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Zaza (1938)

Approved | | Drama | 14 January 1939 (USA)
A sexy singer in a French music hall falls in love with a handsome, but married, aristocrat.

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

Zoe Akins (screenplay) (as Zoë Akins), Pierre Berton (play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Claudette Colbert ... Zaza
Herbert Marshall ... Dufresne
Bert Lahr ... Cascart
Helen Westley ... Anais
Constance Collier ... Nathalie
Genevieve Tobin ... Florianne
Walter Catlett ... Marlardot
Ann E. Todd ... Toto (as Ann Todd)
Rex O'Malley ... Bussy
Ernest Cossart ... Marchand
Janet Waldo ... Simone
Dorothy Tree ... Mme. Dufresne
Monty Woolley ... Fouget
Maurice Murphy ... Henri
Frank Puglia ... Rug Dealer
Edit

Storyline

A sexy singer in a French music hall falls in love with a handsome, but married, aristocrat.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 January 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zaza, Can-Can-tyttö See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The jewels worn by Bert Lahr in the film were originally owned by Diamond Jim Brady and were loaned to Paramount by jewelry designer Paul Flato, who had bought them at auction a few years earlier. See more »

Connections

Version of Zaza (1923) See more »

Soundtracks

Hello My Darling
(uncredited)
Music by Friedrich Hollaender
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cukor's theater world
22 March 2006 | by hildacraneSee all my reviews

Director Cukor had a background in theater, and this is one of his films that allude to it (others include A Double Life, A Star is Born, Les Girls, and Heller in Pink Tights). He nicely evokes the camaraderie of a small group of travelling vaudevillians in 1890's France, and much of the action takes place backstage. Bert Lahr makes one of his few film appearances as Zaza's performing partner and conveys a gentle melancholy--possibly because his character is meant to be seen as gay and closeted or because he is hopelessly in love with Zaza. It's a little ambiguous, due perhaps to the Production Code. There's a wonderful and quite sensuous scene in which he casually plays piano and starts to sing a song that could be used by Zaza in the act and that she then starts to sing, first as she lounges on a bed in the next room. She is almost Dietrich-like, which is apt, as the song is by Frederick Hollander, who wrote so many of that diva's classics, including "Falling in Love Again."

It's a little hard to fathom Zaza's devotion to the character played by Herbert Marshall, and the film definitely shows its origins as a play, but it's worth taking a look at.


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