French Cancan [French-Cancan]

Jean Renoir (director, screenwriter)
Maria Felix, Francoise Arnoul, Jean Gabin (starring)

Paris: Franco London Film S.A, 1956. Original program for the 1956 English language release of the 1955 French-Italian film. Deluxe program in English text, illustrated throughout in black-and-white stills from the film, detailing the film synopsis. Also includes 8 full-color borderless film stills, akin to lobby cards, a brief filmography of director Renoir and transcript of an interview between Renoir and Georges Van Parys from January 1, 1955, and sheet music for the theme song, "Complainte de la butte." Housed in a Franco London Film folder with tipped-in plate reproducing Pierre-Auguste Renoir's "Le Moulin de la Galette," and film title in red, on the front wrapper.

Based on an idea by Andre-Paul Antoine, his second to last film credit, before "La dulce enemiga" (1957). Set in 1890s Paris, Henri Danglard (Gabin) is the owner of a cafe, where his mistress Lola (Felix), performs as a belly dancer. With the cafe nearly bankrupt, Henri, inspired by an old-fashioned cancan in Montmartre, decides to add a new dancer to revive his business. Cue a laundress named Nini (Arnoul), who soon finds fame at the Moulin Rouge.

François Truffaut's review in "Arts" magazine (May 1955) was highly supportive, even though other critics like Bernard Chardere criticised the music, the sets, even the final cancan scene. Regardless, the film was awarded the Grand Prix de l'Academie du Cinéma (1956).

Program 9 x 12.5 inches, saddle-stapled and string-bound, 4 leaves, in slightly larger folder. 8 film stills 9 x 12 inches. Interview slightly smaller than stills, single leaf, printed on both sides, and sheet music slightly larger, dated 1954, single leaf folded twice, 3 sides printed. Very Good plus overall, with a few small scattered creases, and brief dampstains to the folder.

Criterion Collection. Roger Ebert, Great Movies IV.

[Book #143992]