When the vivacious and beautiful Nana bombs at the Théâtre des Variétés, she embarks on the life of a courtesan, using her allure and charisma to entice and pleasure men.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Pierre Lestringuez ...
Bordenave (as Pierre Philippe)
Jacqueline Forzane ...
La Comtesse Sabine Muffat
...
...
Le Comte de Vandeuvres
Raymond Guérin-Catelain ...
Georges Hugon (as R. Guérin Catelain)
...
Fauchery (as Claude Moore)
Pierre Champagne ...
Karl Harbacher ...
Francis - le coiffeur (as Arbacher)
...
Zoe - la femme de chambre
Jacqueline Ford ...
Rose Mignon
...
Le jockey de 'Nana' (as Price)
Gresham ...
Le jockey de 'Lusignan'
Luc Dartagnan ...
Maréchal - le bookmaker (as Dartagnan)
Nita Romani ...
Satin
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Storyline

Based on the famous novel by Emile Zola. The vivacious and beautiful Nana seeks fame on the stages of Paris in the shows at the Théâtre des Variétés. (which will look familiar to lovers of "Children of Paradise"). When she bombs as an actress, Nana becomes a courtesan, using her allure and charisma more directly to entice and pleasure men. She is kept in a sumptuous fashion by a wealthy count, and several prominent and wealthy men find themselves unable to withstand her charms. In the novel, the theater manager describe Nana: "Nana has something else, dammit, and something that takes the place of everything else. I scented it out, and it smells damnably strong in her, or else I lost my sense of smell." But there's a pain and a pathos at the heart of Nana's situation, and it slowly makes its poisonous way into the lives of all in Nana's orbit. Written by Ann Walton Sieber

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Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

25 June 1926 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Nanà  »

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1.20 : 1
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Tableau or Not Tableau...
15 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There is a specular quality to Nana that would appear to have some bearing on later Renoir films (Regle and M. Lange come to mind)... however, the affectations of the performances are so tremendously overwrought that each character becomes caricature. The plot plays out like a Punch and Judy show (in this reviewer's opinion) and I will be the first to admit that I would surely benefit from being more familiar with its literary roots in Zola (Nana that is to say... and not Punch and Judy!). The affectations also render the very milieu a grotesque, disdainful stage. Perhaps this was Renoir's intention. Perhaps Renoir was fighting against his better judgment to adapt literary sources prior to knowing the path of his own stylistic system and development. Nana has ample opportunities to employ Renoir's signature stylistic model, however, he refuses to liberate the camera or utilize deep staging for his multiple protagonists. Instead, we are left with theater-like tableau shots. The tableau and caricature make one wonder about how apt the blanketing of "naturalism" works as an operational descriptor across Renoir's oeuvre. But the coup de grace comes with the use of studio sets for exteriors during some of the scenes at the horse races. Much is left to desire and Renoir overemphasizes his ability to over-determine every aspect of the production. Again there is a near-death hallucination impressionist sequence at the end (like La Fille de L'Eau)... is Renoir prognosticating about the death of something in the cinematic medium itself? His next film would be an ironic compliment to the Jazz Singer.


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