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)
Claude Autant-Lara ...
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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Slaves to love
16 September 2012 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

Another film to cross off my Jean Renoir Complete List, another probably never to watch again. It's not that it's bad, generally it's pretty good and nearly always interesting but it's over-melodramatised and simplified Zola for my taste.

Actress Nana has men especially rich men eating out of the palm of her hand and begging for more, she has at least 3 suitors vying for her courtesan favours. How it all unravels is the subject of the classic tale. And the sets are marvellous, sub-Stroheim, the modern tinting and music very good (Studio Canal), the print clear and sharp, and the photography excellent considering the then technical limitations Renoir had to contend with. The big problem is Hessling's – and the other leads – constant over-acting spoil the flow of the story. Definitely not tres chic! They all make the contemporary British barnstorming actor Todd Slaughter look subtle in comparison, although to be fair for a lot of the time the leading men seemed to understudy statues to Nana's wildly waving arms. As a rule silent films needed expressive acting to hold wandering eyes in the cinemas, but this reminded me of the mickey-taking in Singin' In The Rain. A red blooded male swooningly said at the beginning in response to her stage dancing that she was "the pinnacle of elegance"! And I also doubt whether either sexists or feminists will find anything worthwhile.

But I enjoyed the 129 minutes as I like silent films anyway – if you're only a Renoir completist I think it'll be an ordeal for you to complete. Nice print and tints!


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