Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on June 11th, 2004
Jose Ferrer plays artist Heri de Toulouse-Lautrec. We first see him in full sardonic flight,sketching the denizens of the Moulin Rouge cabaret. He then meets a woman of the streets (whoemphatically does not have a heart of gold) with whom he falls in love, believing she seesbeyond his deformities. She doesn’t. The first half of the film traces this unhappy episode(spending a bit too long in getting to the obvious conclusion), and then we move on to hissuccess as a painter, …nd a new friendship.
An interestingly mixed bag. On the one hand, all the sins of a Hollwood biopic are present,with a somewhat simplistic, tidy look at a complex life. On the other hand, Ferrer’s bitingdelivery is a treat, and director John Huston moves into more interesting stylistic territory withthe way he films the paintings (not to mention making the lithographic process pretty interestingin its own right). The evocation of Paris isn’t badly done, either. And even Zsa Zsa Gabor istolerable.
A very muzzy, distorted mono track, with lots of hiss and other audio noise on the music anddialogue. The disc sounds like the movie is from 1932, not 1952. The noise isn’t enough todrown out the dialogue, but the sound is still far from perfect.
The picture quality is much better than the sound. The print is in fine shape, with no damageor grain to speak of. There is no apparent edge enhancement, and the image is sharp. The coloursare lush, but unfortunately unstable, fluctuating very noticeably in the brightly lit and daylightscenes. The fullscreen aspect is only slightly altered from the original 1.37:1.
Nothing but the theatrical railer.
By no means John Huston’s best film, Moulin Rouge is nonetheless veryentertaining.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailer