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Renoir distils Zola's novel via just three characters, Nana, Vandeuvres and Muffat, while sumptuously re-creating the end of the Second Empire. The story follows Nana's brief success as an "actress", her period as a courtesan and grim death. Catherine Hessling, the director's wife, gives a somewhat laboured performance but there are many pleasures in this apprentice work, notably the cancan sequence at the Bal Mabille. Although well received critically, Nana was badly distributed and cost Renoir a million francs of an inheritance from his father, whose visual influence is apparent in the film.
|Comte Muffat||Werner Krauss|
|Comte de Vandeuvres||Jean Angelo|
|Georges Hugon||Raymond Guérin-Catelain|
|La Faloise||Pierre Champagne|
|Zoë, Nana's maid||Valeska Gert|
|Comtesse Sabine Muffat||Jacqueline Forzane|