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1896, Montmartre: the Can-Can, the dance in which the women lift their skirts, is forbidden. Nevertheless Simone has it performed every day in her night club. Her employees use their female charm to let the representatives of law enforcement look the other way - or even attend the shows. But then the young ambitious judge Philippe Forrestier decides to bring this to an end. Will Simone manage to twist him round her little finger, too? Her boyfriend Francois certainly doesn't like to watch her trying. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
In 1960, when Can-Can was released, Frank Sinatra was at the top of his game-most powerful performer in Hollywood, #1 box office draw, (with Elizabeth Taylor) at the dawn of his Rat Pack Leadership, and he was making the best and some of the most popular records around. Those were truly Ring-a- Ding days, and Sinatra, as he stated in song, had the world on a string. And it was then that Can-Can came along.
When you take a huge star, hunt around for some little property that at least loosely fit's his screen persona, put his name up in colored lights, and try to make a lot of money by shouting '' Frankie's in this!!!!'', you have made what is known as a VEHICLE.
Like there are good and bad authors, insurance salesmen, and hula- hoop instructors, there are both good and bad vehicles. This, I am very happy to say, is NOT a good vehicle. It is a MAGNIFICENT vehicle.
The reason for it's greatness does not lie in Shirley Maclaine, Louis Jourdan, or even Maurice Chevalier, although they are all quite good and entertaining.
No. The real magic in Can-Can comes from what Frank Sinatra can do with a Cole Porter song. Even though they stuck him in France in the 1800's, he's still Sinatra, the incomparable ring-a- ding ding cool, the essential charm and star quality, the cocky grin and blue eyes, and, of course, that voice. THE Voice.
Never would that voice be more perfect than in that scene in Can-Can where he put away that lovable arrogance and gave one of the finest performances of his career with the aching tenderness of '' It's All Right with Me."
It's no wonder Juliet Prowse, who he sang it to, proved it was certainly all right with her as well. Although that little romance, (like most of Sinatra's) was not long to last, the song's magic will last forever.
Over-all, if this film did not star Sinatra, it would still be fairly good. Shirley would be as cute and nutty as ever, Louis Jourdan elegant, though not amazing in either the vocal or ''cool'' departments, and Maurice would be Maurice- charming, talented, timeless. Then, of course, there are the Can-Can numbers, fabulous Cole Porter tunes, and an entertaining story.
WITHOUT Sinatra I would probably rate this about 8 and a half. But with the magic of IL' Blue Eyes making an unforgettable classic out of a pretty good picture, Can-Can get's an easy 10... and then some. Highly recommended.
P.S- For those of you who believe it's impossible to find a Sinatra fan under the age of forty, I have just turned fourteen, and have loved his music, his movies,etc. for years. That's not surprising when you think about it. Why settle for today's idiotic trash when you can have the best? And that's all I've got to say.
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