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French Cancan (1954)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Drama  |  16 April 1956 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,235 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 29 critic

This comedy drama from Jean Renoir chronicles the revival of Paris' most notorious dance as it tells the story of a theater producer who turns a humble washerwoman into a star at the Moulin Rouge.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Françoise Arnoul ...
María Félix ...
Anna Amendola ...
Esther Georges
Jean-Roger Caussimon ...
Baron Walter
Dora Doll ...
La Génisse
Giani Esposito ...
Prince Alexandre
Gaston Gabaroche ...
Oscar, le pianiste
Jacques Jouanneau ...
Bidon
Jean Parédès ...
Coudrier
Franco Pastorino ...
Paulo, le boulanger
Michèle Philippe ...
Eleonore
...
Le Capitaine Valorgueil
Albert Rémy ...
Barjolin
France Roche ...
Beatrix
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Storyline

Henri Danglard, proprietor of the fashionable (but bankrupt) cafe 'Le Paravent Chinois' featuring his mistress, belly dancer Lola, goes slumming in Montmarte (circa 1890) where the then-old-fashioned cancan is still danced. There, he conceives the idea of reviving the cancan as the feature of a new, more popular establishment...and meets Nini, a laundress and natural dancer, whom he hopes to star in his new show. But a tangled maze of jealousies intervenes... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Eclair Lab digital restoration 2010


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 April 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Only the French Can  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1956)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The on-screen singer of "La complainte de la Butte" is not Cora Vaucaire (credited in the titles) as she was deemed not good-looking enough to appear on film, so Italian actress Anna Amendola was put in front of the camera and mimed to the song... See more »

Soundtracks

Madame Arthur
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Paul de Kock
Music by Yvette Guilbert
Performed by Patachou
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great musical
19 April 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is my favorite Renoir from the Fifties. It's the story of how Henri Danglard built and launched the Moulin Rouge nightclub; we see the workmen blasting at the site to get construction underway, and the training of the dancers. Finally, the giddiness of opening night and the long sequence of cancan dancing. Financial problems and the ego displays of the performers are described.

Gabin is in great form as the easy-going Danglard--see him deal humorously with Nini's violent boyfriend. Gianni Esposito is moving as the wistful Prince who is courting Nini. Maria Felix, with that amazon's body, is imposing as the egotistical Lola, Danglard's first lover. Finally Françoise Arnoul as Nini the washing girl who ends up dancing for Danglard, and becoming his girl, is just stunning; her loveliness and pert charm will win you over.

A bonus: we get Edith Piaf, Patachou, André Claveau and other stars in cameos playing the stars of a century ago who ruled over the Moulin rouge.


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