May 24, 2008

Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo?

A William Klein film, 1966.

It is a satirical art house movie spoofing the fashion world and its excesses. Polly Maggoo (Dorothy McGowan) is a fashion model in Paris, around the age of 20, on the runway at the big shows where magazine editor Miss Maxwell is the reigning opinion maker. Polly becomes the subject of a vapid TV news documentary, "Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo?," and she's pursued by the filmmaker and by the prince of Borodine, a small country. We watch as the documentary is shot; we await Polly's arrival in the principate; we observe a lunch in the suburbs; we learn of her childhood in Brooklyn. Is there more to Polly than her pretty face? Is anything below the surface?

"McGowan, the Brooklyn-born star and one-time Vogue cover girl in 1962, was one of William Klein's favorite models. After the release of the film, which was McGowan's first and only film role, she disappeared from public view and apparently neither acted nor modeled again, according to Klein." (

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