Thursday, November 15, 2012

Moulin Rouge (1934)

Helen (Constance Bennett) gave up her career in the theatre when she married Broadway writer Douglas Hall (Franchot Tone).  But lately the two have been arguing: she wants to return to the stage and he won't let her.  When scandalous French star Raquel (also Constance Bennett) is hired for the latest show, Helen recognizes her as Jill, the girl she used to have a vaudeville act with.  After another fight with her husband, Helen goes to visit Jill and the other girl has an idea -- since they look so much alike, Helen can take Jill's place in rehearsals and prove her talents, while Jill can take a little break from show business for the time being and then return for the opening night.  Helen accepts, and does a great job in rehearsals.  Everything's going according to plan -- until producer Victor (Tullio Carminati) falls in love with her and even Doug finds himself attracted to 'Raquel' during his wife's absence . . .

Moulin Rouge is a pleasant and entertaining little film!

It's really fun to see Constance Bennett in a dual role here, first as brunette Helen (she looks so different with dark hair!) and then as Raquel, her usual blonde self but with an accent!  She gives a good performance and also does very well with the musical numbers and a dancing sequence later on.

There's solid support from the rest of the cast, especially Franchot Tone as Helen's strict, but loving, husband.  Their argument / make-up scenes are very sweet, and I also really liked the moments when Helen is testing Doug's faithfulness.  There are some obstacles for them of course, but luckily everything works out happily in the end!  Tullio Carminati is good as the producer, and there's also a really funny bit with Hobart Cavanagh as a belligerent drunk who keeps reappearing periodically!

The plot is light, sexy, and never-dull, with plenty of memorable pre-code moments.  I enjoyed watching it!

♥ ♥ ♥ ½


  1. Sounds great, I'll try to find it somewhere. Thanks for the review.

    1. I really liked it; hope you do, too!

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Clara. : )

  2. This movie looks fun, but it hasn't been released in Australia, in fact none of her
    pre-codes have and I couldn't find it on you tube either :(

    p.s I just started my own classic movie blog if your interested it's at

    1. Unfortunately so few of her films have actually had official releases, which is really disappointing! I've been lucky to see many played on TCM over the past several months, and I bought this one on Ebay.

      Thanks so much for the link to your blog; I followed and look forward to reading your future posts!


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