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The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)

Les demoiselles de Rochefort (original title)
Two sisters leave their small seaside town of Rochefort in search of romance. Hired as carnival singers, one falls for an American musician, while the other must search for her ideal partner.

Director:

Jacques Demy

Writer:

Jacques Demy
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine Deneuve ... Delphine Garnier
George Chakiris ... Etienne
Françoise Dorléac ... Solange Garnier
Jacques Perrin ... Maxence
Michel Piccoli ... Simon Dame
Jacques Riberolles Jacques Riberolles ... Guillaume Lancien
Grover Dale Grover Dale ... Bill
Geneviève Thénier Geneviève Thénier ... Josette
Henri Crémieux ... Subtil Dutrouz
Pamela Hart Pamela Hart ... Judith
Leslie North Leslie North ... Esther
Patrick Jeantet Patrick Jeantet ... Bouboo Garnier
Gene Kelly ... Andy Miller
Danielle Darrieux ... Yvonne Garnier
René Pascal René Pascal ... Pépé (as René Bazart)
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Storyline

Delphine and Solange are two sisters living in Rochefort. Delphine is a dancing teacher and Solange composes and teaches the piano. Maxence is a poet and a painter. He is doing his military service. Simon owns a music shop, he left Paris once month ago to come back where he fell in love 10 years ago. They are looking for love, looking for each other, without being aware that their ideal partner is very close... A film whose scenario is much less important than its feeling of euphory, according to the director Jacques Demy. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A dazzling new musical treat from the creators of "Umbrellas of Cherbourg." See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

11 April 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Young Girls of Rochefort See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$91,837

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$98,221
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The choreography of Gene Kelly's last dance is the same as one he performed in An American in Paris (1951). See more »

Goofs

In the dance sequences when Andy first arrives, the dancers are in full sun in the street but by the end the shadows have almost covered the entire width of the street. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[in French, using English subtitles]
Bill: Set up here?
Etienne: OK.
Bill: OK.
See more »

Alternate Versions

This film was filmed in a double version (French and English) with different sound and dialogues, with each scene shot twice (once for each version) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Starting Out in the Evening (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Chanson De Simon
(uncredited)
Written by Michel Legrand
Courtesy of Warner Chappell Music France /BMG Publishing
Performed by Michel Piccoli (dubbed by Georges Blaness)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A ray of cinematic sun
24 October 2002 | by GaryMotevSee all my reviews

It's hard to put your finger on exactly what it is about the atmosphere of Jacques Demy's musicals that's so - well - appealing, but "The Young Girls of Rochefort" opens with a pretty big clue: the dancers assemble on what looks like a funny kind of suspension bridge, when suddenly the platform lifts off (as does Michel Legrand's music), to float over the water to the other side. The kids (including "West Side Story"'s George Chakiris) dance away as they drift along in mid-air, giving us the perfect metaphor for what Demy's about to offer: a sunny bagatelle that sets you free from gravity, but which is clearly - well - a little mechanical.

Or perhaps "artificial" is a better word - Demy's always straightforward about what he's doing, and the play of artifice in "Rochefort" is one of its peculiar charms. He doesn't seem to care that the gorgeous Catherine Deneuve and her real-life sister, Francoise Dorleac, aren't really dancers (or that even the "real" dancers are sometimes slightly out of sync) - they simply carry on with their numbers through sheer star power and happy sang-froid. As do their characters - what might count as tragedy in an American musical is always merely accepted in Demy ("The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" being the ultimate example). Only "Rochefort" is about tragedies constantly being averted or diverted - if "Umbrellas" was drenched in a perpetual rain shower, "Rochefort" is pure sun.

Gene Kelly is also on hand to do a few cameos as Francoise's love interest - and his main dance is a charming, quick-time take on what he used to do on a much broader canvas. George Chakiris is, as we remember from "West Side Story", a charming dynamo; Danielle Darrieux is her usual sublime self; and keep an eye out for a young Michel Piccoli as the ardent Monsieur Dam. Michel Legrand's score, again as usual, relies a bit too heavily on its big theme - but it's also about as jazzily sophisticated as musical scores ever got. The choreography doesn't offer any breakthroughs, but there are some charming sequences which are nearly as through-danced as "Umbrellas" was through-sung.

Altogether a charmer - big wigs, even bigger hats, and an exquisite pastel palette - what's not to like?


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