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Betta St. John,
During the 14th century when the Hundred-Year War between France and England ends with the English occupation of French Aquitainia rebel French knights vow to oust Prince Edward of Walles, ruler of Aquitainia.
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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
Much of the cinematography was intended to resemble the poster art of Toulouse-Lautrec. Some of the costumes and character makeup also paid homage to his poster art. 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 »
Big crowd tonight.
Too big, thanks to your poster. Oh, I know I'm making millions, but I liked the Moulin Rouge as she was, lighthearted and hot-blooded, a little strumpet who thought only of tonight. Now she is grown up and knowns better. She has money in her stocking, wears corsets, and never drinks a drop too much. Worst of all, she never sees her old friends anymore. She has gone into society. Last night she entertained a cabinet minister and his wife and daughter. It's *disgusting*!
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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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