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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: Australia wadsy's Avatar
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    Moulin Rouge GB 1952



    Directed by John Houston & starring Jose Ferrer I watched this for the first time last week after recording it off the Telly. I was taken totally by surprise by just how much I enjoyed this tale of the life & loves of artist Toulouse Lautrec.

    A fine performance from Ferrer & a strong European supporting cast including some familiar British faces ( & a young Zsa Zsa Gabor) kept me enthralled.

    However the best thing about the film for me was the vibrant colour.

    I was very impressed. One of John huston's best for me & a British film to boot!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by wadsy
    Moulin Rouge GB 1952



    Directed by John Houston & starring Jose Ferrer I watched this for the first time last week after recording it off the Telly. I was taken totally by surprise by just how much I enjoyed this tale of the life & loves of artist Toulouse Lautrec.

    A fine performance from Ferrer & a strong European supporting cast including some familiar British faces ( & a young Zsa Zsa Gabor) kept me enthralled.

    However the best thing about the film for me was the vibrant colour.

    I was very impressed. One of John huston's best for me & a British film to boot!
    I found this recently on DVD in my local Poundland shop. I have always liked it, and the theme music has always been a fave.

    But this film was very very badly received, and even now regularly appears in the "worst films ever" lists.

    It's not one of Huston's best but certainly does not deserve the reputation it has gained.




  3. #3
    Super Moderator Country: Scotland
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    I have been wondering about a particular scene from this film for some time.

    It is the scene where Lautrec (Jose Ferrer) discovers La Goulue (Katherine Kath) destitute on the streets. Lautrec is still desperately searching for his beloved Marie in the streets of Paris when he recognizes a familiar face / voice trying to entertain in the street. Momentarily we (the audience) hopes that he his quest has ended and so the scene does provide an opportunity to convey Lautrec's desperation but it is quickly established that this is La Goulue. The scene continues for some time before La Goulue and Lautrec interact. La Goulue (Katherine Kath) is unkindly but aptly backlit by Oswald Morris to emphasize her straggly state in a long close up of her crying in despair of her current situation having fallen from height of fame as a dancer at the Moulin Rouge to a poverty stricken street entertainer who is now gibed by the crowd.

    In real life, La Goulue did venture out on her own on tour but this venture failed. She ended her days in the streets of Montmartre as a match seller and had succumbed to alcoholism. I could not help but think that John Huston was making a statement about the effects of the blacklist in the US that had hit actors (as well as producers, directors and writers) like John Garfield. It is well documented that John Huston was appalled by the decision of Hollywood to create this blacklist and uprooted himself from Hollywood and found projects to work on in Europe. His long term decision to stay in Europe was also made to be able to continue to work with the likes of Oswald Morris, Angela Allen and Russell Lloyd as well as to keep away from the Hollywood environment he turned his back on. We witness a performer who once graced the spotlight suddenly in a position where she is cruelly unable to make any kind of living from her trade. I cannot help but see this stated scene as a dig at the blacklist.

    Any thoughts?

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