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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

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

Quotes

Thérèse, blanchisseuse: Bon jour, Titi.
Titine: Bon jour, Thérèse. Bon Appétit.
Thérèse, blanchisseuse: Bon Appétit. Bon jour, Victor
Victor: Bon jour, madame.
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 Voyage à travers le cinéma français (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

La sérénade du pavé
(uncredited)
Written by Jean Varney
Performed by Jean Raymond
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great musical
19 April 2006 | by bob998See all my reviews

This is my favorite Renoir from the Fifties. It's the story of how Henri Danglard built and launched the Moulin Rouge nightclub; we see the workmen blasting at the site to get construction underway, and the training of the dancers. Finally, the giddiness of opening night and the long sequence of cancan dancing. Financial problems and the ego displays of the performers are described.

Gabin is in great form as the easy-going Danglard--see him deal humorously with Nini's violent boyfriend. Gianni Esposito is moving as the wistful Prince who is courting Nini. Maria Felix, with that amazon's body, is imposing as the egotistical Lola, Danglard's first lover. Finally Françoise Arnoul as Nini the washing girl who ends up dancing for Danglard, and becoming his girl, is just stunning; her loveliness and pert charm will win you over.

A bonus: we get Edith Piaf, Patachou, André Claveau and other stars in cameos playing the stars of a century ago who ruled over the Moulin rouge.


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