After a 15-year hiatus from filmmaking in France, Jean Renoir returned with this high-spirited celebration of color and movement. FRENCH CANCAN vibrantly brings to life the dawning days of the Moulin Rouge, complete with high-kicking choristers flaunting their frills. Gabin turns in one of
his most memorable performances as Danglard, an aging theater impresario known for his ability to take common women and transform them into dancehall sensations--he also succeeds in seducing them. Before long, he becomes captivated with Montmartre laundress Nini (Arnoul) and he ignores a previous
love to devote his energies into making her a star.
A deceptively simple picture, FRENCH CANCAN lets us relive an era previously vivid only in the painted art of Toulouse-Lautrec and Jean's father Auguste Renoir. Renoir, whose films have consistently served as training grounds for a number of prominent directors (Jacques Becker on LA CHIENNE, Yves
Allegret and Luchino Visconti on the short A DAY IN THE COUNTRY, and Robert Aldrich on THE SOUTHERNER), also gave a start to Jacques Rivette in this picture by letting him serve as a directorial trainee. leave a comment