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The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Catherine Deneuve , Nino Castelnuovo , Jacques Demy    G (General Audience)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 128.46
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Thirty years after its release in 1964, this poignant romantic drama, in which virtually all of the dialogue is sung, was badly in need of restoration. The bright colors had faded and washed out in a haze of pink, and the film stock had badly aged. Fortunately, the movie was properly restored to its original splendor and rereleased to worldwide acclaim. Not only was this French romance a daring musical experiment (because the entire screenplay is a kind of epic song, beautifully scored by Michel Legrand), but it also introduced Catherine Deneuve, who was 20 years old when the film was released and became one of France's all-time screen legends. Deneuve plays a young woman in love with a local auto mechanic named Guy (Nino Castelnuovo) who has been drafted into the army. In his absence she learns that she is pregnant and then marries a rich man who agrees to raise the child. The bittersweet story follows what happens when Guy returns from service. To reveal anything more would be a disservice to anyone who hasn't seen this touchingly heartfelt film. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless... Jan. 21 2005
By A Customer
Format:DVD
My 60yrs old mother watched when she was young, and she loved it. I watched when I was 17, of course I loved it. And I bought this DVD this year, when I am 35yrs old, and I still love it. You should buy it. You should have it!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful! You'll love it! Feb. 20 1998
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This could be the most beautiful, unique, romantic movie ever made. Every bit of dialogue is sung (but there are no "musical" numbers), and it's filmed in VIVID pastels, beautifully restored in this print (the film was originally released in 1964, and was the Cannes Film Festival Grand Prize winner). In French, with English subtitles, Letterbox (1.66:1, so it looks fine even on a small TV). Young girl (Catherine Deneuve, radiant in her first film) who works for her mother in an umbrella shop, "Les Parapluies de Cherbourg" - hence the title - and young garage mechanic (Nino Castelnuovo) swear their undying love for one another, he goes off to war, she finds herself pregnant, and she must make some decisions which will forever affect the lives of at least four people. Underneath its beautiful and lighthearted look and feel is a very serious and moving story. The entire word-for-word/song-for-song soundtrack/dialogue is also available on 2 audio CDs - Les Parapluies de Cherbourg - Sony ISBN 7464626782. Directed by Jacques Demy, music by Michel Legrand. Several of the musical themes have entered into the cultural consciousness, and if you've never seen this movie before, when you watch it you may experience a pleasant sense of recognition, i.e., "So that's where that song came from!" You'll love it! END
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely film making! Unique! May 19 2004
Format:DVD
There is no other film like this one! Shot in the early 60s, it is still a favorite among film lovers. It's no wonder that it recently celebrated its 40th anniversary!
Catherine Deneuve plays a young girl who is faced with an important life decision in her tender youth that affects her life and the man she loves who must leave for military service. Nino Castelnuovo plays the young man who returns form war to the news of his love married to another man.
THE most beautiful film ever shot! Beautiful music that will staya with you forever!
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5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, and like no other film I have seen... May 11 2004
By D. Pawl
Format:VHS Tape
Those of you who haven't seen this French musical, where all of the dialogue is sung like an opera, the lead actresses' ensembles match the wallpaper, self-parody is laugh-out-loud funny, and the more muted, equally dramatic scenes can bring tears to your eyes, are missing out on a treat! Catherine Deneuve has never been lovelier. She was only twenty years old when she made this film, and she and Nino Castelnuovo, her romantic lead, are lovely together. Keep in mind that all of tha actors' singing voices were dubbed by professional singers. This story of young, star-crossed love, and life throwing rocks on the road to happiness, is classic. The musical score is catchy, and some of the songs might ring familiar in American audience's ears. A couple of the tunes were recorded in the U.S.A. in English and became Top 40 Hits.
IF IT TAKES FOREVER I WILL WAIT FOR YOU and WATCH WHAT WILL HAPPEN are the two that come to mind. Maybe there were others? I remember that WATCH WHAT WILL HAPPEN was recorded by Brazil 66, updated as a sexy samba. Don't miss out!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great new addition to any DVD collection. May 7 2004
Format:DVD
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a fantastic film with a deceptively simple story, outrageous colors, and beautiful music (especially the tune "I Will Wait For You" played during the opening and ending). Fine performances from the cast as well, and all the dialogue is sung. As far as DVD transfers are concerned this looks better and as flawless as you can expect and DVD collectors shouldn't pass up the new Koch Lorber edition of this wonderful movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful DVD version of a unique film April 30 2004
Format:DVD
There really isn't another film quite like THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG. For instance, every line of dialogue in the movie is sung, yet apart from the heartbreakingly beautiful "I Will Wait for You," there are no songs. So, is it a musical? In form it seems more like an operetta. Musically, the dialogue is loosely organized, though certain musical themes are repeated often, and it lightly sung, none of the performers coming across as highly trained professional singers. Overall, the music, despite the presence of only one song, is entrancing.
As fine as the music is, I actually found the film to be more riveting on a purely visual level. For instance, inn scene after scene, I found myself focusing on the art design rather than the music. Demy frames most of his shots against backgrounds of more or less solid and striking colors--green walls, blue-stripped wallpaper, unusually painted building. Demy also employs a host of subtle camera angles and techniques. The film is unquestionably as much for the eyes as for the ears.
Most members of the cast were unknown to me, except, of course, for the surreally beautiful Catherine Deneuve, who was nineteen during most of the production of the film. She exudes star quality throughout. But none of the performers fails at all in their roles, though none of the others was the budding star that she was. One thing that struck me about all of the characters was that while the tale told is essentially a tragic one--or at least a bittersweet one--there are really no bad guys. Marc Michel, for instance, who plays Deneuve's wealthy suitor Roland Cassard, is a thoroughly likable person, even admirable. She clearly doesn't love him, but in no conceivable sense is he a bad person.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this the best musical ever?
Maybe, or maybe it isn't even technically a musical at all - the film trades the traditional concept of a musical number for an operatic style in which all dialogue is sung. Read more
Published on April 27 2004 by D. Hickey
5.0 out of 5 stars NTSC transfer at last
A little bit of additional info that the system won't let me paste into my existing review:
In addition to the faults detailed below, the old Fox Lorber DVD suffered from a... Read more
Published on April 10 2004 by James Luckard
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Just about as good as DVD gets
If you love film, this is a DVD you must own, and if you already own the old version this is one case where upgrading is an absolute necessity, the difference is staggering. Read more
Published on April 7 2004 by James Luckard
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely French classic
While it's a given that this Jacques Demy film is a classic of both French cinema and musical cinema, the first DVD issue by Fox Lorber was less than perfect. Read more
Published on March 24 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars What Can I Say? I Love This Movie
In theory, this should be a very annoying film--everything is sung, the characters are a bit thin, and the sets and costumes were so relentlessly Now and Mod that they became... Read more
Published on March 1 2004 by Matthew Patton
5.0 out of 5 stars A DVD zone YOUR LIBRARY
If one excepts the Indian production, Jacques Demy's masterpiece THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG is one of the rare musicals made outside Hollywood. Read more
Published on Jan. 17 2004 by Daniel S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a Beautiful Movie
"The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" is more than just a movie...it is a beautiful and moving experience for the ears, the eyes, and the heart. Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2004 by crazyforgems
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful!!!
Catherien Deneuve stars as Genvieve, a 17-year-old shopgirl in her mother's umbrella shop in the French town of Cherbourg. She is in loive with Guy, a 20-year-old mechanic. Read more
Published on Dec 29 2003 by momazon
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