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Madame De... [DVD]


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Madame De... [DVD] + Letter From An Unknown Woman [DVD] + Le Plaisir [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Charles Boyer, Danielle Darrieux, Vittorio De Sica, Jean Debucourt, Jean Galland
  • Directors: Max Ophüls
  • Writers: Max Ophüls, Annette Wademant, Louise de Vilmorin, Marcel Achard
  • Producers: Ralph Baum
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Second Sight
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Sep 2006
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HCO584
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,680 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

French drama based on the novel by Louise de Vilmorin. The film revolves around an 18th century Countess (Danielle Darrieux) who sells off the earrings given to her as a wedding gift from her officer husband, in order to clear some debts. This action sets in motion a number of events that jeopardise her social position and threaten to destroy her marriage. Influential critic Andrew Sarris regarded Max Ophüls' elegant melodrama as the greatest film of all time.

Review

Masterfully told in both visual and verbal terms -- Virgin Film Guide --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 April 2007
Format: DVD
What a sad, elegant film this is. The Earrings of Madame de... takes us into the fin de siecle Parisian world of the mannered rich, where the act of amorous intimacy is as much an expected social obligation as it is a personal pleasure, where a serious discussion about serious things is considered as indiscrete as loving one's spouse.

"Madame de... is a most elegant lady," we are told, "distinguished, received everywhere. She seemed destined to a delightful, untroubled existence. Doubtless nothing would have happened but for the jewels." She (Danielle Darrieux) is married to the rich and assured General Andre de... (Charles Boyer). When she realizes she has debts she cannot pay and does not want her husband to learn of, she sells a pair of diamond earrings her husband gave her the day after they were married. She tells her husband a little lie, that the earrings were stolen. The jeweler, not knowing of the little lie, soon goes to the general, assuming he will want to buy them back. He does, but rather than embarrass his wife, he gives them to a mistress he is saying farewell to as she departs for Constantinople. And there, she sells the jewels to cover her gambling debts. The jewels soon appear in the window of an elegant Constantinople jewelry store where Baron Fabrizio Donati (Vittorio De Sica), an Italian diplomat soon on his way to Paris, buys them. And since fate and convenience work in mysterious ways, Donati meets Madame de in Paris and they fall into what passes for love by their class. Donati gives the earrings to Madame de as a sign of his love, not knowing they were originally given to her by her husband. And Madame de must now tell a few more little lies. When her husband, the General, sees them, she must tell even more.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Sep 2008
Format: DVD
What a sad, elegant film this is. The Earrings of Madame de... takes us into the fin de siecle Parisian world of the mannered rich, where the act of amorous intimacy is as much an expected social obligation as it is a personal pleasure, where a serious discussion about serious things is considered as indiscrete as loving one's spouse.

"Madame de... is a most elegant lady," we are told, "distinguished, received everywhere. She seemed destined to a delightful, untroubled existence. Doubtless nothing would have happened but for the jewels." She (Danielle Darrieux) is married to the rich and assured General Andre de... (Charles Boyer). When she realizes she has debts she cannot pay and does not want her husband to learn of, she sells a pair of diamond earrings her husband gave her the day after they were married. She tells her husband a little lie, that the earrings were stolen. The jeweler, not knowing of the little lie, soon goes to the general, assuming he will want to buy them back. He does, but rather than embarrass his wife, he gives them to a mistress he is saying farewell to as she departs for Constantinople. And there, she sells the jewels to cover her gambling debts. The jewels soon appear in the window of an elegant Constantinople jewelry store where Baron Fabrizio Donati (Vittorio De Sica), an Italian diplomat soon on his way to Paris, buys them. And since fate and convenience work in mysterious ways, Donati meets Madame de in Paris and they fall into what passes for love by their class. Donati gives the earrings to Madame de as a sign of his love, not knowing they were originally given to her by her husband. And Madame de must now tell a few more little lies. When her husband, the General, sees them, she must tell even more.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mark Pearce on 13 Feb 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Superlative direction with performances to match in this disarming tale about the bourgeoisie and what shallow lives they lead.A countess parts with a set of earrings to pay off a debt little realising the consequences on her life and that of others as we follow the earrings on their trail of destruction.Highly stylised with some dazzling tracking shots this is almost the definition of romantic cinema.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By W. Hamilton on 20 Dec 2008
Format: DVD
This is a treasurable film directed by a great cinemagraphic craftsman. The story may not be particularly original, but it is brought to life by the strong character performances of a highly-skilled cast, and the intelligent and sensitive eye of the camera deployed to perfection. The extra feature - a critical analysis of the film - is perceptive and intelligent. Black and white is every shade of light in "Madame De..."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By schumann_bg TOP 100 REVIEWER on 7 Feb 2012
Format: DVD
Madame de ... is my favourite Ophuls film, and a fabulous example of his tracking shots which enabled his camera to pass through walls, as Godard said of him. The story is lightweight, even trivial, but this allows him to display the elegance of his style to the full, and it is transcendently elegant, having never quite been equalled before or since in this regard. The cover of the box gives some idea of this, albeit static of course (and the movement is everything): Darrieux in a stunning dress with a dazzling dragonfly-wing shape at the top flying off each bare arm, all rueful glances and worldliness as de Sica helps her into her coat, his love having turned to indifference irrevocably. It is a film of surfaces but makes of this a supreme virtue, and in that sense is the perfect equivalent to the source novella, but it comes across as much less slight because it is a cinematic statement 'sans pareil'. The opening credits, all swirly letters over the theme tune - a ravishing waltz - set the tone, followed by Madame de ...'s hand roving over various items in her boudoir trying to find something to sell, and not wanting to part with anything - although heaven knows there is enough there ... it has a kind of camp that is irresistible. The ball montage in the middle, where several scenes are elided into one long dance sequence, only distinguishable by Darrieux's changes of dress, is extraordinary, the dialogues showing them falling ever deeper in love with each twirl. The motif of the earrings is exquisitely made to yield up the maximum significance in terms of the feelings they are associated with, and the meaning of giving them, or being forced to part with them ... Of course there is tragedy, but tone could not be more swoonsome ...
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