The Young Girls of Rochefort
|The Young Girls of Rochefort|
|Directed by||Jacques Demy|
|Produced by||Gilbert de Goldschmidt|
|Written by||Jacques Demy|
Jacques Demy (lyrics)
Comacico (French release)|
Warner Bros./Seven Arts (USA release)
|8 March 1967|
The Young Girls of Rochefort (French: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort; literally "The Young Ladies of Rochefort") is a 1967 French musical film written and directed by Jacques Demy. The ensemble cast is headlined by real-life sisters Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac, along with Gene Kelly, and features Jacques Perrin, Michel Piccoli, Danielle Darrieux, George Chakiris, and Grover Dale. The choreography was by Norman Maen.
Michel Legrand composed the score, to Demy's lyrics. The most famous songs from this film score are "A Pair of Twins" ("Chanson des Jumelles" in French) and "You Must Believe in Spring" ("Chanson de Maxence"). The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture. The film was also another big success for Demy in France with a total of 1,319,432 admissions.
The Young Girls of Rochefort takes place over one weekend in the seaside town of Rochefort, where a fair is coming to the town square. The story centers on twin sisters Delphine (Deneuve) and Solange (Dorléac). (Both actors were sisters in real life.) Delphine teaches ballet classes and Solange gives music lessons, but each longs to find her ideal love and a life outside of Rochefort. When the fair comes to town, Delphine and Solange meet two smooth-talking but kind-hearted carnies, Étienne (George Chakiris) and Bill (Grover Dale).
The twins' mother Yvonne (Danielle Darrieux), who owns a café in the center of town, pines for the fiancé she left impulsively 10 years before because of his embarrassing last name, "Dame." Yvonne's café becomes a central hub for Étienne and Bill as well as most of the other characters in the film. In the café, Yvonne meets Maxence (Jacques Perrin), a sailor about to be demobbed from the navy. Maxence is a poet and painter, and is searching for his true feminine ideal. Little does Yvonne know, her former fiancé Simon Dame (Michel Piccoli) has recently opened a music store in Rochefort. He knows his fiancée had twins from a previous relationship, but he never met them. Solange, an aspiring songwriter, enlists Simon's help (she's unaware of his relationship with her mother), and he promises to introduce her to his successful American colleague Andy Miller (Gene Kelly). On her way to pick up her younger brother Booboo from school, Solange happens to bump into a charming foreigner, who turns out to be Andy. The two don't exchange names, however.
Meanwhile, Delphine is unhappy in her relationship with egotistical gallery owner Guillaume (Jacques Riberolles), so she ends it. As she is leaving the gallery, she notices a painting that looks remarkably like her, and was in fact painted by Maxence. Back in the square the two female dancers in Étienne and Bill's show run off with sailors, so they ask Delphine and Solange to perform, offering them a free ride to Paris in return. On the day of the fair, the paths of all of the characters cross again at the town square and in Yvonne's café.
- Catherine Deneuve as Delphine Garnier
- Françoise Dorléac as Solange Garnier
- Gene Kelly as Andy Miller
- George Chakiris as Etienne
- Grover Dale as Bill
- Danielle Darrieux as Yvonne
- Jacques Perrin as Maxence
- Michel Piccoli as Simon Dame
- Pamela Hart as Judith
- Leslie North as Esther
- Jacques Riberolles as Guillaume Lancien
- Henri Crémieux as Dutrouz
- Patrick Jeantet as Booboo
- Geneviève Thénier as Josette
- René Bazart as Pépé