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The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Released Feb 19, 1964 1h 31m Musical Romance List
97% Tomatometer 70 Reviews 87% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings
Geneviève (Catherine Deneuve), a beautiful young Frenchwoman who works at a small-town boutique selling umbrellas, falls for dashing mechanic Guy (Nino Castelnuovo). Their brief romance is interrupted when Guy is drafted to serve in the Algerian War. Though pregnant by Guy, Geneviève marries an older businessman, Roland (Marc Michel), and begins to move on with her life. Throughout the musical film, all the characters' dialogue is conveyed through song. Read More Read Less

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The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

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The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

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Critics Consensus

Jacques Demy elevates the basic drama of everyday life into a soaring opera full of bittersweet passion and playful charm, featuring a timeless performance from Catherine Deneuve.

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Critics Reviews

View All (70) Critics Reviews
Adam Nayman The Ringer Charm may be in the eye of the beholder, but if you don't find this movie irresistible, you should get your eyesight checked. Apr 6, 2020 Full Review Kevin Maher Times (UK) Yet the hits, when they come, are immense. Rated: 5/5 Dec 9, 2019 Full Review Peter Bradshaw Guardian Deneuve brings to the film her own subtly erotic discontent and muted sadness. Rated: 4/5 Dec 6, 2019 Full Review Cory Woodroof For the Win (USA Today) It’s one of the best movies to come out of the 1960s, a devastating almost romance compete with some of the most gut-wrenching musical numbers you’re ever likely to see. Jul 20, 2023 Full Review Judith Crist New York Herald Tribune It is all so sweet, so sentimental, so artsy, so craftsy, so pretty, so pretentious, so abysmally simple-minded. Aug 15, 2022 Full Review Dilys Powell Sunday Times (UK) The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is something rare nowadays: a film which gives the impression of having been made with joy. Aug 8, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Dani G Magnificent, different style of musical romance. A wonderful production design, a very original singing-dialogue, a very charming and touching love story. I can't help to think this is where La La Land was based on Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/24 Full Review Alec B I question the necessity of having every single line of dialogue sung but Demy's brightly colored melodrama is still vibrant and achingly sad. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/03/24 Full Review Fred N Interesting for its period and music, considered a classic by many. There is unintended irony after singing "I will wait for you all my life" that she ends up impatient after three months and married to someone else after six. Back then we could sing over unwed teen pregnancy, prostitution, and a colonial war of oppression. Pretty music and scenery, though. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 07/20/23 Full Review Autumn M This is a delightful French musical. The set design is simply gorgeous with the bright wallpapers that complement the costumes perfectly. At its heart, it is sad love story that is very French in its tone and themes. This was my first musical that had absolutely no dialogue, but somehow it works. Apparently, it was the inspiration behind La La Land. Recommended. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Sue C "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" dialog is entirely rendered in clear French singsong by every cast member. Young Catherine Deneuve portrays a lovesick teen who appears in nearly every scene, summer and winter, coiffed with hair bows and wearing a beautiful wardrobe. She and her grasping mother run a small umbrella boutique on a little side street. The vibrant color palette of the film throbs with jarring wallpaper patterns which often match clothing - hot Mexican pinks and French medium blues and Matisse-hot-reds-and-pinks and green stripes with pulsing polka dots and blue-green-fuscia floral patterns. Meanwhile the beau works in a greasy jazz-loud auto repair shop with a demanding clientele. "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" is not for everyone and I think there could have been at least some spoken dialog as in "West Side Story," also a 1960s musical. At least two familiar melodies are sung in "Umbrellas of Cherbourg" - "If It Takes Forever I Will Wait For You" and "See What Happens." Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/03/23 Full Review Audience Member Unexpectedly I enjoyed this bit of French musical kitsch. The palette and scenes are charming, the singing takes some getting used to but then I hardly noticed it after a while. The plot is thin, simple but universal. It's a decent and unique piece of film making. Given it isn't too long it's worth a watch. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis Geneviève (Catherine Deneuve), a beautiful young Frenchwoman who works at a small-town boutique selling umbrellas, falls for dashing mechanic Guy (Nino Castelnuovo). Their brief romance is interrupted when Guy is drafted to serve in the Algerian War. Though pregnant by Guy, Geneviève marries an older businessman, Roland (Marc Michel), and begins to move on with her life. Throughout the musical film, all the characters' dialogue is conveyed through song.
Director
Jacques Demy
Producer
Mag Bodard
Screenwriter
Jacques Demy, Jacques Demy
Distributor
Zeitgeist Films, Criterion Collection, Wellspring Media
Production Co
Parc Film, Beta Film GmbH
Genre
Musical, Romance
Original Language
French (France)
Release Date (Theaters)
Feb 19, 1964, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Nov 21, 2016
Box Office (Gross USA)
$18.4K
Runtime
1h 31m
Sound Mix
Dolby Stereo
Aspect Ratio
16mm, Flat (1.85:1)
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