Happy Birthday, Julie Andrews!

Dame Julie Andrews turns 81 this October 1, 2016. At least 3 generations of the Netflix DVD team are huge fans. That’s staying power! Here are our favorite Julie Andrews Movies--and one amazing television appearance. Which ones have you seen?

You can add all of these movies to your queue right here:

For Adults Only:

Are you surprised that the woman who portrayed Mary Poppins and Maria Von Trapp made movies for adults? Married to director Blake Edwards for over forty years, Julie appeared in some of Blake Edwards’ most iconic films. Enjoy an entirely different and still marvelous Julie Andrews movie on DVD from this list:

10 (1979)

When we think of 10, it’s almost always due to Bo Derek’s bodacious form. But Julie Andrews, nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture and Comedy, plays George Webber (Dudley Moore)’s girlfriend, an actress named Sam, in a hilarious role reversal that shows Julie Andrews’ to perfection: a feminist, witty, and sexy woman.

 

 

 

 

Victor/Victoria (1982)

If you love to hear Julie Andrews sing -- she had a legendary 4 octave range stolen by medical malpractice in 2015 -- then you will love Victor/Victoria. The American Film Institute ranks it as one of the top 100 funny movies in the last 100 years. Andrews' was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Julie Andrews plays Victoria Grant, a frail and poverty stricken soprano, in 1934 Paris. Unable to find paying work, she befriends Toddy (Robert Preston), an equally poor gay man. Together, they concoct a scheme for her to portray a drag queen (a man portraying a woman). So a woman is playing a man playing a woman. With us so far? Victor, with tremendous talent and flair, becomes the toast of Paris, until an American gangster and his moll, along with their bodyguard, become obsessed with Victor/Victoria, each for different reasons. The movie is gentle, funny, and kind, and the musical numbers with Julie Andrews are legendary.

Also starring Robert PrestonJames Garner, and NFL star Alex Karras, Victor/Victoria was way ahead of its time for homosexuality and transgender themes. With subtle and sly humor, the movie hints at its characters’ proclivities, without mocking or shaming them. It is a loving film that is suitable for families comfortable with more adult themes. Victor/Victoria has no nudity and very minor, almost cartoonish, violence. Highly recommended for fans of Singin In The Rain and The Birdcage.  

For Families:

Children of all ages never tire of Julie Andrews’ smiling face and breathtaking vocal prowess in these classic films. Of course, no list of Julie Andrews movies is complete without these movies. If you haven’t seen them, consider adding them to your queue for your next family movie night.

Mary Poppins remains our most rented Julie Andrews film for good reason: the eponymous British nanny who cares so lovingly for her charges is the woman we all wish we had in our lives. Her magical and kind friends, both animated and real life, add to the joy and love in this movie.

If you liked her in The Princess Diaries, but haven’t seen her earlier work, start here. There is also a fascinating backstory for this movie about the book’s author and her relationship with Walt Disney, artfully told in Saving Mr. Bankswith Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.  

 

The Sound of Music

Maybe you grew up only watching the Sound of Music every year on television. If you haven’t seen the entire uncut masterpiece, we can’t recommend it enough for a family movie night or a long rainy weekend. The shots of Austria are breathtaking and the music and joy that radiate from the film never fail to make us smile. 

Bonus: You’ll be well prepared to attend a Sound of Music singalong this holiday season!

 

 

The Princess Diaries

The Princess Diaries (and its sequel, Princess Diaries 2) was the movie that introduced Julie Andrews to millennials. This movie also launched the career of Anne Hathaway, and there would be no better actress to portray her regal, European royal grandmother than Julie Andrews.

If you loved this movie, don’t forget to try My Fair Lady. In a heartbreaking reversal, the role Julie Andrews originated on Broadway was played by Audrey Hepburn (whose singing voice was dubbed). But the story has similar themes: a kindly figure transforms a young woman. (Both concepts are based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion--which was itself made into a movie in 1938. )

 

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Remember what we said about Julie Andrews’ legendary Broadway career? In this case, perhaps after the scandal of My Fair Lady, Julie created the role of Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Milliewhich was then turned into an actual Broadway musical. You’ll see the early roots of who she would play in Victor/Victoria, a scrappy woman trying to make her way in the world.

 

 

Eloise At The Plaza

By this point in her career, Julie Andrews specialized in kindly British mother figures. She took the role of British nanny again in Eloise At The Plaza, bringing her sparkle and presence to bear in this live action version of the childrens’ book classics.