How to adapt a Broadway musical for the movies? Well, if you've got Frank Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine signed up, you throw out most of the original and make up something new--which is how Cole Porter'sCan-Can
came to the screen. It had been a smash on Broadway, and on filmCan-Can
locked up the #2 box-office spot for 1960 (nestled betweenBen-Hur
). From a modern standpoint, the movie's popularity can be attributed to the stars, the colorful widescreen production, the sexy subject matter, and of course the Porter songs. It can't really be explained any other way, becauseCan-Can
isn't among the most engaging movie musicals; it has the stolid, proscenium-framed look of Fox's 1950s widescreen musicals, and the story is only mildly diverting. The saturated color makes 19th-century Montmarte come to life, and the can-can numbers (and the wonderfully daft Garden of Eden ballet) look appropriately splashy. For a bit of authentic Gallic je ne sais quoi, Maurice Chevalier and Louis Jourdan are imported fromGigi
, a big hit two years earlier. MacLaine and Sinatra have their cozy chemistry ("Let's Do It" fares especially well with them), and the movie marks the film debut of the dimply dancer Juliet Prowse.
The DVD provides a gorgeous color presentation of the movie. A second disc has some OK featurettes, including a making-of documentary that includes the famous story of Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev's visit to the set of Can-Can, at ...