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Montmartre, 1896: 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>
"Can-Can" is a feeble and obvious attempt to match the wit and high professional gloss of "Gigi." The cast even included Maurice Chevalier, still enjoying the quiet pleasures of old age as a tolerant judge named Paul Barriere, and Louis Jourdan, cast here as an upright young judge named Philippe Forrestier After Judge Forrestier becomes amorously involved with the café owner Simone Pistache (Shirley MacLaine), and legally involved with her shifty lawyer boyfriend (Frank Sinatra), he is no longer the same man
"Can-Can" is a musical film that virtually embodies the reasons for the decline of the genre in the sixties Except for its appropriately gaudy costumes and for the exuberant performance by dancer Juliet Prowse as a cancan girl, the musical is without joy or genuine style under Walter Lang's unfocused direction
The Cole Porter score reveals the composer at his most ersatz Parisian The two of the central roles are grotesquely miscast: Sinatra, who seems to have arrived to Paris by way of New Jersey, creates no discernible or even vaguely likable character in François MacLaine does well in the musical portions, but her Pistache is simply shrill and unappealing Maurice Chevalier and Louis Jourdan work hard at injecting some life into the dull proceedings Chevalier with his trademark shrugged-shoulders, laissez-faire attitude toward life and love, expressed to such songs as "Live and Let Live" and "Just One of Those Things," and Louis Jourdan with the French charm he displayed so prominently in "Gigi."
For all their efforts, however, Can-Can emerges as a flat soufflé
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