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The Gay Parisian (1941)

In a Paris nightclub setting, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo performs to the music of Jacques Offenbach.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo ...
The Peruvian (as Leonide Massine)
Milada Mladova ...
The Glove Seller
Frederic Franklin ...
The Baron
Nathalie Krassovska ...
The Flower Girl
Andre Eglevsky ...
Tortoni - The Dancing Master
Lubov Roudenko ...
Can-Can Dancer
Casimir Kokitch ...
James Starbuck ...


At the Café Parisian during the can-can era, a young man, naïve but enthusiastic, arrives from Peru with two valises of money. He's immediately smitten by a lovely glove seller, who already receives attentions from a baron. The baron has additional admirers, including a florist whose beauty rivals that of the glover. Through dance, the lovers vie for each other's attention and affection while everyone can can-can. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Short | Musical | Romance


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Release Date:

10 January 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Technicolor Specials (1941-1942 season) #3: The Gay Parisian  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


In 1931, Colonel Wassily de Basil (a Russian entrepreneur from Paris) and Rene Blum (ballet director of the Monte Carlo Opera) founded the "Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo" giving its first performance in Monte Carlo, in 1932. Diaghlieve alumni Leonide Massine and George Balanchine worked as choreographers with the company, and Tamara Tormanova was principal dancer. Artistic differences led to a split between Blum and de Basil. Rene Blum retained the name "Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo" and de Basil created a new company. In 1938, de Basil called his new ballet company "The Convent Garden Russian Ballet". Then renamed it "The Original Ballet Russe" in 1939. The "Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo" appeared in Berlin (for a week of repertoire) a week after the closing1936 Berlin Olympics, returning to London afterwards. "Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo" toured extensively in the United States, Australia and South America. Returning and ending the 1939-40 tour in New York City, the ballet company was virtually stranded preferring to remain on neutral ground, not to return to London which was under the "Blitz". Warner Brothers studio chief Jack L. Warner contracted Rene Blum and Leonide Massine to film two ballets, releasing the two segments as (20 minute) shorts. The ballet company transferred to Hollywood, filming the two repertoire ballet segments at the Burbank studios. Studio sets were built, and all new costumes were constructed in the Warner Brothers Costume-Wardrobe Department. Madam Barbara Karinska had toured with the company as the ballet company's wardrobe mistress. She remained in New York, not a part of the movie project. Although Tamara Tormanova had been featured in the company's repertoire in "the glove role", she did not perform the role in this "Gay Parisien" film short. Tormanova performed in the Warner's second short "Spanish Fiesta". Both shorts were filmed in 1941, with the studio releasing "Gay Parisien" first in January, 1942, and the second short "Spanish Fiesta" in March, 1942. See more »


Referenced in Ballets Russes (2005) See more »


(1866) (uncredited)
from "La vie parisienne"
Written by Jacques Offenbach
Included in "Gaîté parisienne"
See more »

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User Reviews

No, no... it meant "happy" back then

This came on the 2-Disc Special Edition DVD of The Maltese Falcon, as part of the Warner Night at the Movies extra. It's... a filmed version of an apparently famous ballet(the T is silent) by Leonide Massime. One girl has several suitors(no, not tailors... men wanting to wed her, courtship, that sort of thing), and they, well, dance. Maybe you've figured out by now that I'm not necessarily the person most fit to review this. I don't have experience with this form of expression, and the classical music, well, I only recognized one piece. Well, there's a lot of color and energy in this. It's entirely without spoken words other than the opening narration explaining the scenario(without which, we'd have no clue what on Earth is going on). Without having watched any others of these, I will say that the choreography and entertainment value could be better. It could be more nicely covered by the cameras, as well, like with similar productions from this period of time. This has a running time of about 19 and a half minutes. Since I don't know any other version of this story, I can't compare them or judge how great this is of one. I recommend this to fans of the art. 6/10

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