The Young Girls of Rochefort

The Young Girls of Rochefort (French: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, lit. 'The Young Ladies of Rochefort') is a 1967 French musical comedy film[3][4] 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.

The Young Girls of Rochefort
French theatrical release poster
Directed byJacques Demy
Produced byGilbert de Goldschmidt
Written byJacques Demy
Music byMichel Legrand
CinematographyGhislain Cloquet
Edited byJean Hamon
  • Madeleine Films
  • Parc Film[1]
Distributed byComacico[1]
Release date
  • 8 March 1967 (1967-03-08) (France)[1]
Running time
126 minutes
Box office$8 million[2]

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.[2]


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 and Solange. 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 and Bill.

The twins' mother Yvonne, 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, a sailor about to be demobbed from the navy. Maxence is a poet and painter, and is searching for his ideal woman. Meanwhile, Delphine is unhappy in her relationship with egotistical gallery owner Guillaume, 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. Delphine becomes determined to meet her secret admirer.

Unbeknownst to Yvonne, her former fiancé Simon Dame 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 composer, enlists Simon's help – unaware of his relationship with her mother – and he promises to introduce her to his successful American colleague Andy Miller. 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, though the two do not exchange names.

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. The day after the fair, as the twins are packing, Simon stops by and urges Solange to meet Andy at the music store. Maxence stops by the café to say goodbye to Yvonne before departing for Paris. Moments after he leaves, Delphine shows up to say goodbye as well. Once Yvonne learns that Simon volunteered to pick up Booboo from school, she asks Delphine to watch the café and rushes over to see Simon. Maxence briefly returns to retrieve a bag he had forgotten, but he and Delphine miss each other. At the music store, Solange realizes that the foreigner is Andy; the two dance and kiss. Tired of waiting for Yvonne to return, Delphine takes the road to Paris with Étienne, Bill and Josette, while Maxence manages to hitch a ride with a truck driver.


Singing voices

  • Anne Germain as Delphine
  • Christiane Legrand as Judith
  • Alice Gerald as Josette
  • Romuald as Etienne
  • Olivier Bonnet as Booboo
  • Claude Parent as Solange
  • Claudine Meunier as Esther
  • José Bartel as Bill
  • Donald Burke as Andy
  • Georges Blaness as Simon
  • Jacques Revaux as Maxence


  1. "The Young Girls of Rochefort de Jacques Demy (1966)". UniFrance. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  2. "Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967)". JPBox-Office. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  3. Smith, Kyle. "Les Demoiselles de Rochefort". Cinémathèque Française. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  4. "See 'Young Girls of Rochefort' free in Central Park". New York Post. 9 June 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
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