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The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

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Drama, Musical, Romance

Music director
FranceWest Germany

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg movie poster
Release date
19 February 1964 (1964-02-19)

Jacques Demy (scenario and dialogue)

Initial release
February 19, 1964 (France)

Scene du garage

(Geneviève Emery), (Guy), (Madame Emery (Mutter)), (Tante Élise), (Roland Cassard),
Ellen Farner

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a film for all the young lovers of the world

The umbrellas of cherbourg 50th anniversary on blu ray and dvd

Genevieve (Catherine Deneuve), a beautiful young Frenchwoman who works at a small-town boutique selling umbrellas, falls for dashing mechanic Guy (Nino Castelnuovo). Their brief romance is interrupted when Guy is drafted to serve in the Algerian War. Though pregnant by Guy, Genevieve marries an older businessman, Roland (Marc Michel), and begins to move on with her life. Throughout the musical film, all the characters dialogue is conveyed through song.


The Umbrellas of Cherbourg movie scenes

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (French: ) is a 1964 French musical film directed by Jacques Demy, starring Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo. The music was written by Michel Legrand. The film dialogue is all sung as recitative, even the most casual conversation (similar in style to an opera).

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg movie scenes

Umbrellas is the middle film in an informal "romantic trilogy" of Demy films that share some of the same actors, characters and overall look; it comes after Lola (1961) and before Modelshop (1967). The film was very successful in France with a total of 1,274,958 admissions. The plot is very similar to Marcel Pagnols trilogy of plays entitled Marius, Fanny and Cesar. The musical Fanny was based on Pagnols trilogy.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg movie scenes

This simple romantic tragedy begins in 1957. Guy Foucher, a 20-year-old French auto mechanic, has fallen in love with 17-year-old Geneviève Emery, an employee in her widowed mother's chic but financially embattled umbrella shop. On the evening before Guy is to leave for a two-year tour of combat in Algeria, he and Geneviève make love. She becomes pregnant and must choose between waiting for Guy's return or accepting an offer of marriage from a wealthy diamond merchant.

The umbrellas of cherbourg i will wait for you


The Umbrellas of Cherbourg movie scenes

Madame Emery and her beautiful 16-year-old daughter Genevieve (Deneuve) sell umbrellas at their tiny (and financially struggling) boutique in the coastal town of Cherbourg in Normandy, France, in the late 1950s. Guy (Castelnuovo), is a handsome young auto mechanic who lives with, and cares for, his sickly aunt, godmother Elise. Guy and Genevieve are deeply in love; they want to get married, and they want to name their first child "Francoise". Madeleine (Ellen Farner) is the quiet, shy, dedicated young caregiver who looks after Guys aunt; Madeleine also has feelings for Guy, but has not expressed this. Suddenly Guy is drafted and must leave to become a soldier in the Algerian War. The night before Guy leaves, he and Genevieve pledge their undying love. Then they make love (apparently for the first time) and the very next day, Guy leaves.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg movie scenes

After a couple of months it becomes clear that Genevieve is pregnant. She writes to Guy, but she feels abandoned when Guy writes back very infrequently; her mother tells her this is a sign that Guy has forgotten her, and she should give up on him. Genevieve has another suitor in Roland Cassard (Marc Michel), a quiet, kind, young Parisian jeweler, who is very wealthy, and who wants to marry her even after he finds out that she is carrying another mans child. Cassard had previously unsuccessfully wooed the title character in Lola; he relates a version of this story to Madame Emery, who repeatedly urges Genevieve to be sensible and embrace a secure future with Cassard. Genevieve finally decides she will accept Roland, and they are married in a great cathedral, but Genevieve does not seem happy with her choice.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg movie scenes

When Guy returns from the war with a slight limp from an injury, he learns that the umbrella store has been sold, and that Genevieve got married and left Cherbourg. As a returning serviceman, Guy has difficulties trying to continue with his previous life. He argues with his boss, quits his job, and goes to drink in a seedy port bar. He spends the night with a friendly prostitute named Jenny, who in the morning reveals that her name is actually Genevieve. Then, when he returns to his apartment, he discovers a distraught Madeleine, who tells him tearfully that his godmother died the night before.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg movie scenes

Guy sees that Madeleine loves him, and he cleans up his life with her encouragement. With an inheritance from his aunt, he is able to finance a new "American-style" Esso gas station. He asks Madeleine to marry him, and she accepts, though she first wonders if he is asking her out of despair at Genevieves actions.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg movie scenes The Umbrellas of Cherbourg Les parapluies de Cherbourg 1964

The coda is set in December 1963, approximately six years after the earliest events. Guy is now managing the couples Esso station. He is happily married, with his loving wife Madeleine and their little son Francois. It is Christmas Eve. Madeleine and Francois go for a short walk, leaving Guy briefly, after which a new Mercedes pulls into the station. The mink-clad driver turns out to be a sophisticated and wealthy Genevieve, accompanied by her (and Guys) daughter Francoise, who remains in the car. Shocked to see each other, they go inside the station to talk. Genevieve explains that this is the first time she has been to Cherbourg since her marriage, and she is only in town on a detour. She also explains that her (middle-aged) mother died the previous autumn. It is apparent that her rich husband and her daughter Francoise are the only family she has left; she has had no children with Cassard. The two converse while Genevieves car is being filled with gas, and when Genevieve asks Guy if he wants to meet their daughter, he declines. The ex-lovers part. As the film ends, Guy greets his wife with a kiss and plays with his son in the snow.


  • Catherine Deneuve as Genevieve Emery
  • Anne Vernon as Madame Emery
  • Mireille Perrey as Aunt Elise
  • Ellen Farner as Madeleine
  • Nino Castelnuovo as Guy Foucher
  • Marc Michel as Roland Cassard
  • Jean Champion as Aubin
  • Pierre Caden as Bernard
  • Jean-Pierre Dorat as Jean
  • Music

    The Umbrellas of Cherbourg movie scenes The Umbrellas of Cherbourg No 12

    The continuous music score and the colour photography had much to do with the popularity of this film. Formally the work is operatic, with the plot advanced entirely through dialogue sung with accompanying music. The color photography is bright and vivid: and the whole is united by an orchestral score of simple but sincere rhythms and tunes that permeate continuously a story of events lasting at least five years.

    The actors voices were dubbed for the songs in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg:

  • Danielle Licari: Genevieve Emery
  • Jose Bartel: Guy Foucher
  • Christiane Legrand: Madame Emery
  • Georges Blaness: Roland Cassard
  • Claudine Meunier: Madeleine
  • Claire Leclerc: Aunt Elise
  • The film score established composer Michel Legrands reputation in Hollywood, where he later scored other films, winning three Oscars. In North America, two of the films songs became hits and were recorded by many artists: "I Will Wait For You" (the main theme) and "Watch What Happens" (originally "Recit de Cassard" "Cassards Story"). Both were given new English lyrics by lyricist Norman Gimbel. Tony Bennetts classic performance of the theme song was added to one version of the soundtrack CD.


    The version released in 2004 on DVD by Koch-Lorber Films is a completely restored version of the original.

    The film was originally shot on Eastman negative stock which rapidly faded and became almost unusable. In addition, the various copies of the film used in the cinema circuit also gradually lost their quality, which meant that Umbrellas could never be seen with the rich colours that Demy had originally intended.

    Knowing that the Eastman stock would fade over time, Demy fortunately, had the three main yellow, cyan and magenta color separation masters made on black and white negative films that could not fade (a process similar to the creation of the older Technicolor process: see the article on Technicolor for an explanation of this "three-strip" process).

    These black-and-white prints had greater longevity and in the 1990s, Demys wife, film director Agnes Varda, headed a project to create a new colour negative from the three black and white separations from which newly restored full-color prints could then be made. The resulting film recaptured Demys vision of a fantastically colourful Cherbourg.

    In addition, composer Michel Legrand assisted in restoring the original four-track stereo sound masters to digital and remastering his score to produce a higher-quality version, now available on CD.

    A digital version was released in 2013, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its original release, on Blu-ray by Cine Tamaris. This version was restored independently of the 2004 version with colour grading supervised by Demys son Mathieu Demy.


  • Prix Louis-Delluc, 1963
  • Palme dOr at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival
  • Critics prize for Best Film, by the French Syndicate of Film Critics, 1965
  • Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 37th Academy Awards held in 1965
  • Nominated for four more Academy Awards at the 38th Academy Awards held in 1966, three for Legrand and Demy, though it did not win any: "Best Song" (for "I Will Wait For You"), "Best Original Score", "Best Scoring - Adaptation or Treatment" and "Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen".
  • Stage adaptation

    In 1979, an English-language stage adaptation, with translated lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, premiered at the Public Theater.

    In 2011, the Kneehigh Theatre Company presented the musical, starring Joanna Riding as Madame Emery, cabaret artist Meow Meow as the Maitresse and Andrew Durand as Guy. The production was directed by Emma Rice. It was given tryouts at Leicesters Curve Theatre from 11 to 26 February 2011 and began previews in the West End at the Gielgud Theatre from 5 March, officially opening on 22 March. It was due to run until October 2011, but closed on 21 May 2011.

    The West End cast as:


    The film was well received by critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives it a score of 98% based on reviews from 48 critics, judging it "Certified Fresh" with the sites consensus: "Jacques Demy elevates the basic drama of everyday life into a soaring opera full of bittersweet passion and playful charm, featuring a timeless performance from Catherine Deneuve."

    It was shown as part of the Cannes Classics section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.


  • Scene du garage (2:51)

  • Devant le magasin (1:44)

  • Sur le quai (1:54)

  • Dans le magasin de parapluies (5:24)

  • Chez Dubourg - le joaillier (4:11)

  • Devant le garage (4:54)

  • Dans le magasin (4:49)

  • Diner (1:05)

  • Recit de Cassard (2:25)

  • Le mariage (1:02)

  • Le retour de Guy / Chez Elise (5:02)

  • Le garage / Dispute (1:57)

  • Guy au cafe (1:45)

  • Duo Guy Madeleine (2:58)

  • La terrasse du cafe (3:08)

  • La station service (2:04)

  • Final (4:56)

  • In Mad Men season 4, episode 3 ("The Good News"), Don Draper and Lane Pryce - who are both in the office on New Years Day - discuss going to see this movie together.


    The Umbrellas of Cherbourg Wikipedia
    The Umbrellas of Cherbourg IMDb The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

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