Moulin Rouge

1957. MOULIN ROUGE (1928-England). With OLGA TSCHECHOWA, EVE GRAY, |EAN BRADIN. Directed by E.A. DUPONT. This splendidly mounted drama of jumbled emotions, set in jazz-age Paris, is almost as good as a trip to the City of Light (or as the film would have it, the City of Temptation). It is influential German filmmaker E.A. DuPontÕs first feature in England, after enjoying a prolific career in his homeland. A year in the making, it was budgeted at approximately 5500,000: big bucks for a 1928 non-Hollywood movie. DuPont effectively captures a time and place as he opens the film with a dazzling cook’s tour of Paris after dark: a bright, neon metropolis of chic bistros; revelers dancing till dawn; and beautiful, long-legged women smoking cigarettes and flirting with men. The heroine is Parysia (played by Olga Tschechowa, who only made a handful of movies and who, rumor had it, was herself of royal blood). Parysia, a revue actress, has become the rage of Paris as she enchants audiences with her beauty, dancing and sophistication. Margaret, her sweet but inexperienced daughter, returns from school to announce that she is engaged to wed Andre de Rochambeau; the union, however, is a secret, because Andre’s father is a “starchy old aristocrat filled with family traditions.” Indeed, dad had ordered his son to give up Margaret, especially since she is the offspring of an actress. This conflict quickly proves to be minor in nature: when Parysia am Andre meet, their eyes lock for a split second and, before you can say Maurice Chevalier, Andre becomes hopelessly smitten with his mother-in-law to be. Also of note: the theater scenes, crammed with scantily clad chorus girls, were shot on location at the famed Casino de Paris. “Silent” film with synchronized music score. 88 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Drama