The Umbrellas of Cherbourg


1h 35m 1964
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Brief Synopsis

A young French couple is separated by the war in Algiers.

Film Details

Also Known As
Les parapluies de Cherbourg, regenschirme von Cherbourg
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Musical
Foreign
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
New York opening: 16 Dec 1964
Production Company
Beta-Film; Madeleine Films; Parc Film
Distribution Company
Landau Releasing Organization
Country
France
Location
Cherbourg, France

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Dolby SR (restored version) (1992), Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.66 : 1

Synopsis

Geneviève, a 16-year-old girl whose mother, Madame Emery, operates an umbrella shop in Cherbourg, is in love with Guy, a 21-year-old auto mechanic who lives with his sickly Aunt Elise and young Madeleine, her companion. Guy and Geneviève want to marry, but he is about to begin 2 years of military service; before he departs, Geneviève has sex with him to prove her love. Guy has been away several months, and Geneviève has received only one letter when her mother learns that Geneviève is pregnant. Roland Cassard, a wealthy diamond merchant, proposes to Geneviève, declaring his willingness to raise Guy's child as his own. Geneviève is at first shocked by the idea, but as time passes, she becomes convinced that Guy has forgotten her. Won over by Cassard's tenderness and her mother's arguments, she marries Cassard. Guy returns home, learns of Geneviève's marriage, and disconsolately goes back to his old job. When Aunt Elise dies and Madeleine prepares to leave, Guy realizes that they are in love with each other. They marry and Guy buys a gas station with the money inherited from Aunt Elise; 3 years later, Guy and Madeleine are a happy family with their young son. On Christmas Eve when Guy is alone, Geneviève drives into the gas station. Aside from noting that their daughter strongly resembles Guy, the former lovers have little to say to each other, and they go their separate ways.

Film Details

Also Known As
Les parapluies de Cherbourg, regenschirme von Cherbourg
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Musical
Foreign
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
New York opening: 16 Dec 1964
Production Company
Beta-Film; Madeleine Films; Parc Film
Distribution Company
Landau Releasing Organization
Country
France
Location
Cherbourg, France

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Dolby SR (restored version) (1992), Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.66 : 1

Award Nominations

Best Foreign Language Film

1964

Best Score

1964

Best Song

1964

Articles

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg


The musical story of star-crossed lovers who pledge their love until death, then have their love tested by a one year separation, Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) is notable for its often ambivalent, bittersweet approach to romance.

Both an homage and a rebuttal to the saccharine tendencies of American musicals, the story of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is told entirely in song, with characters singing every line of their dialogue. The effect is irrepressibly poetic as teenage Genevieve (Catherine Deneuve) and mechanic Guy (Nino Castelnuovo) poignantly sing their affection, even as Genevieve's disapproving mother and Guy's military obligations conspire to part them.

Though it was shot on actual locations in the French port town of Cherbourg, the film nevertheless mimics the studio-bound artifice and stylization of the classical Hollywood musicals that inspired Demy. Bright, cheery colors predominate (the citizens of Cherbourg allowed Demy to paint their homes), which aptly reflect composer Michel Legrand's lyrical melodies.

While Hollywood musicals tended to emphasize rousing song and dance numbers and a frenzied energy, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was Demy's decidedly New Wave, analytical response to the form. Restrained and wistful, Demy embraces the more complicated emotions and tribulations running beneath such effusive romantic stories.

Demy's imaginative approach is evident from one of the film's first images, an overhead view of passersby on Cherbourg's busy streets shot from the rainfall's vantage, a dizzying perspective that sums up the innovative, unusual ambiance of this Grand Prize winner at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival.

Director: Jacques Demy
Producer: Mag Bodard
Screenplay: Jacques Demy
Cinematography: Jean Rabier
Editing: Anne-Marie Cotret, Monique Teisseire
Music: Michel Legrand
Principal Cast: Catherine Deneuve (Genevieve Emery), Nino Castelnuovo (Guy), Anne Vernon (Mme. Emery), Ellen Farner (Madeleine).
In French with English subtitles
C-92m. Letterboxed.

by Felicia Feaster

The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

The musical story of star-crossed lovers who pledge their love until death, then have their love tested by a one year separation, Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) is notable for its often ambivalent, bittersweet approach to romance. Both an homage and a rebuttal to the saccharine tendencies of American musicals, the story of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is told entirely in song, with characters singing every line of their dialogue. The effect is irrepressibly poetic as teenage Genevieve (Catherine Deneuve) and mechanic Guy (Nino Castelnuovo) poignantly sing their affection, even as Genevieve's disapproving mother and Guy's military obligations conspire to part them. Though it was shot on actual locations in the French port town of Cherbourg, the film nevertheless mimics the studio-bound artifice and stylization of the classical Hollywood musicals that inspired Demy. Bright, cheery colors predominate (the citizens of Cherbourg allowed Demy to paint their homes), which aptly reflect composer Michel Legrand's lyrical melodies. While Hollywood musicals tended to emphasize rousing song and dance numbers and a frenzied energy, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was Demy's decidedly New Wave, analytical response to the form. Restrained and wistful, Demy embraces the more complicated emotions and tribulations running beneath such effusive romantic stories. Demy's imaginative approach is evident from one of the film's first images, an overhead view of passersby on Cherbourg's busy streets shot from the rainfall's vantage, a dizzying perspective that sums up the innovative, unusual ambiance of this Grand Prize winner at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival. Director: Jacques Demy Producer: Mag Bodard Screenplay: Jacques Demy Cinematography: Jean Rabier Editing: Anne-Marie Cotret, Monique Teisseire Music: Michel Legrand Principal Cast: Catherine Deneuve (Genevieve Emery), Nino Castelnuovo (Guy), Anne Vernon (Mme. Emery), Ellen Farner (Madeleine). In French with English subtitles C-92m. Letterboxed. by Felicia Feaster

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Location scenes filmed in Cherbourg. Opened in Paris in February 1964 as Les parapluies de Cherbourg; released in West Germany in November 1965 as Die Regenschirme von Cherbourg. Original running time: 95 min. One German source lists Ultrascope as wide-screen process.

Miscellaneous Notes

The Country of France

Winner of the Palme d'Or for Best Film and the Catholic FIlm Office Award at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival.

Released in United States Winter December 17, 1964

Re-released in United States April 5, 1996

Expanded re-release in United States April 19, 1996

Expanded re-release in United States May 10, 1996

Expanded re-release in United States May 17, 1996

Expanded re-release in United States June 14, 1996

Re-released in United States February 13, 2004

Re-released in United States April 23, 2004

Re-released in United States on Video May 6, 1997

Released in United States March 1977

Released in United States January 2003

Released in United States 2013

Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival (Retro) January 9-20, 2003.

2004 re-release marks the film's 40th anniversary and features a new 35-millimeter print. Demy's widow, director Agnès Varda, supervised the film's 1992 restoration, which included the remixing of Legrand's legendary score in stereo.

Michel Legrand dubbed the voices for the characters "Jean" and "The Postman."

Released in United States Winter December 17, 1964

Re-released in United States April 5, 1996 (Film Forum; New York City)

Expanded re-release in United States April 19, 1996

Expanded re-release in United States May 10, 1996

Expanded re-release in United States May 17, 1996

Expanded re-release in United States June 14, 1996

Re-released in United States February 13, 2004 (Film Forum; New York City)

Re-released in United States April 23, 2004 (Nuart; Los Angeles)

Re-released in United States on Video May 6, 1997

Released in United States January 2003 (Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival (Retro) January 9-20, 2003.)

Released in United States March 1977 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (The Mighty Musical Movie Marathon) March 9-27, 1977.)

Ultrascope

Released in United States 2013 (Cinema's Legacy)