A 1890's Montmartre Dance Hall Owner Constantly Raided For Performing The Illegal Can-Can Has To Use Her Own Resources When An Elderly Judge Is Replaced By A Younger More Serious One. Based On Abe Burrow'S Play. Music By C... more »ole Porter.« less
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 08/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Shirley MacLaine and Frank Sinatra kick up their heels in CAN-CAN, the sparkling film adaptation of the Cole Porter musical comedy.
The setting is the Montmatre district of Paris, circa 1896. The can-can dance has been ruled as immoral and scandalous by the polite society, but that doesn't stop Simone Pistache (Shirley MacLaine) from performing the routine at her cafe. She is helped by her boyfriend--crooked lawyer Francois Durnais (Frank Sinatra). Simone's happy existence comes crashing down when she's arrested on the orders of the new district judge, Philipe Forrestier (Louis Jourdan).
Francois decides that the best way for Simone to continue her activities is to seduce Philipe. Pretty soon, Simone has well and truly fallen for his charms, but the hilarious love triangle has only just begun!...
This version of Cole Porter's 1953 Broadway musical is a very enjoyable, breezy viewing experience. The costumes from Irene Sharaff are lavish, and the art direction is flawless. MacLaine and Sinatra (continuing the screen partnership they had established with "Some Came Running") have a very fun rapport. Maurice Chevalier and Louis Jourdan switch on their Gallic charm to maximum effect here.
The original Cole Porter tunestack was augmented with "You Do Something to Me", "Let's Fall in Love", and "Just One of Those Things"; whilst several extra character numbers were deleted ("If You Loved Me Truly", "Allez-Vous-En", "Never Give Anything Away"). The score was lushly arranged and conducted by Sinatra's frequent collaborator Nelson Riddle.
Choreography from Hermes Pan is full of colour and excitement. MacLaine (with the help of a life-sized dummy) is thrown and throttled in a precision-drilled "Apache Dance", and leads the troupe in the "Garden of Eden" Ballet. Juliet Prowse, as Claudine, offers a top performance, too.
TRIVIA: During her early Broadway days, Shirley MacLaine briefly considered applying for Gwen Verdon's understudy in "Can-Can".
The brand-new 2-disc DVD from Fox's "Marquee Musicals" series presents a beautifully-restored print, in complete Roadshow length with overture, intermission and exit music sequences. Extra features on the second disc include "A Leg Up: The Making of Can Can" which delves into the history of the Broadway musical (and features some superb rare footage of Gwen Verdon from the original production). "The Classic Cole Porter" offers a brief glimpse into the life of the celebrated composer. "Book by Burrows" is a salute to CAN-CAN's original author Abe Burrows with reminisces from his children.
The "Restoration Comparison" allows to you see the new DVD master with the earlier 1993 video/laserdisc release-print, and it's quite evident that the good people at Fox have gone above and beyond to restore CAN-CAN to it's original brilliance. There are also some still galleries plus the trailer. In addition, Fox has packaged a set of four postcard-sized lobbycards in the DVD case!
The new edition of CAN-CAN is a must for all fans of the classic musicals."
When will we see Can-Can restored on DVD
Gregory J. Hibbett | Los Angeles, CA United States | 04/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to say that I rmember seeing Can-Can in its origional roadshow presentation in Los Angeles in my younger days. It was a great time at the movies, and I remember the scope of the widescreen and all those Can-Can dancers. I hope that we will soon see a DVD with the fully restored format in Letterbox, With Ovature and Intermission etc. While not the best musical every filmed I remember it fondly and would like to see a DVD that presents this move as it should be seen. Widescreen format, stero sound et al."
Finally on DVD, looking darn fine, if not perfect!
Lars Sandell | Sweden | 05/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It took ten long years, but the wait is over! "Can-Can" is certainly not very high on the list among the best film adaptations of Broadway musicals, but it contains lots of character charm and professional know-how, boasts a lushly orchestrated score, and is gorgeously designed in often daring color combinations. (For the stylish looking palette and fine-tuned overall detail of this film, I suspect we must thank not only the famous production designers and Ms. Sharaff's oddly chic costumes, but also very much styling consultant Tony Duquette and color consultant Leonard Doss.) The first thing you see on your screen is a "warning" from Fox that they have used the best materials available for their transfer to DVD. This had me greatly worried for a couple of seconds, but when the credits came up on my screen I was both relieved and stunned. It looked super! Never had I seen "Can-Can" with colors as clean, bright and beautiful as on this disc! But some three minutes into the film I suddenly understood what Fox meant with their note: In many shots throughout the complete running-time, I could notice a certain discreet light-flickering that affected the colors somewhat, especially easy to spot in the darker areas of the image. This is, of course, distracting (at least for a while untill you get used to it), but I should think that Fox had found this problem impossible to correct completely. To my great relief and joy, it is quite obvious that the materials used for this DVD transfer originates from a 70mm negative in Technicolor. All previous transfers to VHS and LaserDisc must surely have used 35mm film in DeLuxe color. The difference is amazing, as the DVD has superb contrast, splendid color and a razor-sharp image all the way, which only 70mm film stock can produce. I suspect that when Fox had to decide between issuing a decent but dull 35mm (CinemaScope) transfer or a dazzling (but very lightly damaged) transfer from Todd-AO elements, they went for the later option. A good choice! Actually, the problematic shots are often very brief, and are mostly followed by longer shots or whole scenes that look picture-perfect. Even well kept negatives can unfortunately detoriate a little with age, and some of the problems that occur can apparently not be 100 percent erased even in our age of digital high tech. Disc 2 has some well made, newly produced featurettes and lots of other goodies, but even though many highly well researched people are talking "Can-Can" history and memories, none are able to solve a mystery that has often kept me wide awake at nights for 47 years: Why was the most applauded and beloved song from the stage show not included in the finished film version; only heard during the credits and in the Entr'acte? I'm thinking of "I Love Paris"! Film historian Scott McIsaac incorrectly tells us that it is sung in the film by Sinatra and Chevalier. Not so! It is sung by these two gentlemen ONLY on the soundtrack album issued at the time of the film's release - and available on CD for a short time many years ago. But was it actually FILMED, and if so, was it cut out early or after maybe some not entirely happy preview? Can anyone out there explain this weird omission, or better, once and for all present all the facts concerning the rejection of this lovely Cole Porter evergreen?"
Gregory J. Hibbett | 02/03/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I believe this is a second release of this film, which cuts out all the intermissions and some of the original breaks. This takes away from the authenicity of the film on the original release. Please, this is like watching a movie in rerun format with chops and stops. IRRITATING. I borrowed my mother's copy of the original release and I hope that if this is released on DVD that this the original is the one they put on disk."
The parts I thought were exeptionally good, the actors, ets.
Gregory J. Hibbett | 02/17/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
""There is no trick, to a can can! It is so simple to do!" And it is so simple to fall in love with this wonderful video, featuring some of Hollywood's biggest and best stars, Shirley McLane, Frank Sinatra, Maurice Chavaier, and Louis Jordan. This brilliant movie features wonderful songs like "I Love Paris," "Can Can," "It's All Right With Me," "C'est Magnifique," and many more, each more enchanting than the next, all put together by Cole Porter. From the wonderfully fun, upbeat dancing to the timeless songs, this movie is definatly worth seeing! Meredith Crawford, Age 12"