French Cancan, Renoir’s exhilarating tale of the opening of the world-renowned Moulin Rouge, is a Technicolor tour de force starring Jean Gabin as a wily impresario juggling the love of two beautiful women in nineteenth-century Paris.
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Top Ten countdown – #6 Through the artificiality of the sets and ornate costumes, Renoir crafts a painting-like musical comedy that bleeds a love for the joy of the show and its performers. The lighthearted romantic triangles that drive the conflict are crucial in leaving all focus on spectacle, allowing for a climax of unrivaled movements and expressions of colour—the greatest dance sequence ever filmed.
Even though this isn't about the theatre, it felt like it captured the highs and lows that goes into these productions better than Children of Paradise. Also, even though he's a minor character, I found the prince to be one of the most tragic lovers of any film. He who has loved only once and won't love ever again. Finally, I can't thing of anything that equals the ending in terms of capturing the movement of colors.
humor, love, dancing, musical numbers, explosions, technicolor, elaborate sets, more color than the human eye can consume, the splits, suicide attempts, catfights, clowns, and a menagerie of pretty woman! What more could you want in a film, oh yeah did I mention Renoir! Fucking watch this!
Like Gabin, this is as smooth and seductive as French silk. Renoir effortlessly toys with genre, shows off with costumes, and easily (frighteningly so) weaves the inner dramas of his many principal players towards their realization that the stage is really the sexiest lover of them all. The final cancan is one of the most overwhelming cinematic orgasms since Berkeley put chorus girls on a gushing fountain.
This movie is full of beautiful colors, and the influence of his dad is very evident, specially in the last scenes. I have to confess that I actually cried while watching it, because it is so beautiful and so much like what I want movies to look like. It's one my favorites ever. Welles called Renoir 'the greatest of all directors', and he was probably right. Gabin's acting is great and the music is highly enjoyable.