 1957 musical comedy film made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was directed by George Cukor and produced by Sol C. Siegel, with Saul Chaplin as associate producer. The screenplay was by John Patrick, based on a story by Vera Caspary. The music and lyrics were by Cole Porter.

Les Girls
Original movie poster
Directed byGeorge Cukor
Produced bySol C. Siegel
Saul Chaplin (associate producer)
Written byJohn Patrick
Vera Caspary (story)
StarringGene Kelly
Kay Kendall
Mitzi Gaynor
Taina Elg
Jacques Bergerac
Leslie Phillips
Music byCole Porter (music and lyrics)
CinematographyRobert Surtees
Edited byFerris Webster
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • October 3, 1957 (1957-10-03)
Running time
114 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$3,865,000[1]

It stars Gene Kelly, Kay Kendall, Mitzi Gaynor and Taina Elg, and the cast also includes Jacques Bergerac, Leslie Phillips, Henry Daniell and Patrick Macnee.


After writing a tell-all book about her days in the dance troupe "Barry Nichols and Les Girls", Sybil Wren (Kay Kendall) is sued for libeling her fellow dancer Angele (Taina Elg). A Rashomon-style narrative presents the story from three points of view. Sybil accuses Angele of having an affair with Barry (Gene Kelly). Angele insists that it was actually Sybil who was having the affair. Finally, Barry gives his side of the story.[2]


Background notes

  • The story by Vera Caspary was inspired by an article which appeared in The Atlantic – a reminiscence of a dancer's touring years. Miss Caspary's version turned the memoir into a point of dispute and raised questions about the nature of truth. As only the title was used from Miss Caspary's story for the screenplay, she joked that she was the highest paid writer in the world, as she was paid $80,000 for writing just two words – "Les Girls"[3]
  • Les Girls was Gene Kelly's last musical under his contract at MGM which began in 1942.
  • Les Girls was the last film score by Cole Porter and the next-to-last score of his career.
  • The film's original female leads were to have been played by Leslie Caron, Cyd Charisse, Jean Simmons and Carol Haney.[4]

Awards and honors


Immediately after the film was released tentative plans were announced for a sequel called Les Boys.[8]

Box office

According to MGM records the film made $2,415,000 in the US and Canada and $1,450,000 elsewhere, but because of its high production cost lost $1,635,000.[1]


Les Girls was a major vehicle for choreographer Jack Cole, and one of the first films to feature the role of choreographer in the opening credits.

See also


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. Les Girls (1957) – Plot summary
  3. p.249 McGilligan, Patrick George Cukor: A Double Life London: Faber and Faber 1992
  4. Parish, James Robert, Mank, Gregory W, Picchiarini, RichardThe Best of MGM: The Golden Years (1928-59) 1981 Arlington House
  5. "The 30th Academy Awards (1958) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
  6. "NY Times: Les Girls". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-23.
  7. "AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-13.
  8. Scheuer, Philip K., "Sequel Slated for 'Les Girls': Two Leads Proffered Newman; Janet Poised on 'Precipice'", Los Angeles Times (1923–Current File); Nov 18, 1957; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times (1881–1990) pg. C11
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