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Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (1966)

Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 21 October 1966 (France)
A model tells a television crew about her dreams of a life with prince charming all while fending off the lecherous advances of a horde of men.


William Klein


William Klein (screenplay and dialogue)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dorothy McGowan Dorothy McGowan ... Polly Maggoo (as Dorothy MacGowan)
Jean Rochefort ... Grégoire Pecque
Sami Frey ... Le prince Igor / The Prince
Grayson Hall ... Miss Maxwell
Philippe Noiret ... Jean-Jacques Georges, le journaliste / Reporter
Alice Sapritch ... La reine-mère / The Queen Mother
Fernando Arrabal ... (as Arrabal)
Guy d'Avout Guy d'Avout
Roger Constant Roger Constant
Francis Dumoulin Francis Dumoulin
Luce Fabiole Luce Fabiole
Isabelle Garçon Isabelle Garçon
Violette Leduc Violette Leduc
Michèle Loubet Michèle Loubet
Marie Marc Marie Marc


In this excoriating satire of the fashion industry, Polly Maggoo is a 20-year-old Brooklyn-born fashion model in Paris, on the runway at the big shows where magazine editor Ms. Maxwell is the reigning opinion maker. The ridiculous passes for sublime. Polly becomes the subject of an episode of a vapid TV news documentary series called "Qui êtes-vous?" and is pursued by the filmmaker and by the prince of Borodine, a small country in the Soviet bloc. We watch as the documentary is shot, we await Polly's arrival in the principality, we observe a lunch in the suburbs, and we learn of her childhood. Is there more to Polly than her pretty face? Is anything below the surface? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »





French | English

Release Date:

21 October 1966 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Delpire Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Referenced in We Are the Mods (2009) See more »


Hymne Du Prince
Music by Michel Legrand
Lyrics by William Klein
See more »

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User Reviews

Abstract Art
25 December 2018 | by sb-47-608737See all my reviews

Klein might have been a photographer extraordinaire, but his movies are through distorted lens. To clarify, the distortion isn't always for worse. Picasso too could be called drawing distortions, and Klein's movies too are - the works of abstract art. In these abstract arts, it is difficult to really identify what is real, and what is the fantasy. It is left on the viewer to interpret it, through his/her own judgment. The premises of the movie is, The reality TV program, OK TV does a "Who Are You" series on various famous personalities, the real person behind the public appearance. In this segment, they have chosen their subject as the super-model, Polly Magoo. Though it is on surface on Fashion and Glamour industry, but it could be any other industry, which has a high degree of public exposure - movie actress, politician,.... The key person of the series, Grégoire (Jean Rochefort) tries to unravel the mystery of Polly (real life Super-model, Dorothy McGowan). He practically lives with her, shadowing her every moment, trying to understand the person, carrying out various psychological tests etc. Meanwhile there is a Prince of a foreign country, who had been obsessed with Polly, through her photographs, and as a result the Queen dispatches first spies to trace Polly, and the Prince follows, to make a Princess of her. In the sides, though in major roles in plot are two other characters, Miss Maxwell (Grayson Hall), as the Fashion Magazine editor (Publicist, if we think of it, in general, not limiting to the Fashion), and Isidore Ducasse (Jacques Seiler), the couturier (the manager/ adviser/ groomer/ secretary/ speech writer,...). The thick paint on her face, hides Polly's freckles and the fashion house had made an asset of some of her physical shortcomings (e.g. her rabbit like incisors or lack of bust). In this, the real person is lost. Till, the Grégoire tests brings out some of it (though she points out, he himself is living at no less masquerade than her). In the end, the Cinderall had to chose who was her real prince charming, Prince Igor (Sami Frey) or Grégoire (Jean Rochefort), and the end has me a bit confused about her choice, it could be either. Or was it that brain (to be a Princess) won. It seems to be so, considering the teenager as the passive observer in the crowd.

This not only seems a satire on Klein's boss, Diana Vreeland (as some reviewer had mentioned), but it seems to be very highly autobiographical. The two protagonists, Dorothy McGowan and Klein are still alive, so probably they could tell. This was the very last public appearance of any kind of screen, still or moving, by Dorothy, and she retired at the age of only 26 or so. She was born in Brooklyn (like Polly). If I take it as her biography, it looks to be surprisingly similar, was Klein : Grégoire or Isidore (the presenter) ? Was per chance Klein too enamoured with her, not only through Camera, or it was only professional obsession (Isidore). It could be like many Composers have with singers, when they write opera specifically for a particular one, or directors with actors (of either gender), without anything remotely amorous in their relationship). Was Prince Igor Didier Dorot, who took her away ? A movie need to be watched again, especially towards the end, though there are hidden meanings everywhere (including the dinner scene, where the people make fun with her name).

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