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Moulin Rouge Quotes

“The Show Must Go On!”


*About the film * From the film *

*If this page looks out of proportion & there are no frames, click here*

~Quotes About the Film~

“They play broad comedy, then high tragedy, then break out into song and dance and die.”

-Baz Luhrmann, pithily summing up Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor’s performances in Moulin Rouge

“Elton [John] was on the set the day Ewan sung “Your Song”, and he couldn't believe it. Elton was like, ‘This guy sings this song better than I sing it.’”


“It’s set in a world that’s heading toward tragedy. It’s impossible love. It’s an all-singing, all dancing Titanic.”


“But whatever else happens, we can say, ‘Moulin Rouge, nominated for Best Picture.’ For a movie whose mission was to bring the musical back to a place of respect, we can say, ‘Mission accomplished.’”

-Baz, after the Oscar nominations were announced

“I woke up in the middle of the night and thought, Oh my God, we're making a cancan movie! I was filled with horror. I woke Baz and said, ‘We're making a cancan movie, Baz. We've got to come to terms with this. This is a hideous and revolting thing! How are we going to do it?’”

-Catherine Martin

“What about the sequence where Christian and Satine journey by hot air balloon to the secluded Chateau and are both seduced by the bisexual German Count as a drug-crazed Toulouse-Lautrec carves up his face with a razor, and Oscar Wilde and Sarah Bernhardt dance the Tango downstairs?”

-Craig Pearce describing a sequence from an early draft of Moulin Rouge

“Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor have just read the script for the first time. Nicole smiles: ‘The way you two were going on, I thought it was going to be terrible.’

EWAN: ‘I think there should be more sex.’

BAZ and CRAIG: ‘Well, there used to be a sequence where Christian, Satine and a German Count went by hot air balloon…’”


“Starting with a party scene for 600 cast and end up singing on top of a giant elephant—does it get any better than this?”

-Ewan McGregor, on the experience of filming Moulin Rouge

“When I was wee high and dreamed about being in movies, I dreamed about films full of romance and music. Director Baz gave me the chance to fulfill that dream with Moulin Rouge.”


“I used to say she was a skanky whore, which really pissed her off. But yes. She plays a courtesan. A high-class whore. A high-class skanky whore.”


“I’d say, ‘you’re meant to be in love with me! You cannot refer to me as a skanky old whore!’ And he’d go, ‘Oh, yeah. Sorry.’”

-Nicole Kidman

“So I had to audition with every young hot male actor in Hollywood. We were writhing around on a couch. I would have to undo their belts and take down their pants and say dialogue like, ‘Oh my, you are a big boy, aren't you?’ Anyway, Ewan McGregor got the role so we know who the biggest boy is.”


“To make a musical when all the experts say, ‘don’t do it, musicals are dead,’ takes courage. To make it expertly takes expertise. Moulin Rouge challenges our notion of pace by presenting every moment as a showstopper. And it wins.”

-Stanley Donen (he directed, among many others, Singin’ in the Rain)

“Baz and his team have reinvented the Hollywood musical, and done it in a way that is always surprising, always enlightening, and always exhilarating.”

-Robert Wise (he directed, among many others, The Sound of Music)

~Quotes From the Film~


“Yes, I had come to live a penniless existence. I had come to write about truth, beauty, freedom, and that which I believed in above all things, love.”

“Luckily, right at that moment, an unconscious Argentinean fell through my roof. He was quickly joined by a dwarf dressed as a nun.”

“Above all things I believe in love. Love is like oxygen. Love is a many-splendoured thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love!”

“I—I prefer to do it standing…You don’t have to stand, I mean. It’s sometimes that, it’s quite long, and I’d like you to be comfortable. It’s quite modern, what I do, and it may feel a little strange at first, but—but I think if you’re open, then— then you might enjoy it.”

“Silly of me, to think y-you could fall in love with someone like me.”

“Mam’selle Satine, I haven’t quite finished writing that new scene, the, um, ‘Will the Lovers Be Meeting At the Sitar Player’s Humble Abode’ scene, and I wondered if I might work on it with you later tonight.”

“All night the penniless sitar player had waited, and now, for the first time, he felt the cold stab of jealousy.”

“Then I’ll write a song, and—and we’ll put it in the show, and no matter how bad things get, whenever you hear it, or you sing it, or whistle it, or hum it, well then you’ll know, it’ll mean—it’ll mean that we love one another.”

“Because she doesn’t love you!...H-him. H-him. Sh-she doesn’t love h—she doesn’t love him.”

“I don’t care, I don’t care about the show. We love each other, and that’s all that matters.”

“Thank you for curing me of my ridiculous obsession with love.”

“One not-so-very-special-day I went to my typewriter, sat down, and wrote our story. A story about a time, a story about a place, a story about the people. But above all things, a story about love. A love that will live forever.”


“What’s his type? Wilting flower? Bright and bubbly? Or smouldering temptress?”

“Oh, mmm, a poetry reading. I love a little poetry after supper.”

“How do I look? Smouldering temptress?”

“Oh, I can’t believe it. I’m in love. I’m in love with a young, handsome, talented duke.”

“Oh no, you’re not another one of Toulouse’s oh-so-talented, charmingly bohemian, tragically impoverished protégés?”

“When I spoke those words to you before, you—you filled me with such inspiration. Yes, I realised how much work we had to do before tomorrow, so I called everyone together for an emergency rehearsal.”

“Christian, I’m a courtesan. I’m paid to make men believe what they want to believe.”

“I can’t fall in love with anyone.”

“You’re going to be bad for business, I can tell.”

“How dare you! It cannot wait! ‘The Lovers Will be Meeting in the Sitar Player’s Humble Abode’ scene is the most important in the production. We will work on it tonight until I am completely satisfied.”

“We have to end it. Everyone knows. Harold knows. Sooner or later the Duke will find out too. On opening night, I have to sleep with the Duke, and the jealousy will drive you mad.”

“Harold, the poor Duke is being treated appallingly. These silly writers let their imaginations run away with them. Now, why don’t you and I have a little supper, and then afterwards we can let Monsieur Zidler know how we would prefer the story to end, hmm?”

“I don’t need you anymore! All my life you made me believe I was only worth what someone would pay for me. But Christian loves me. He loves me, Harold. He loves me. And that is worth everything. We’re going away from you, away from the Duke, away from the Moulin Rouge! Goodbye Harold.”

“The truth? The truth is, I am the Hindu courtesan. And I choose the maharajah.”

“You’ve got so much to give. Tell—tell our story, Christian. Promise me. That way I’ll—I’ll always be with you.”

The Duke:

“The pleasure, I fear, will be entirely mine, my dear.”

“Foul play? It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside.”

“You expect me to believe that, scantily clad, in the arms of another man, in the middle of the night, inside an elephant, you were rehearsing?”

“I’m way ahead of you, Zidler.”

“Generally, I like it.”

“Satine will be mine. I’m not a jealous man, I just don’t like other people touching my things!”

“Well, if the young writer can carry a blanket and basket, I don’t see why you both can’t do it in my presence.”

“I understand how important her work is to her, but she’s always at it with that damned writer.”

“Confessing? What kind of imbecile do you take me for, Zidler?”

“I don’t like this ending.”

“Why would the courtesan choose a penniless sitar player over the maharajah, who is offering a lifetime of security? That’s real love. Once the sitar player has satisfied his lust, he will leave the courtesan with nothing. I suggest that in the end, the courtesan choose the maharajah.”

“When this production succeeds, you’ll no longer be a cancan dancer, but an actress. I will make you a star. Accept it as a gift from this maharajah to his courtesan.”

“Let Zidler keep his fairy-tale ending.”

“Oh, I see. It’s our very own penniless sitar player.”

“It’s the boy. He—he has bewitched her with words.”

“My way! My way! My way!”


“Oh, my little strawberry! How can he possibly resist from gobbling you up? Everything’s going so well!”

“My dear, are you decent for the Duke?”

“Invest? Invest! Oh yes, well, invest! You can hardly blame me for trying to hide, uh, Christian away.”

“Exotic Switzerland!”

“It’s an erotic spectacular scene that captures the thrusting, violent, vibrant, wild bohemian spirit that this whole production embodies, Duke.”

“We will have created the world’s first completely modern, entirely electric, totally bohemian, all-singing, all-dancing stage spectacular!”

“The show must go on!”

“Bright and early tomorrow morning we begin on Act Two, the lovers are discovered.”

“Are you mad? The Duke holds the deeds to the Moulin Rouge. He’s spending a fortune on you, he’s built you a beautiful new dressing room. He wants to make you a star. And you’re dallying with the writer?”

“She says you make her feel like a…virgin.”

“Forgive the intrusion, cherub.”

“Use your talent to save him. Hurt him. Hurt him to save him. There is no other way. The show must go on, Satine. We’re creatures of the underworld. We can’t afford to love.”


“How do you do? My name is Henri Marie Raymond Toulouse-Lautrec Montfa.”

“And it’s set in Switzerland!”


“‘The hills are alive with the sound of music’—see Satie, with Christian we can write the truly bohemian revolutionary show that we’ve always dreamt of!”

“It’s her, the sparkling diamond.”

“Clean yourself off, you bourgeois pig!”

“Unbelievable! Straight to the elephant!”

“He’s got a huge talent!”

“I think there might be a small hitch.”

“And— and I will play the magical sitar. You are beautiful. . .you are ugly. . .and you are…”

“But, b-but sorry. Sorry, but that ending does not uphold the bohemian ideals of, of truth, beauty, freedom...”

“Christian, you may see me only as a drunken, vice-ridden gnome whose friends are just pimps and girls from the brothels, but I know about art and love, if only because I long for it with every fibre of my being. She loves you, I know it. I know she loves you.”


AUDREY: “Oh, where in heaven’s name are we going to find someone to read the role of a young sensitive Swiss poet/goatherder?”

THE DOCTOR: “I don’t think a nun would say that about a hill.”

SATIE: “No offence, but have you ever written anything like this before?”

ARGENTINEAN: “Ah, the boy has talent! I like him! Nothing funny, I just like talent.”

ARGENTINEAN: “I will play the penniless tango-dancing sitar player. He will sing like an angel, but dance like the devil!”

NINI: “This ending’s silly. Why would the courtesan go for the penniless writer? Whoops! I mean sitar player.”

NINI: “Don’t worry Shakespeare, you’ll get your ending, once the Duke gets his end in.”

ARGENTINEAN: “Never fall in love with a woman who sells herself, it always ends bad!”
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