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Nana (1926)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 25 June 1926 (France)
When the vivacious and beautiful Nana bombs at the Théâtre des Variétés, she embarks on the life of a courtesan, using her allure and charisma to entice and pleasure men.


Jean Renoir


Pierre Lestringuez (scenario), Émile Zola (inspired by the novel by) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine Hessling ... Nana
Pierre Lestringuez Pierre Lestringuez ... Bordenave (as Pierre Philippe)
Jacqueline Forzane Jacqueline Forzane ... La Comtesse Sabine Muffat
Werner Krauss ... Le Comte Muffat
Jean Angelo ... Le Comte de Vandeuvres
Raymond Guérin-Catelain Raymond Guérin-Catelain ... Georges Hugon (as R. Guérin Catelain)
Claude Autant-Lara ... Fauchery (as Claude Moore)
Pierre Champagne Pierre Champagne ... Hector de la Faloise
Karl Harbacher Karl Harbacher ... Francis - le coiffeur (as Arbacher)
Valeska Gert ... Zoe - la femme de chambre
Jacqueline Ford Jacqueline Ford ... Rose Mignon
Dennis Price ... Le jockey de 'Nana' (as Price)
Gresham Gresham ... Le jockey de 'Lusignan'
Luc Dartagnan Luc Dartagnan ... Maréchal - le bookmaker (as Dartagnan)
Nita Romani Nita Romani ... Satin


Based on the famous novel by Emile Zola. The vivacious and beautiful Nana seeks fame on the stages of Paris in the shows at the Théâtre des Variétés. (which will look familiar to lovers of "Children of Paradise"). When she bombs as an actress, Nana becomes a courtesan, using her allure and charisma more directly to entice and pleasure men. She is kept in a sumptuous fashion by a wealthy count, and several prominent and wealthy men find themselves unable to withstand her charms. In the novel, the theater manager describe Nana: "Nana has something else, dammit, and something that takes the place of everything else. I scented it out, and it smells damnably strong in her, or else I lost my sense of smell." But there's a pain and a pathos at the heart of Nana's situation, and it slowly makes its poisonous way into the lives of all in Nana's orbit. Written by Ann Walton Sieber

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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User Reviews

A disappointment
31 May 2008 | by thaoSee all my reviews

I really looked forward to seeing Nana after seeing Renoir amazing debut work, Whirlpool of Fate. I had read that Nana was generally considered his best silent film so I had high hopes. Sadly this felt like a huge step backwards.

Catherine Hessling is the main problem with this film. Her acting is over the top, even for a silent film. Her acting is more like what one would expect in a film from the early teens, not the late 20s. She usually has the same face, which reminds me (sorry to say) of someone with constipation pains. It was also very difficult to believe that any man would fall for this femme fatale. There was nothing charming about her at all.

The film was also quite long drawn, the camera work was uninteresting (aside from a shot of a horse race) and the editing was dull. The story reminded me of Pabst's Pandora's Box. It is interesting to compare the two because there are only 3 years between these films. Pandora's Box simply scores on every level where Nana fails.

This film is only for Renoir completists or very serious silent films buffs.

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None | French

Release Date:

25 June 1926 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Nanà See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Les Films Jean Renoir See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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