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Moulin Rouge (1952)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, Music | 10 April 1953 (Brazil)
Fictional account of French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Director:

John Huston

Writers:

Pierre La Mure (novel), Anthony Veiller (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
José Ferrer ... Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec / Comte Alphonse de Toulouse-Lautrec
Zsa Zsa Gabor ... Jane Avril
Suzanne Flon ... Myriamme Hayam
Claude Nollier Claude Nollier ... Countess Adèle de Toulouse-Lautrec
Katherine Kath Katherine Kath ... Louise Weber aka La Goulue
Muriel Smith ... Aicha / Singing Voice of Jane Avril
Mary Clare ... Madame Loubet
Walter Crisham ... Valentin le Desossé
Harold Kasket Harold Kasket ... Charles Zidler
Georges Lannes ... Sgt. Balthazar Patou
Lee Montague ... Maurice Joyant
Maureen Swanson ... Denise de Frontiac
Tutte Lemkow ... Aicha's Partner
Jill Bennett ... Sarah
Theodore Bikel ... King Milo IV of Serbia
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Storyline

A fictionalized account of the latter part of the life of French artist Henri de Toulouse Lautrec (1864-1901) is presented, he who is arguably most renowned professionally for immortalizing the characters of the Paris can-can dance hall, the Moulin Rouge, on canvas. This phase of his story begins in 1890. Born into aristocracy, Toulouse-Lautrec moves to Paris to pursue his art as he hangs out at the Moulin Rouge where he feels like he fits in being a misfit among other misfits. His misfit status is due to his diminutive physical stature, his legs which were broken and stopped growing following a childhood fall down some stairs. Because of the way he looks, he believes he is never destined to experience the true love of a woman. That lack of love in his life may change as he meets two women. The first is prostitute Marie Charlet, who he saves from imprisonment in a white knight act. Their relationship ends up being a turbulent one, the downs where each feels the need to hurt the other ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most startling and daring love story ever told! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

10 April 1953 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

John Huston's Production Moulin Rouge See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,188
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When director John Huston appeared on the BBC's "Desert Island Discs" program in 1973, host Roy Plomley told him that this movie was a personal favorite of his. Huston replied "I don't think it's one of my best films", adding that 1950s censorship constraints had made it impossible to tell the story of Henri de Toulouse Lautrec's life honestly. See more »

Goofs

When Henri falls down the stairs toward the end of the film, his legs suddenly appear regular sized. See more »

Quotes

Marie Charlet: I never thought I'd be wearing *real* silk stockings. Babare always says they do things to him - even on a plaster leg in a window.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits play over some of Marcel Vertès's pastiche Lautrec drawings; the photography credits are superimposed over a picture of a photographer, and the music credits over a man playing piano. See more »

Connections

Referenced in On the Up: Meeting Jane Webster (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

It's April Again
(Moulin Rouge)
Music by Georges Auric
French lyrics by Jacques Larue
English lyrics by William Engvick
Performed by Zsa Zsa Gabor
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The film looks exquisite
11 February 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Whether or not the film accurately portrays the life and personality of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec correctly, one thing you certainly have to say about "Moulin Rouge" is that it is a gorgeous movie. Not surprisingly, it won two Oscars--for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color and Best Costume Design, Color. I am also a bit surprised it wasn't nominated for Best Cinematography, Color--as the film was exquisitely filmed--giving it a look and color that is second to none. It also received quite a few important nominations--including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director (among others). So, it is clearly a standout film for the era. I also suspect that the film might have been overlooked a bit over the years since, as an even more spectacular biopic of a painter, "Lust for Life" gained even more notoriety in 1956. Both films are absolutely gorgeous.

As to the life story of Lautrec, I am far pickier than most because I am a (among other things) a retired history teacher. I look for inaccuracies others might not notice. So, when I see Lautrec brooding CONSTANTLY in the film, I ask why they almost never show him smiling or acting human?! Sure, the real life character was a pathetic man in many ways, but he was a man--a three-dimensional man. Although Jose Ferrer did good in many ways, his performance lacked the fullness of a real man. He got the main and depression quite well--just not anything else. I also think that the film sanitized and over-glamorized Lautrec's relationship with one particular prostitute--whereas the real Lautrec had MANY sexual relationships--many. In the film, however, he hangs out with prostitutes and is quite chaste! Part of this, I am sure, is due to the Production Code. Sure, it was being relaxes in the 1950s--but not THAT much! Overall, a wonderful film but one that isn't perfect--but incredibly beautiful--breathtakingly so. For a great double-feature, try watching this immediately preceding or followed by "Lust for Life".

By the way, I realized why they changed Lautrec's life here and there for dramatic reasons, but he never fell down the steps and broke his legs. The legs actually were very brittle and broke doing much more mundane activities--such as falling out of a chair and breaking one of them. In other words, his genetic problems caused the break and the dwarfism--not some dramatic fall.


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