Moulin Rouge Reviews

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jjnxn jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ May 7, 2007
Technicolor is a wonderful way to highlight Toulouse-Lautrec's work which the film does well and Zsa Zsa is fun in what is probably her best role. However Huston's pacing is slow and Ferrer gives a self important, dull performance.
AJ V
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2010
I'll admit I like the new Moulin Rouge movie better than this one. This movie is sort of a historical drama, but I'm not sure how true it is to history, it's a strange movie with strange characters. I didn't really care for it, but it's not that bad either.
Luke B
Super Reviewer
½ August 13, 2008
A wonderful companion piece to the more recent version and completely opposite in terms of tone. Ferrer is fantastic as Lautrec and the effects used to give the impression of him being short are faultless over 50 years on. The art direction and costume design were both worthy of their Oscar wins. The plot and pacing however are often uneven and repetitive as Lautrec meets new women who essentially treat him the same way. The first relationship became annoying with how every scene was simply arguing. For the most part though it is a haunting anti-romance with enough discussion points for any artist.
Cindy I
Super Reviewer
May 11, 2007
Excellent biopic of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, the turn of the century painter whose legs were deformed by a childhood accident, leaving him essentially a dwarf. Jose Ferrer does a great job in conveying the frustration and pain -- both physical and emotional -- of someone in his condition. The scenes in the Moulin Rouge club is visually exciting, making you understand why he wanted to spend so much time there. Anyone with any knowledge of Lautrec and his art will recognize the inspirations of his paintings. But you don't have to know anything about him at all. It's interesting on its own. Keep an eye out -- not too difficult -- for Zsa Zsa Gabor in an early role as a performer at the club. This film is completely different and MUCH better than that musical tripe starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan MacGregor.
Michael G
Super Reviewer
½ November 5, 2006
Eye candy. Otherwise singing people freak me out.
Antony S
Super Reviewer
October 21, 2006
Showered with awards, Huston's Moulin Rouge is a gem. Unlike the Luhrmann version, Huston's story is centred around the diminutive Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a would-be romantic figure made increasingly bitter by virtue of his stunted legs. Due to such impairment, the cultured and gentlemantly Henri berates himself and expects nothing good to come of his existence (in one scene, he even compares himself to an ape a lady may keep close proximinity with in order to appear more attractive). For the role, Ferrer had to stand and walk on his knees to convince us that his legs were only that of a child, the incedent recalled in an a painful flashback, one of many that illustrate Henri's demons. His tragedy is highlighted by his paintings that made him rich and famous, but also highlighted his outsider nature (one is that of himself regarding a lady in a state of undress, which is remarked with revulsion by one onlooker, claiming it to be pro-voyeurism). Expertly acted and directed, this is definately worth seeing, provided one is capable of enduring such woe. It's highly quotable, too! "Love is a state of confusion in which the victim can not distinguish between spiritual aspiration, carnal desire, and pride of ownership."
Harlequin68 Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
April 1, 2005
[font=Century Gothic][color=darkorange]In "Moulin Rouge"(1952, no relation to the awful 2001 movie of the same title), Jose Ferrer stars as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a diminutive painter who was crippled by a childhood accident. He lived in Paris towards the end of the 19th century and captured life going on around him. It is an awesome looking movie and Jose Ferrer is fine in a double role(and Zsa Zsa Gabor is the life of the party) but the movie spends more time on a couple of forgettable romantic subplots, than on Toulouse-Latrec's painting or that much time in the title establishment at all.[/color][/font]
John B
Super Reviewer
½ January 6, 2014
Ferrer has irritated me in other roles but he does well here in the original version of Moulin Rouge. It wasn't a Luhrmann triumphant production with visuals and music coming at you from ever which way but it is entertaining to whatch Toulouse Lautrec being seduced by Montmarte.
Duncan R
Super Reviewer
November 23, 2007
It's beautifully written, but the acting is pretty dated. Suzanne Flon was the best performer in the entire movie, but sadly, her role's a minuscule one. Jose Ferrier's performance as tortured artist Toulouse-Lautrec is one that suffers from what I like to call "James Cagney syndrome". Ferrier's facial expressions speak volumes, but his spoken delivery of his lines just fall flat. Everyone else's performance in this movie is, at least by today's standards, amateurish at best. Many of the supporting cast tend to lose their lines behind rapid-fire, over-the-top fake French accents. A shame, considering a lot of the dialogue is wonderful.

As for the cinematography (which helped earn this flick an Oscar according to the DVD packaging), it's pretty I guess. But it lacks the same vivacious energy of both Lautrec's paintings (which it supposedly is trying to emulate), and the Baz Luhrmann jukebox musical of the same name.

On the plus side, the story being told here is a good one. Even if he's being portrayed in a way I don't particularly enjoy, seeing the loves, the losses, and the life of Toulouse-Lautrec is enthralling. And the ending, in particular, was pretty damn moving.

In a nutshell, I liked it. I had my share of problems with it, but I still liked it.
merlynsprankling merlynsprankling
Super Reviewer
½ February 27, 2008
The music, the characters, the directing--you can't help but admire this film for getting so many things right.
Dracula787 Dracula787
Super Reviewer
September 18, 2008
This is not the 2001 Baz Luhrmann movie, but the 1952 film from the great John Huston. The Luhrmann film was not really a remake of this, both movies take place in turn or the century Paris and feature scenes in the Moulin Rouge cabaret (which was a real place), but the similarities end there. This movie is more about the life of a real painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who?s played convincingly by Jose Ferrer. The story isn?t overly interesting and it falls into a lot of the usual biopic pitfalls, but it makes up for it with its technical/production attributes. The film is notable for being one of the first color films to deliberately de-saturate the bright Technicolor of the era, resulting in a more natural palate.
KeepGuessing KeepGuessing
Super Reviewer
April 30, 2008
Cool movie. Though the whole love triangle angle of the movie was effectively translated on screen. On the other hand, the whole movie was visually breath taking. Love the whole carnival effect of it.
qtmemoe qtmemoe
Super Reviewer
April 13, 2007
Utterly Horrible!
Jonny P June 15, 2007
"Moulin Rouge" tells the story of artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a crippled man who only wanted to find love. Jose Ferrer's performance is stunning as the atmosphere of 1890's Paris comes to life. The special effects artists did a great job of turning this man of average stature into a convincing 4'6" character whose legs never properly grew. It was enjoyable to see Zsa Zsa Gabor as Jane Avril but for the most part, the film tends to drag on. All of the scenes in the Moulin Rouge are magic if you have ever had the opportunity to go for real and it is cool to see Lautrec's paintings come to life, but I'd much rather watch the modern musical with the same name if I am looking to be entertained.
Scott R ½ January 27, 2009
I believe this film will stay with me, especially since it was not what I expected. I was not familiar with the story of Lautrec, and to have it told so well by Huston and Ferrer I am surprised to have not seen this earlier. Ferrer's role is probably his most memorable and it left me moved and at the same time jealous of the artistic and refined abilities of Lautrec. It left me fascinated with Paris again, making me want to live there for a season. It brought to mind the nobility of the film Emile Zola and the romanticism of Moulin Rouge. Zsa Zsa Gabor was outstanding, this is the first I have seen her glamour and appeal at such a young age. Then to have Christopher Lee there as well made it especially good.
stellar2187 stellar2187 June 28, 2010
This film was an excellent way for the viewer to peer into the Parisian night-life. Although there were some conflicts in accuracy in this film, I still enjoyed it. Jose Ferrer takes a different approach in how Henri de Toulouse-Lautre is portrayed. Instead of being obnoxious and humorous, the Lautrec seen on screen is stoically emotionless. Rather than show the anger and sadness that envelops his life, he'd rather not convey anything at all, and that in itself shows strength of character. Other than the acting and subtle wit, I also enjoyed the color and costumes. But to really get something out of this film, I reccomend paying close attention to Lautrec and reading into what he tries to hide.
electricbomb electricbomb ½ September 29, 2008
Moulin Rogue is an amazing blend of humor, drama, beautiful setting, even more beautiful costumes, and amazing music.
Jabberwocky129 Jabberwocky129 March 26, 2009
This movie was a work of genius, I think. Beautiful costuming, singing, dancing, set design, amazing use of modern music. Ewan McGregor is my hero.
Diane W ½ February 15, 2009
What I know about Toulouse-Lautrec you could fit on the head of a pin, but I really hope he wasn't such a complete dick in real life as Huston makes him out to be in this film - what a pedantic bore. As often happens, the best part of these older period pieces is the costumes, and this film doesn't disappoint in that regard. Also of note is his death scene, pre-figuring Fosse's good-byes in All That Jazz.
wuzzlebaby wuzzlebaby October 2, 2008
I laughed when Satine died. This movie was lame, and cheesy. I don't know how it even got nominated.
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