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The Gay Parisian (1941)

In a Paris nightclub setting, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo performs to the music of Jacques Offenbach.


Jean Negulesco
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo ... Dancers
Léonide Massine ... The Peruvian (as Leonide Massine)
Milada Mladova ... The Glove Seller
Frederic Franklin ... The Baron
Nathalie Krassovska Nathalie Krassovska ... The Flower Girl
Andre Eglevsky ... Tortoni - The Dancing Master
Igor Youskevitch ... Officer
Lubov Roudenko Lubov Roudenko ... Can-Can Dancer
Casimir Kokitch Casimir Kokitch ... Dancer
James Starbuck James Starbuck ... Dancer


At the Café Parisian during the can-can era, a young man, naïve but enthusiastic, arrives from Peru with two valises of money. He's immediately smitten by a lovely glove seller, who already receives attentions from a baron. The baron has additional admirers, including a florist whose beauty rivals that of the glover. Through dance, the lovers vie for each other's attention and affection while everyone can can-can. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Musical | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 January 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Technicolor Specials (1941-1942 season) #3: The Gay Parisian See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In 1931, Colonel Wassily de Basil (a Russian entrepreneur from Paris) and Rene Blum (ballet director of the Monte Carlo Opera) founded the "Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo" giving its first performance in Monte Carlo, in 1932. Diaghlieve alumni Leonide Massine and George Balanchine worked as choreographers with the company, and Tamara Tormanova was principal dancer. Barbara Karinska's joined the company when the company had relocated to Monte Carlo for a season of performances, prior to appearing in the winter Paris season of dance programming. Karinskay had been hired in 1932 to design costumes and to construct, cut, sew and build the Ballet Russe repertoire's costume wardrobe, with a lengthy association with the dance company history. Because of the Nazi world war crisis affecting both France and England in 1939, Rene Blum relocated his Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo dance company to London from Paris in September, 1939, for a London showcase fall repertoire performance season. Upon completion of the company's London dance engagement, the entire Ballet Russe dance company immediately sailed for an American concert-tour of the United States and South America. Barbara Karinska, in late 1939-early 1940, as part of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo dance company, was engaged by Rene Blum in London as the company's touring-wardrobe mistress, there-by Karinska hitched her escape from Britain, sailing with the Russian dance troupe to New York City. Upon Karinska's arrival in NYC, Karinska contacted George Balanchine, who gave her a small second floor room in his ballet school building to both live in and to work from. The Ballet Russe dance company was to open their NY season, premiering a new ballet titled "Bacchanal," designed by Salvador Dali, at the Metropolitan Opera House. The ballet's stage set's had been built during their London season, with all of the scenic stage drops painted in London, but the costumes designed by Salvador Dali had been constructed/built by Chanel's Paris atelier. Unable to get the wardrobe out of Paris, France, Barbara Karinska, arriving with the company in NYC, working from color-photographs of Salvador Dali's colorful costume sketches, constructed the ballet's costumes in two weeks, delivered to the Metropolitan Opera House stage for the ballet's premier performances by taxi-cabs. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: Once upon a time, there was a naive, but, enthusiastic Peruvian - who with carpet bags filled with riches, came to gay Paris in search of romance.
See more »


Featured in Ballets Russes (2005) See more »


Gaîté parisienne
Music by Jacques Offenbach
Compiled and Arranged by Manuel Rosenthal
See more »

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User Reviews

Lots of Energy, No Coherence
17 March 2008 | by AthanatosSee all my reviews

There's considerable color, lots of energy, and the grins of the dancers tell us that we are supposed to think that this production is absolutely delightful. But the choreographer and dancers don't display sufficient technical virtuosity to off-set the almost complete lack of an actual story here. Imagine a second- or third-rate '40s musical, eliminate the singing, and replace the movie make-up with that appropriate to live theater, and you'll have a rough idea of what this film is like. Danny Kaye would have been expected to move with more precision than does Leonide Massine; the nameless dancers for MGM would have been expected to be better synchronized than are the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. While I'm sure that, with a run-time of 20 minutes, a more tiring film *could* be made, I'm not sure than one *has* been made.

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