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A charismatic thief makes friends with a bankrupt baron who comes to live in the thief's slum. Meanwhile the thief seeks the love of a young woman, who is held emotionally captive by her slumlord family.
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As children, Zouzou and Jean are paired in a traveling circus as twins: she's dark, he's light. After they've grown, he treats her as if she were his sister, but she's in love with him. In Paris, he's a music hall electrician, she's a laundress who delivers clean underwear to the hall. She introduces him to Claire, her friend at work, and the couple fall in love. Jean conspires to get the show's star out of town and for the theater manager to see the high-spirited Zouzou perform. When Jean's accused of murder and Zouzou needs money to mount his defense, she pleads to go on stage. Her talents may save the show, but can anything save her dream of life with Jean? Written by
more an interesting film curiosity than anything else
Other than he infamous "banana dance", most American audiences know very little about the super-famous expatriate, Jospehine Baker. Her films are very rarely seen in this country. Since I really like French films and love 20th century history, it only seemed natural that I seek out this film.
As far as the film goes, it's a rather ordinary musical much like 42nd Street or Footlight Parade, though not quite the quality of these two films. There are some Busby Berkely-style dance numbers, and all the normal clichés associated with the genre--with the addition of Ms. Baker and a young Jean Gabin (before he became a lot more famous). The only real problem was that it sure looked like the writers just weren't sure what to do--create a romance between the leads or not. Plus, maybe I wasn't watching close enough, but despite Baker's character being in love with Gabin's, I wasn't sure if the writers intended they were supposed to REALLY be brother and sister (or half-brother and half-sister). If so, this made it all seem kinda icky.
FYI--parents should know that although this is an older film, there is some nudity. It's not super explicit, but does occur in the film.
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