The Boy Friend

The ‘70s does the ‘20s as West End artistes collide with Cockneys in Ken Russell’s The Boy Friend, the decadent film adaptation of the 1956 pastiche stage musical and the filmmaker’s whimsical follow-up his controversial The Devils. This visually indulgent, no-holds-barred backstage romp marks Twiggy’s first starring role as Theatre Royal’s assistant stage manager Polly who finds herself thrust into the spotlight when the production’s leading lady doesn’t show up for her cue. Lines between fantasy and reality blur and fade as the rinky dink, malfunctioning backdrops under this small proscenium arch evolve into impossible, Busby Berkeley-esque set pieces with oversized, turntable dancefloors and shiny, metallic headdresses donned by fever-dream disco-queen chorus gals. With brief dips into pure fantasy and countless (seriously, we lost track) frenetic tap numbers, The Boy Friend promises an eyeful of delights and an earful of joyful, familiar tunes.

Dir Ken Russell, 1971, 35mm, 137 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!