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The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

Les parapluies de Cherbourg (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 16 December 1964 (USA)
Trailer
1:53 | Trailer

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A young woman separated from her lover by war faces a life-altering decision.

Director:

Jacques Demy

Writer:

Jacques Demy (scenario and dialogue)
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Popularity
4,998 ( 2,201)
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine Deneuve ... Geneviève Emery
Nino Castelnuovo ... Guy Foucher
Anne Vernon ... Madame Emery
Marc Michel ... Roland Cassard
Ellen Farner Ellen Farner ... Madeleine
Mireille Perrey ... Tante Élise
Jean Champion Jean Champion ... Aubin (as J. Champion)
Pierre Caden Pierre Caden ... Bernard (as P. Caden)
Jean-Pierre Dorat Jean-Pierre Dorat ... Jean (as J.P. Dorat)
Bernard Fradet Bernard Fradet ... Gas Station Apprentice (as B. Fradet)
Michel Benoist Michel Benoist ... Umbrella Buyer (as M. Benoist)
Philippe Dumat Philippe Dumat ... Garage Customer in 1957 (as P. Dumat)
Dorothée Blanck Dorothée Blanck ... Girl in Cafe (as D. Blank)
Jane Carat Jane Carat ... Ginny (as J. Carat)
Harald Wolff Harald Wolff ... Monsieur Dubourg
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Storyline

The lives of Geneviève Emery and Guy Foucher of Cherbourg, France are presented in four acts. Act 1 begins in November 1957, when 16-year-old Geneviève, who works in her widowed mother's umbrella shop called "Les parapluies de Cherbourg", and 20-year-old Guy, who works as a mechanic at a gas station, are madly in love and want to get married. They are reluctant to tell anyone not only of their want to get married, but of their relationship. Geneviève believes her mother will think her too young and would want her to marry someone with better prospects, especially considering her own tenuous financial situation. And Guy is more concerned now about not abandoning his ailing godmother, Aunt Élise, who raised him, and who he looks after along with a young woman named Madeleine. Act 2, told largely from Geneviève's perspective, begins in February 1958. Guy, drafted to fight for the French in Algeria, has been gone for two months, and is expected to be gone for two years. Geneviève rarely ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

a film for all the young lovers of the world See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | West Germany

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

16 December 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,425, 16 February 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$18,425, 16 February 2004
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR (restored version) (1992)| Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ranked number 51 non-English-speaking film in the critics' poll conducted by the BBC in 2018. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene, Genevieve drives off without paying for the tank of gasoline. See more »

Quotes

Roland Cassard: I've just seen Miss Genevieve. I would have liked...
Madame Emery: She's gone out. The life we lead here is so sad for a young girl. This dreary shop. She's bored, and I fear she'll become depressed. Would you like some tea?
Roland Cassard: With pleasure.
Madame Emery: We've just had a terrible fight about you.
Roland Cassard: About me?
Madame Emery: She wanted to go out, but I didn't want her to. We had a row. We've been so lonely since my husband died.
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Connections

Follows Lola (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

An offbeat but beautifully stylised and colourful piece of cinema
9 August 1999 | by Jasper-18See all my reviews

This must be amongst the most distinctive, idiosyncratic and exquisite films I have seen in a long while. There is nothing particularly new about the plot, which is a straightforward and uncomplicated love story divided into three acts, but the beauty of this film is in the telling of it.

All the dialogue in this film is sung, which at first is a little unsettling, but it actually takes very little time to adjust to. The verse/chorus format of popular music and the musical genre is eschewed for an approach more resembling a modern opera, as the characters croon their lines to each other over a continuous score. This gives the most banal of lines a rhythm and cadence of their own. Because of this I found the French a lot easier to understand than with more naturalistic films, which was fairly handy for me as the print I was watching was with Dutch subtitles! I must confess, I did find that the music (written by Michel Legrand) began to grate towards the end of the 87 minute running time but even so there is still much to admire here. Visually it's stunning, with a bold and vibrant colour palette of almost hallucinogenic intensity and sumptuous costume and set design (that wallpaper!). The opening credit sequence sets the mood perfectly: a birds eye view of the inhabitants of Cherbourg in the rain beneath their umbrellas as they walk across the frame is reduced to a colourful abstraction. Catherine Deneuve is predictably gorgeous and the first act of the young couples courtship is one of the most beautifully pure pieces of cinema I can think of. It reminded me a bit of 'Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris', a film which I saw in television a long time ago and would do absolutely anything to get hold of a copy. 'Les Parapluies de Cherbourg' is a wonderful, sincere and uplifting film that everyone should go and see at least once, and preferably on a big screen. Once seen, never forgotten.


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