When theatrical mastermind Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) finds himself blacklisted by just about every producer in the acting business, he decides to thwart the entertainment industry by disguising himself as an older woman and auditioning for a daytime soap opera. Dorsey arrives for the audition in a dress and makeup. Calling himself Dorothy Michaels, he/she gives an astonishing screen test and is hired on the spot by the show's executive (Dabney Coleman). Dorsey is an overnight sensation with the show's fans, but as his secret career escalates, his relationship with his girlfriend (Teri Garr) suffers. Soon Dorsey finds a new romantic interest at work with his co-star, Julie. The only problem is, Julie thinks Dorsey is a woman and it's not long before she's trying to fix up Dorothy with her single father.
In the tradition of Mel Brooks's THE PRODUCERS, Sydney Pollack's TOOTSIE is a rich, funny, complex film. In featuring Hoffman as the smock-wearing protagonist, its boldness exposes movie-goers to the hilarious challenges faced by a modern cross-dresser. At the same time, the film promoted tolerance for transgendered people. Hoffman is unforgettable as the actor so desperate for work that he'll dress as a woman to get it, and supporting players Geena Davis and Bill Murray create plenty of comedy relief to help the plot along.
1982 - Academy Awards - Best Supporting Actress Winner
Dustin Hoffman - American actor
Sydney Pollack - American Director, producer, actor
Bill Murray - American actor, LOST IN TRANSLATION, MEATBALLS
Charles Durning - American Actor
Teri Garr - American actress, TOOTSIE
Dabney Coleman - American Actor
Geena Davis - Oscar-winning American actress, THELMA & LOUISE
Virginia Elizabeth Davis - Oscar-winning American actress, THELMA & LOUISE
Jessica Lange - American Actress, TOOTSIE (1982)
Filmed on location in New York City. TOOTSIE is number 2 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Funniest Movies and number 62 on the list of America's 100 Greatest Movies. TOOTSIE was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1998. The film grossed more than $175 million at the box office. Dustin Hoffman came up with the title TOOTSIE because it was his mother's nickname for him as a child. Look for director Pollack as Dorothy's agent, George Fields. TOOTSIE marked the film debut for actress Geena Davis.
"...TOOTSIE is an extremely funny movie..." - 06/01/1983 Sight and Sound, p.212-3
"...Remarkably funny and entirely convincing....[The] film instantly takes flight with charm and confidence and stays aloft thereafter..." - 12/08/1982 Variety
"...Better than ever and looking better than ever..." - 02/07/1992 USA Today, p.3D
"Hoffman had more than proven his chop by then; but this drama-comedy, male-female dichotomy of a film was something else again." - 04/01/2004 Premiere, p.65
"TOOTSIE earned 10 Oscar nods and remains a masterful farce..." -- Grade: A- - 02/15/2008 Entertainment Weekly, p.54
4 stars out of 5 -- "[The] gender-bender farce is still a gas, Hoff on virtuoso form as a turbulent actor flunking on Broadway....Something special." - 03/01/2008 Empire, p.142
4 stars out of 5 -- "[B]y playing its farcical situation for real, Dusty, Sydney et al were able to sprinkle the laughs with some serious musings on gender stereotyping and the differences between the sexes." - 04/01/2008 Total Film, p.148
3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]here's some Wilder-ish wit..." - 04/01/2008 Uncut, p.127