French Cancan

Synopsis: Henri Danglard, proprietor of the fashionable (but bankrupt) cafe 'Le Paravent Chinois' featuring his mistress, belly dancer Lola, goes slumming in Montmarte (circa 1890) where the then-old-fashioned cancan is still danced. There, he conceives the idea of reviving the cancan as the feature of a new, more popular establishment...and meets Nini, a laundress and natural dancer, whom he hopes to star in his new show. But a tangled maze of jealousies intervenes...
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Musical
Director(s): Jean Renoir
Production: Criterion Collection
Rotten Tomatoes:
102 min







Come see me in the Casbah!

Not too nervous?

Looks like a rough crowd,

Monsieur Danglard.

I'd sooner enter a cage of tigers.

You have to tame them,

or they'll eat you alive.

Hide your fear

and they'll eat out of your hand.

That's easy to say.

I was born at Sidi Bel Abbes

in the land of beautiful women

My mother was a princess,

and my father said, "Caramba!"

Don't tell me you'd rather

go back to house painting.

I'm sure you're a great whistler.

When I heard you on your ladder,

I knew I could use you.

- Really?

- I'm telling you.

- Will you be in the audience?

- Don't worry. I'll be watching you.

You're doing very nicely.


Go ahead, sweetheart.

There he is!

Is this where the fillies weigh in?

How about taking me on as a jockey?

You're too heavy.

They're over there.

Captain, is the country prepared?

All I need say is, lances

have been restored to the cavalry.

How about Russian railway shares?


Muzhiks walk everywhere.

- What do you say, Coudrier?

- Once I leave my office, "Curtains!"

Incidentally, have you heard

that Konakri has voted a subsidy?

We'll discuss it tomorrow.


Yes, Monsieur Coudrier.

Bring me hookah, hashish

and the navel of La Belle Abbesse.

The paradise of Mahomet,

my dear chap.

Jealous, my friend?

- Like a tiger.

Good evening, my dear prince.

Come to share our worries?

I would greatly like to have worries.

Do I dare ask him to pay my rent?

I'm off to the White Queen.

Who loves me, follows me.

- Montmartre? That's dangerous.

- Exactly.

Where's Montmartre?

Where you were born.


- Strange idea.

We're going to see

the little ladies!

Inspector, the big fish

don't come here now.

They don't trust me.

Neither do we.

We're watching you.

What a life!

If only I could sell and retire.

Excuse me, Inspector.

Monsieur Danglard, what an honor!

- Scram!

- Hands off the merchandise!

You'll be comfortable here.

What will you have?

- Only champagne for me.

- The lady will have red wine.

It's on the house.

Cherries in brandy for everyone.

- Yes, boss.

What do those stuffed shirts want here?

They're slumming, for thrills.

- She's nice, that little one.

- Which one?

They're wild!

Didn't our grandmothers

call this the cancan?

No, the chahut.

Land values are rising here.

You're enterprising.

You'd do well here.

With a clientele like this?

What do you think, Walter?

- I'm just your backer.

- And profit taker.

On occasion.

Ideas are his department.

Alas, I can't afford

to back them myself.

Know what I mean?

- Let's dance.

My little pet!

Don't be put off by appearances.

The White Queen is good business.


- Shall we?

- Let's relive our youth!

But ladies!

You like the cancan?

Better than working in the laundry.

You seem upset, pretty lady.

Not at all.

I'm enjoying myself enormously.

Do you waltz?

Waltzing with another man?

Our friend Danglard

is straying again,

which means our distraught beauty will

seek consolation in Papa Walter's arms.


You don't care about me.

- He dances so well.

- Do I dance so badly?

That's different. I love you.

You've got a gold mine there.

To dance like that,

he must be a duke.

Or an artist.

- Did you make a date?

- That's enough!

Think what you will, Bidon,

but what little money I have,

I earn honestly.

We'll go somewhere else

on Saturday, Nini.

You don't look too happy.

Coming, my dear?

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Jean Renoir

Jean Renoir (French: [ʁənwaʁ]; 15 September 1894 – 12 February 1979) was a French film director, screenwriter, actor, producer and author. As a film director and actor, he made more than forty films from the silent era to the end of the 1960s. His films La Grande Illusion (1937) and The Rules of the Game (1939) are often cited by critics as among the greatest films ever made. He was ranked by the BFI's Sight & Sound poll of critics in 2002 as the fourth greatest director of all time. Among numerous honors accrued during his lifetime, he received a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award in 1975 for his contribution to the motion picture industry. Renoir was the son of the painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir. He was one of the first filmmakers to be known as an auteur. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "French Cancan" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 4 Oct. 2022. <>.

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