Trivia / Moulin Rouge!

The 2001 film provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Context Change: The U2 song "Pride" is turned from a celebration of the individual's role in effecting social justice to an appeal for a one-night stand.
  • AFI's 100 Years… 100 Songs:
    • #85, "Come What May"
  • AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals: #25
  • All There in the Manual: Each of the courtesans at the Moulin Rouge has a specific name, along with a costume that reflects that name. Examples include French Maid, Petite Princess (a dwarf), Madame Fromage (a Big Beautiful Woman in clothing that suggests desserts), Travesty (which anyone who listens to Eddie Izzard will know is French for "transvestite", who wears a man's suit and top hat on the top of her body, and a can-can dress on the bottom), and Pearly Queen (who wears various expensive-looking items, such as furs and pearls).
  • The Cameo: Tara Morice, who played Fran in Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom cameos as a prostitute in the opening sequence.
  • Fake Nationality: The French characters are played by Australian and British actors (and one Colombian actor), and an Argentinian character is played by a Polish actor. Most of them use their own accents, except Nicole Kidman who puts on an English one.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Averted with Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, who performed their own singing, but played straight with Jim Broadbent (Zidler) whose more operatic notes are dubbed by singer Anthony Weigh.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Nicole Kidman fractured two ribs and hurt her knee while rehearsing, so in a few scenes she's shot from the chest up only to hide that she was actually in a wheelchair.
  • Retroactive Recognition: We find out Slughorn's previous profession.
  • Sleeper Hit: Made a modest $50 million at the box office (maybe not-so-modest considering the musical genre was sagging), but became an even bigger hit on DVD via word-of-mouth.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The Green Fairy was initially more monstrous and drew inspiration from Iggy Pop, Marilyn Manson, and Ozzy Osbourne before evolving into her final incarnation as Kylie Minogue. Ozzy himself supplied that the warped roar her voice turns into.
    • Kylie Minogue also recorded two other songs for the film - covers of Olivia Newton John's "Physical" and Donna Summer's "I Feel Love".
    • Early drafts of the script had Satine with a three-year-old child, and Christian would be narrating the story to the child.
    • An even earlier draft would have had a Triang Relations plot between the Duke, Satine and Christian - where the Duke would get both of them hooked on morphine.
    • Tim Wheeler from Irish band Ash auditioned for the part of Christian.
    • Catherine Zeta-Jones was in consideration for the part of Satine. Courtney Love also lobbied hard for the role, and called losing it to Nicole Kidman one of her biggest career regrets. She did however allow "Smells Like Teen Spirit" to be covered for the film, a rare instance of her allowing late husband Kurt Cobain's work to be used.
    • "Come What May" was originally written for William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, but cut from the film and reused here. It's the only original piece of music, but could not get nominated for "Best Original Song" since it was written for another film.
    • The first musical number was to be "Father & Son" between Christian and his father. Cat Stevens however objected to the sexual content in the film and would not allow the song to be used. The special edition DVD has the scene included in the complete script.
    • The Duke was originally going to sing a rendition of Frank Sinatra's "My Way", but it never happened. There's a reference to this in the finale, as the Duke repeatedly yells "my way!"
    • Kelly Jones, lead singer of the Stereophonics, claims he turned down a role.

The 1952 film contains examples of:


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