Les Girls
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGeorge Cukor
Screenplay byJohn Patrick
Story byVera Caspary
Produced bySol C. Siegel
CinematographyRobert Surtees
Edited byFerris Webster
Music byCole Porter
Color processMetrocolor
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • October 3, 1957 (1957-10-03)
Running time
114 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$3.4 million[1]
Box office$3.9 million[1]
L–R: Mitzi Gaynor, Taina Elg, Kay Kendall and Gene Kelly in Les Girls

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

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

Plot summary

Barry, Joy, Sybil and Angele were formerly members of the cabaret dance troupe "Barry Nichols and Les Girls". Years after the group has dissolved, Sybil, now Lady Wren, publishes a tell-all memoir containing details of her days in the theatre, and makes a point of detailing Angele's alleged suicide attempt after Barry ended their affair. Angele is outraged by Sybil's claims and sues her for libel. The case goes to trial where the two women relate the history of the troupe as they recall it, however, they each remember matters very differently.

Sybil remembers Angele as an easy, deceitful woman who tried to keep her engagement to a man named Pierre from Barry to keep her affair going, but ultimately jeopardized both relationships when her lies were revealed. Angele remembers Sybil as a drunkard who was madly in love with Barry - and that Angele herself had no relationship with Barry at all. According to Angele, Sybil was promised to another man from England - Gerald - who upon finding out the nature of her relationship to Barry, started a physical altercation with him. This lead Sybil to once more abuse alcohol and then attempt suicide, feeling as though she had ruined both relationships.

Finally Barry takes the stand to reveal that neither of the girls' stories were quite right. All along, Barry had actually been pursuing Joy romantically. Pierre and Gerald had asked Barry to fire Angele and Sybil so that they may end their careers and get married, but Barry insists firing them will only make things worse. He concocts a plan that involves faking a hear condition and suggests that it will result in him having to close the theatre. The three women, distraught at the sudden news, all agree to quit for his sake. However, he reveals the truth to Joy at his apartment who at first finds him despicable, but quickly learns to forgive him when she realizes his good intentions.

As they both return to the girls' apartment, they realize a gas leak has occurred and Angele, along with Sybil, had both collapsed in their drunken stupor following their farewell party to Barry, and were exposed to the toxic gas. They were both rescued but never reunited after that... until the trial. With the case now settled that there was no suicide attempt, but rather both women had misunderstood the gas leak as a suicide attempt on behalf of the other, they reunite outside the courtroom to make amends. As Barry leaves, it is revealed that he had indeed ended up marrying Joy, though she doubts his claim that he had not fooled around with Angele and Sybil at all.


Musical numbers

Background notes

Awards and honors


Immediately after the film was released tentative plans were announced for a sequel called Les Boys.[7] While it did not come to pass, it did inspire Harry's Girls, a sitcom starring Larry Blyden which ran on NBC for 15 episodes in the fall of 1963.

Box office

According to MGM records the film made $2,415,000 in the US and Canada[8] 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. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. ^ p.249 McGilligan, Patrick George Cukor: A Double Life London: Faber and Faber 1992
  3. ^ Parish, James Robert, Mank, Gregory W, Picchiarini, RichardThe Best of MGM: The Golden Years (1928–59) 1981 Arlington House
  4. ^ "The 30th Academy Awards (1958) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
  5. ^ "NY Times: Les Girls". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2008-12-23.
  6. ^ "AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-13.
  7. ^ Scheuer, Philip K. (Nov 18, 1957). "Sequel Slated for 'Les Girls': Two Leads Proffered Newman; Janet Poised on 'Precipice'"". Los Angeles Times. p. C11 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
  8. ^ "Top Grossers of 1958". Variety. 7 January 1959. p. 48. Please note figures are for US and Canada only and are domestic rentals accruing to distributors as opposed to theatre gross