French Cancan [DVD + Blu-ray]
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A film by Jean Renoir
The legendary Jean Gabin plays Danglard, mentor to, and lover of, the stage stars of 1890s Paris. When he discovers a naïve young laundress (Francoise Arnoul) dancing in a nightclub he is inspired by her talent to revive the forgotten cancan in a show that the whole of Paris, rich and poor, will never forget.
Based on the true story of Moulin Rouge founder Charles Zidler, Jean Renoir's exuberant tale of an impresario s commitment to his art is a masterpiece of Technicolor brilliance, which features luminaries of the 1950s Parisian café-concert scene, Edith Piaf and Patachou, as period artistes.
- Brand new restoration presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
- The show must go on! The joys of life by Jean Renoir (2010, 57 mins): documentary on the making of French Cancan
- French Cancan restored (2010, 5 mins): a look at the technical work which went into the restoraton
- Fully illustrated booklet with essay, biography and review
France, Italy | 1954 | colour | French language with optional English subtitles | 104 mins | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1
Disc 1: BD50| 1080p | 24fps | PCM mono audio (48k/24-bit)
Disc 2: DVD9 | PAL | Dolby Digital mono audio (320kbps)
Region 2 PAL DVD
Region B Blu-ray
A vibrant cascade of color, energy and sheer elegance --Variety
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Top Customer Reviews
The movie was restored in France from film held by the BFI. The original French theatrical release was 20 minutes longer than the American version, who sanitised much for their home consumption. For instance a scene where a prostitute is ushered out of a bar by the owner is now reinstated. The film now, and quite rightly has a more daring Gallic flavour. Theatre impresario Jean Gabin is an unashamed philanderer with an eye for the younger woman. He is usually verging on bankruptcy and is on first name terms with the bailiffs. But he still has style, and a vision, which is lots of pretty girls dancing the cancan in the yet to be built Moulin Rouge. This fictional account is very lighthearted with lots of back stage shennanigans. Gabin turns washerwoman Francois Arnoul into a star attraction, and also aquires her as his mistress, thus infuriating old flame Lola 'La Belle Abbesse' played by a scene stealing Maria Felix. We head to one of films great dance routines in the newly opened Moulin Rouge. The main event being of course the cancan.Read more ›
And this increases the sense of an old world coming back to life for a moment, like living tableaux.
Irony, desenchantement, a deep look at social and human dynamics, drama and musical, make this film a sort of lighthearted comedy that looks almost an american classic, although it is totally and joyfully french.
Superficially, French Cancan, with its relatively conventional 'rags-to-riches’, romantic central premise, can be likened the great Hollywood musicals of the same period (Vincente Minnelli, Stanley Donen, etc), but Renoir’s trademark (essentially French risqué-satirical) stamp is unmistakeable, adding other dimensions to the film. So, as Françoise Arnoul’s laundress with a talent for dance, Nini, is torn between a trio of 'amants’, Franco Pastorino’s jealous baker, Paulo, Jean Gabin’s veteran, washed-up theatre impresario and mentor (an autobiographical reference to Renoir himself?), Henri Danglard, and Giani Esposito’s wealthy Prince Alexandre, Renoir tempers the romance with (admittedly, for him, fairly mild) satire – poking fun at the aristocracy and capitalism (as Danglard succumbs to the will of his creditors) – and liberal sexual content that would have certainly attracted the red pen of the Hays Code (indeed, the US version of the film had 20 minutes cut!).Read more ›
At times it's hard to escape the feeling that Renoir wasn't really the right director for the film - while not exactly heavy-handed, doesn't seem to have the lightness of touch this sort of thing needs.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this film but don't consider it one of Renoir's very best. A predictable plot but well acted and directed. The restoration was very good and features in a short extra. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Absolutely wonderful. Beautiful. No bad people. Joyous. A lovely song to sing all day. And the last 20 minutes are breath taking.Published 21 months ago by The South Seas cruiser
Arrived quickly & in good condition & an excellent film. ThanksPublished 21 months ago by A.M.Hunter
No English subtitles not told of this before ordering Please correct and send a DVD with subtitles Great film but would hate to report you to regulators wrt to wrongful selling... Read morePublished on 1 Feb. 2013 by Dr Robin Russell
I watched this years ago when it was on TV in the afternoon. It was fantastic and I have several scenes etched on my brain. Read morePublished on 15 Dec. 2012 by KT