French Cancan (1956)

French Cancan




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Beautifully photographed, this comedy drama from Jean Renoir chronicles the revival of Paris' most notorious dance as it tells the story of a theater producer who turns a humble washerwoman into a star at the Moulin Rouge. The film is also title Only the French Can.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Musical & Performing Arts, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Jean Renoir
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 3, 2004
Criterion Collection



as Danglard

as La Belle Abesse

as Eugenie Buffet

as Prince Alexandre

as Therese, blanchisseu...

as Valorgueil

as Coudrier

as Manager of The Reine...

as Isidore the Waiter

as Paulo the Baker

as Mme. Olympe, Nini's ...

as Barjolin

as Therese

as Le Genisse

as The Commandant

as Mimi Prunelle

as Oscar the Pianist

as The Minister

as The Bailiff

as The Hotel Manager

as The Neighbor

as The Elevator Attenda...

as Pierrot, The Heckler

as 1st Dandy

as 2nd Dandy

as Beatrix

as Police Inspector

as Danglard's Servant

as The Surgeon

as Yvette Guilbert

as Paul Delmet

as La Gigolette

as The Groom

as The Laundry Woman
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Critic Reviews for French Cancan

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (4)

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… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top 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… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | May 7, 2003
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 8, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | November 2, 2012
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A simple story told with abundant charm.

Full Review… | August 7, 2011
Daily Express

Audience Reviews for French Cancan

this is lots of fun and better than huston's 'moulin rouge' imo. how wonderful to see the fierce maria felix in such a high profile role outside of mexico. it's a little unbelievable that the aging jean gabin still gets all the girls. and he didn't need to be such a bastard about it either

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

It was quite seductive to watch this colourful concoction projected on the cinema screen in a beautifully restored print. It has the fluff and exuberance of an MGM musical standing on the legs of the usual Renoir social commentary and his view on the bourgeois and the world of the arts. This is supported by the fact that a fairly banal love story is followed by an incredibly exhilarating cancan final sequence: after all, why should we be so concerned with things so mundane such as romantic entanglements when dancing brings you so much more joie de vivre?

Matheus Carvalho
Matheus Carvalho

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic]"French Can-Can" takes place in 19th century Paris where famed impresario Henri Danglard(Jean Gabin), who has always had a knack for spotting talent in ordinary people, is facing bankruptcy but has an ambitous idea to bring back the Can-Can to a new nightclub he is planning to open in Montmartre, the Moulin Rouge. To headline, he has recruited a laundress, Nini(Francoise Arnoul), to be his star dancer, even if her boyfriend, Paulo(Franco Pastorino), is less than thrilled and even a little jealous.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"French Can-Can" is a fun, enjoyable and beautiful movie about the complications and business of entertainment that ends with a great show stopper. It also has quite a bit to say about class relations of the time period, especially about the mixing of the upper and lower classes. Jean Gabin has charm to spare. But I feel like I needed a scorecard to keep track of all of the romantic entanglements.[/font]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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