Directed by Walter Lang
Written by Dorothy Kingsley and Charles Lederer from a musical comedy by Abe Burrows
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Suffolk-Cummings Productions
Repeat viewing/Netflix rental
There are a lot of nice Cole Porter standards and some glorious dancing in this but the script could have been tightened considerably.
Simone Pistache (Shirley MacLaine) owns and performs at a nightclub in Montmarte which sometimes features the illegal can-can. Her sometime boyfriend Francois Dumais (Frank Sinatra) is a lawyer who can often fix things with the police and avoid a fine and closing of the establishment. New by-the-book judge Philipe Forrestier is determined to enforce the law and visits with the intention of conducting a raid. His attitude changes a bit when he falls for Simone.
The two men vie for Simone’s affections. Francois is a bit of a womanizer and has no intention of marrying. Philipe proposes in short order. It looks like the couple is looking at a happily ever after ending until Francois throws a spanner in the works by getting Simone drunk at a high society part intended to introduce her to Philipe’s friends. When she sobers up, she is determined to get revenge. With Maurice Chevalier as another judge, Juliet Prowse as a saucy dancer, and Marcel Dalio as the head waiter.
What should be a good musical is dragged out by an overlong script and by the “Adam and Eve Ballet” which brings the action to a screeching halt for several minutes. I remember enjoying this when I was a young musical fanatic. Not so much anymore though that final can-can almost made everything worthwhile.
Can-Can was nominated for Academy Awards in the categories of Best Costume Design, Color and Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture.