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My Geisha

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My Geisha, starring Shirley MacLaine, Yves Montand, Edward G. Robinson, Bob Cummings
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My Geisha, starring Shirley MacLaine, Yves Montand, Edward G. Robinson, Bob Cummings

Product description of My Geisha

 Who’s that mysterious Oriental beauty? It’s Shirley MacLaine! Meet Lucy Dell (Shirley MacLaine), an enormously popular Hollywood comedienne married to movie-maker Paul Robaix. And meet Yoki Mori (also MacLaine), the recently discovered geisha star of Paul’s in-progress film version of Madame Butterfly. Paul doesn’t know it yet, but that’s no geisha – that’s his wife! Yves Montand (as Paul), Edward G. Robinson and Bob Cummings join MacLaine in the romantic comedy My Geisha. Paul is eager to prove he can make a hit film without his wife. Lucy, however, wants to prove she can handle a dramatic role. So she secretly follows Paul to Japan, dons a disguise and gives a topsy-turvy spin to this delightful, gorgeously filmed comedy of mistaken identities.

Characters in My Geisha

  • Lucy Dell / Yoko Mori (Shirley MacLaineBeing ThereTerms of Endearment).  Lucy is the successful film comedienne, who wants to prove that she can do more.  Prove to her husband the director, and to herself.
  • Paul Robaix (Yves MontandThe Wages of Fear).  The director, married to Lucy, who’s tired of hearing that she’s the reason for his success.  He intends to make a “serious” movie, Madame Butterfly.  And prove that he’s a successful director without her.
  • Sam Lewis (Edward G. RobinsonThe StrangerKey Largo).  The producer of Madame Butterfly, who’s in on Lucy’s secret.
  • Bob Moore (Robert Cummings, Dial M for MurderThe Bob Cummings Show).  Co-star of Madame Butterfly, who falls in love with Yoko Mori.  Unaware that she’s actually the married Lucy Dell.

Editorial review of My Geisha courtesy of

The charming Shirley MacLaine seems to be having a ball as Lucy Dell, a comic actress whose professional pride is wounded when her husband, film director Paul Robaix (Yves Montand), tells her that his next project, an adaptation of Madame Butterfly, is “outside your range.” She secretly follows him to Japan, where, masquerading as a geisha named Yoko Mori, she lands the plum part. Further complicating matters is Lucy’s costar (a miscast Bob Cummings), who falls in love with Yoko. Edward G. Robinson adds a touch of class as the film’s producer who is in on Lucy’s secret. My Geisha is part Tootsie and part I Love Lucy, but there is a surprising dark side to this “rollicking comedy romp” (as the film is hyped on the DVD box). Lucy and Paul are both struggling to redefine themselves. She wants to prove she is more than a comedienne, while he wants to prove he can succeed without his popular wife. The scene in which he discovers his leading lady’s true identity has an unexpected dramatic punch. The lushly photographed film itself, an Academy Award nominee for Best Costume Design, looks great in this widescreen presentation. –Donald Liebenson

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