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French Cancan (Only the French Can) Reviews

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Nostalgic studio-bound Hollywood-like splashy pic about the beginnings of the Moulin Rouge.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: B

November 2, 2012
Allan Hunter
Daily Express

A simple story told with abundant charm.

Full Review Source: Daily Express | Original Score: 3/5

August 7, 2011
Philip French
Observer [UK]

Begins with an extended and breathtaking evocation of the Moulin Rouge at its most ravishing, one of the cinema's greatest sequences.

Full Review Source: Observer [UK]

August 7, 2011
Derek Malcolm
This is London

It is unashamedly nostalgic and somewhat meandering but chock full of colour and affection for its characters.

Full Review Source: This is London | Original Score: 4/5

August 5, 2011
Peter Bradshaw

The glorious final sequence, in which the cancan is finally unveiled to the rowdy audience, is some kind of masterpiece, perhaps the equal of anything Renoir ever achieved: wild, free, turbulent, exhilarating.

Full Review Source: Guardian | Original Score: 4/5

August 4, 2011
Tim Robey
Daily Telegraph

Nothing if not thoroughly enjoyable.

Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph | Original Score: 4/5

August 4, 2011
John Ferguson
Radio Times

[It] was not the cinema event it promised to be. Yet there is still much to treasure in this exuberant tribute to the Moulin Rouge.

Full Review Source: Radio Times | Original Score: 3/5

August 4, 2011
Philip Kemp
Total Film

If the film lacks the social bite of Renoir's pre-war work, it's still a rich celebration of life and the director's own birthplace.

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 4/5

August 1, 2011
Emanuel Levy

A playful, colorful spectacle from the late era of Renoir.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: A

July 3, 2011
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

French Cancan is full of fire, and incredibly sexy for 1954.

Full Review Source: East Bay Express

May 4, 2010

TV Guide's Movie Guide

French Cancan vibrantly brings to life the dawning days of the Moulin Rouge, complete with high-kicking choristers flaunting their frills.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 4/4

August 30, 2006
Mark Bourne

...the fin de siecle Paris of our imagination, or of Auguste Renoir's paintings. Renoir's finale blends exhilarating showmanship and a carriageload of characters reconciled, their intrigues and follies stepping aside for 'the show must go on.'

Full Review Source:

April 7, 2006
Bosley Crowther
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

M. Renoir's affectionate picture hasn't quite the class of Huston's Moulin Rouge. But it makes for diverting entertainment as sheer sentimental spectacle.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3/5

March 25, 2006

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The climactic cancan scene is one of the finest dance sequences ever filmed, and worth the price of a ticket on its own.

Full Review Source: Time Out

January 26, 2006
Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television

In wonderful color

| Original Score: 4/5

May 28, 2005
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

This is lighter than usual fare for Renoir, but his usual gracefulness is ever-present and he adds a distinct human center to the color and dazzle.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid

September 6, 2004
Jake Euker

It's a true spectacle; Renoir suggests that, potentially, for those involved in theater, all of life is.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4/5

August 22, 2004


The birth of the Moulin Rouge lights up the screen in Jean Renoir's breathtaking, colourful vision of a bygone Paris.

Full Review Source: Film4

May 24, 2003
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This 1955 Technicolor musical is the easiest to like of Jean Renoir's late films, full of color, movement, and romance.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

May 7, 2003
Jeremy Heilman

Little can prepare us for the dazzling set piece that closes the film.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 3, 2002
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