7.4/10
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30 user 34 critic

French Cancan (1955)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 16 April 1956 (USA)
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)
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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
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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 »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

16 April 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Only the French Can See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,545,749
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #243. 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

Referenced in Les échos du cinéma: Episode #1.35 (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Petits Souris
Written by Georges Van Parys
Performed by Édith Piaf
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fun and pretty! Françoise Arnoul - Ou la la!
26 January 2003 | by zetesSee all my reviews

Although it doesn't seem very promising for a long stretch, Renoir's French Cancan ends up being an effortlessly charming film. The story is cliché: a laundry girl, Nini (Françoise Arnoul), is discovered by a night club owner, Danglard (Jean Gabin). Danglard steals her from her baker boyfriend and drops his current girlfriend, both of whom come back for their former lovers. Nini has to choose whether to go back to her humble life with the baker, go on with the show with her employer, oh, or become a princess, as a prince falls in love with her at one point, too. I'm glad the film didn't go for the most obvious choice, as a lesser film certainly would have. The film ends with the opening of Danglard's new night club, the Moulin Rouge, and a couple of gorgeous song and dance numbers. The first of them, "Complainte de la Butte," which also provides the base of most of the film's musical score, is simply one of the most gorgeous songs ever written, and Renoir himself wrote it. If you're a fan of Baz Luhrmann's 2001 film Moulin Rouge!, you'll recognize the tune, as it comes up near the beginning of that film, sung by Rufus Wainwright. Although it isn't very prominent in that film, everyone I know who owns the soundtrack loves it. In addition to having one of the most lovely songs ever written, French Cancan also boasts one of the cutest leading ladies ever to grace the screen. It's hard not to fall head-over-heels in love with that girl. 8/10.


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