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.

Director:

Jean Renoir

Writers:

Jean Renoir (adaptation), André-Paul Antoine (idea)
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Gabin ... Henri Danglard
Françoise Arnoul ... Nini
María Félix ... Lola de Castro de la Fuente de Extremadura 'La Belle Abbesse'
Anna Amendola Anna Amendola ... Esther Georges
Jean-Roger Caussimon ... Baron Walter
Dora Doll ... La Génisse
Giani Esposito ... Prince Alexandre
Gaston Gabaroche Gaston Gabaroche ... Oscar, le pianiste
Jacques Jouanneau Jacques Jouanneau ... Bidon
Jean Parédès Jean Parédès ... Coudrier
Franco Pastorino Franco Pastorino ... Paulo, le boulanger
Michèle Philippe Michèle Philippe ... Eleonore
Michel Piccoli ... Le Capitaine Valorgueil
Albert Rémy ... Barjolin
France Roche France Roche ... Beatrix
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Quotes

Nini: It's expected among theater people. You have to do it or you get nowhere. That's what bothers me.
Thérèse, blanchisseuse: If I were in your shoes...
Nini: I always dreamed that Paulo would be the first. I'm afraid of looking foolish with Danglard.
Thérèse, blanchisseuse: You've still got time to take a lesson before tonight.
Nini: Listen to you!
[Nini runs to the Boulangerie. Enters. Locks the door. Sneaks up to Paolo]
Paulo, le boulanger: Nini!
Nini: Where's your uncle?
Paulo, le boulanger: Asleep upstairs.
[Nini seductively walks into the back store room. Paulo follows]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally released in the US in 1956 at 93 minutes; ten minutes of footage removed from the original French version were reinstated for 1985 reissue. See more »

Connections

Featured in My Journey Through French Cinema (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

Marvelous!
5 August 2004 | by Terrell-4See all my reviews

The story is simple but the execution is marvelous. A Belle Epoque impresario, down on his financial luck, is going to open a new club, the Moulin Rouge, with a new dance, the French cancan. He encounters a working girl and makes her a dancer. She'll become a star. There are several crises to overcome before that happens.

The movie is Jean Renoir's tribute to show business, and he puts it on the screen with color, verve, humor, and humanity. There are wonderful performances by all the actors. The leads are Jean Gabin as Henri Danglard, the impresario; Francoise Arnoul as Nini, the girl who'll become a star; and Maria Felix as Lola de Castro, an overwhelmingly tempestuous beauty and Danglard's lover at the start. Gabin exudes confidence, worldly humor and dedication to show business. He even dances a bit. Arnoul is first rate, too. It looks like she was doing her own dances, and as an actress think of a young Leslie Caron with brains and charm.

The climax of the movie is the opening of the club, with Felix's star dance, comic songs, a whistler, a Danglar-discovered singer, all moving toward the introduction of the French cancan. The crises happen and are resolved. Then the cancan explodes. Dancing girls come bursting out from the stage, the front of the theater, through posters, down ropes from the balcony. The house swirls with the black tie and tails of the swells and the garish colors of the dancers' gowns. The cancan number lasts probably ten or fifteen minutes or so, all music and gaiety, all high kicks and splits. It's amazing when row after row of the dancers, moving toward the camera through the audience, leap up, legs extended straight forward and backward, backs arched, then land on the dance floor in full splits. I didn't know whether to shout or wince.

The last scene of the movie is outside the club, shot from the cobblestone street looking at the entrance. It's a medium shot and from the side street a happy, inebriated fellow in black tie and top hat staggers across, pauses to tip his hat at the camera, then staggers off. A completely charming ending.

This really is a marvelous movie.


23 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 32 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

16 April 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Only the French Can See more »

Edit

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,799
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1956)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed