Urban Cinefile
"I got to play with my own fuckin' light sabre; can you imagine? "  -Ewan McGregor on playing in Star Wars - Chapter 1
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Friday May 22, 2020 

Search SEARCH FOR A DVD
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT, THE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Delphine (Catherine Deneuve) and her twin sister Solange (Françoise Dorléac) run a ballet school for young children in the little town of Rochefort. Their mother Yvonne (Danielle Darrieux) offers a sympathetic ear to love-sick sailor Maxence (Jacques Perrin) who has painted a picture of the girl of his dreams. It is the weekend of the carnival, and as the town prepares for the celebrations, newcomers Etienne (George Chakiris) and Bill (Grover Dale) look for a musical act for their show. Meanwhile, visiting American composer Andy (Gene Kelly) falls for Solange, who he meets accidentally in the street.

Review by Louise Keller:
Life affirming dance routines, the wonderful music of Michel Legrand and effervescent presence of Catherine Deneuve, her real life sister Françoise Dorléac, George Chakiris and Gene Kelly; what more could you want? Nothing terribly much happens; everything is an excuse for a song and dance, but it's so colourful and so much fun watching it all unfold. Just walking down the street is excuse enough; crossing the road; confiding thoughts and dreams; reminiscing about the past.... With its trademark wide-brimmed hats, pastel dresses and romantic notions of love, Jacques Demy's The Young Girls of Rochefort is simply delightful.

There's a joie de vivre that is apparent from the very start when everyone converges into town for the Fete de la Mer. Whenever George Chakiris is on screen, you can't keep your eyes off him with his magnetic smile and fluid body language. He plays Etienne, who together with his colleague Bill (Grover Dale) comes to town for the carnival weekend. The camera glides naturally from the town square where decorations are being erected through the first floor window of the dance school run by the beautiful Deneuve/ Dorléac Sisters; Dorléac at the piano and Deneuve in leotards instructing the class of youngsters. As soon as the class is over, the girls (with their matching hairstyles) don their pretty pastel hats, matching dresses and confide in song that while they teach their pliés and pirouettes, they are constantly searching for their Mr Right.

But everyone has a romantic notion to divulge. There's the girls' mother Yvonne (Danielle Darrieux) who owns the local café and Maxence the sailor (Jacques Perrin) who is searching for the Boticelli beauty of his dreams. He has even painted her picture. Gallery owner Guillaume (Jacques Riberolles) is in love with Delphine and music shop owner Simon (Michel Piccoli) has the perfect setting for a dance routine later on. Gene Kelly's Andy is singing scat and dancing in the street (but not in the rain) and his French is pretty good.

It's music, fantasy, love and romance as the characters are all loosely linked with a plot that is logical, but not necessarily likely. Two hours simply fly, and although the false eyelashes, tight trousers and 60s fashions might date the film a trifle, this is a totally wonderful way to trifle away the hours.

Published March 27, 2008

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT, THE: DVD (G)
(France, 1967)

Demoiselles de Rochefort, Les

CAST: Catherine Deneuve, George Chakiris, Francoise Dorleac, Jacques Perrin, Gene Kelly, Danielle Darrieux

PRODUCER: Perrine Bauduin, Mag Bodard, Gilbert de Goldschmidt

DIRECTOR: Jacques Demy, Agnès Varda

SCRIPT: Jacques Demy

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ghislain Cloquet

EDITOR: Jean Hamon

MUSIC: Michel Legrand

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bernard Evein

RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes

PRESENTATION: Widescreen 16:9

SPECIAL FEATURES: none

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Aztec

DVD RELEASE: March 12, 2008







Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020