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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec frequently visits the Moulin Rouge, where he drinks cognac and draws sketches of the dancers and singers. Though the son of a French count, Henri's legs were badly deformed by a childhood fall, and his personal life is often unhappy as a result. While he is going home one night, a spirited young woman of the streets, Marie, asks him for help. He falls in love with her, and the two become involved in a tumultuous relationship. It becomes increasingly difficult for Toulouse-Lautrec to balance his personal feelings, his artistic abilities, and his family name and position. Written by
Walking on his knees had the unfortunate side-effect of making José Ferrer six inches shorter than Henri Toulouse Lautrec's real height of 5'1". See more »
When Henri Lautrec arrives at the gallery for the showing of his pictures, as he 'walks' in, his shadow on the ground clearly shows Ferrar's legs tucked behind him as he walks, (in on his knees). See more »
Jose Ferrer had won the Oscar, two years before Moulin Rouge, in 1950s Cyrano de Bergerac. How he lost here is beyond me. His loss is in itself proof that the Oscars are nothing more than a popularity contest. Gary Cooper (High Noon) received the accolade over Ferrer and this was an absolute travesty.
Ferrer was superb in the role of artist Toulouse Lautrec. Crippled in his youth by a tragic accident, the film shows that money is not everything. Coming from a wealthy home, he is soon banished as the family is ashamed of him.
He leads a life of sadness and despair at the famous Moulin Rouge in Paris. He paints there and his paintings are representative of his frustrations and failures in life.
It is here that he meets a wayward woman fantastically played by Collette Marchand. Marchand was nominated for best supporting actress, lost, and was never heard from again. It is hard to fathom that Hollywood could not find challenging roles for a woman of her talent.
Zsa Zsa Gabor is effective as one of the women of the Moulin Rouge. She is even there during the scene at Lautrec's deathbed.
A heart-wrenching film of great suffering, so well played by Jose Ferrer. His genius is sorely missed in the motion picture industry. ****
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