Tootsie 1982

Read the script
Down­load a scene extract from Tootsie (PDF)

Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman), a bril­liant but trouble­some New York actor, hears of an opening on a popular soap opera and applies for the job–even though the job is for a woman. Posing as “Miss Dorothy Michaels,” Michael wins the part and becomes a widely-known actress. Yet complic­a­tions ensue when Michael falls for his co-star Julie (Jessica Lange, in an Oscar-winning perform­ance) but, as Dorothy, is courted by Julie’s widowed father (Charles Durning).

Michael ulti­mately finds that his disguise as a woman has made him a better man. One of the classic comedies of the 1980s, Tootsie’s gender-bending premise boasts a screen­play by Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal, and by a host of memor­able supporting comic perform­ances from Dabney Coleman, Teri Garr, George Gaynes, and Bill Murray. Future Oscar-winner Geena Davis makes her screen debut as a daytime drama queen, which indeed she had been before Tootsie came along. ~ Adapted from Hal Erickson, Rotten Toma­toes.

The Scene

Michael’s first day at his new job sets up many of the precepts upon which the film is based: for example, the crass and sexist beha­viour of pretty well all the male char­ac­ters. It begins with a montage of Michael preparing for his day – one example of the many ways you can format such a sequence.

In comparing this version of the script with the final version on screen, notice how typic­ally some of the gags were cut to make room for longer and more developed sequences later.

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