The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les Parapluies de Cherbourg)


The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les Parapluies de Cherbourg)

Critics Consensus

Jacques Demy elevates the basic drama of everyday life into a soaring opera full of bittersweet passion and playful charm, featuring a timeless performance from Catherine Deneuve.



Total Count: 55
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Movie Info

Jacques Demy's 1964 masterpiece is a pop-art opera, or, to borrow the director's own description, a film in song. This simple romantic tragedy begins in 1957. Guy Foucher (Nino Castelnuovo), a 20-year-old French auto mechanic, has fallen in love with 17-year-old Geneviève Emery (a luminous Catherine Deneuve), an employee in her widowed mother's chic but financially embattled umbrella shop. On the evening before Guy is to leave for a two-year tour of combat in Algeria, he and Geneviève make love. She becomes pregnant and must choose between waiting for Guy's return or accepting an offer of marriage from a wealthy diamond merchant (Marc Michel, reprising his role from Demy's masterful debut, Lola). A completely sung movie, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is closest in form to a cinematic opera. Composer Michel Legrand composed the score, modeling it around the patterns of everyday conversation. Umbrellas was re-released in 1997.

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Catherine Deneuve
as Genevieve Emery
Nino Castelnuovo
as Guy Foucher
Marc Michel
as Roland Cassard
Ellen Farner
as Madeleine
Anne Vernon
as Madame Emery
Mireille Perrey
as Aunt Elise
Pierre Caden
as Bernard
Bernard Fradet
as Gas Station Apprentice
Michel Benoist
as Umbrella Shop Customer
Philippe Dumat
as Garage Customer
Harald Wolff
as Monsieur Dubourg
Dorothée Blank
as Girl in Sailors' Cafe
Jane Carat
as Jenny/Genevieve
Bernard Garnier
as Garage Mechanic
Francois Charet
as Garage Mechanic
Jacques Camelinat
as Garage Customer
Roger Perrinoz
as Cafe Proprietor
Paul Pavel
as First Removal Man
Gisele Grandpre
as Madame Germaine
Rosalie Varda
as Francoise Cassard
Francois Foucher
as Herve Legrand
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News & Interviews for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les Parapluies de Cherbourg)

Critic Reviews for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les Parapluies de Cherbourg)

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (15)

  • It continues to charm and delight for the same reasons it did back in 1964.

    Mar 13, 2014 | Full Review…
  • It is a small picture, a boutique musical. But it's lovely.

    Jan 9, 2014 | Rating: 4/4
  • As spun-sugar holiday treats go, "Umbrellas" is hard to resist.

    Dec 27, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Seemingly banal and sentimental on the surface, [director Jacques] Demy has avoided these aspects by tasteful handling and the right balance in emotion, compassion and narrative.

    Jan 11, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Umbrellas makes escapist play with the stuff of kitchen-sink social realism.

    Feb 9, 2006

    Ben Walters

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Deneuve is luminously beautiful throughout, looking fabulously chic even in a maternity dress.

    Sep 18, 2005 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Tom Dawson
    Top Critic

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