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Thursday, December 04, 2014

French Cancan (1955) d. Jean Renoir

French Cancan (1954) doesn't really score until the last ten minutes when Renoir gives up the full Cancan, in all its glorious 19th century bawdiness.  Splits! Garters! Underwear!
French Cancan (1955)
d. Jean Renoir
Criterion Collection #243

  This film could just as easily be called "The Moulin Rouge" because it is the story of the founding of that club, with impresario Henri Danglard as the roguish hero. Unlike the recent version, there is little singing, thought plenty of dancing.  Renoir doesn't give up the full French Cancan till the last scene, but when it comes, it is a DOOZY.  I might well suggest skipping the entire film and just watching the last 15 minutes for the resolution and triumphant dance scene.  The rest of the picture is above average melodrama with eye popping (for 1954) color visuals.

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