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Madeleine [DVD]

4.5 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Ann Todd, Ivan Desny
  • Directors: David Lean
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: 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: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Sept. 2008
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001AJ34CG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,352 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

David Lean directs this film based on the true story of a Glasgow woman accused of murdering her lover in 1857. Madeleine (Ann Todd) is the eldest daughter in a respectable Victorian Glasgow family. She begins an affair with Frenchman Piere Emile L'Anglier (Ivan Desny) without her father's knowledge. Meanwhile, Madeleine's father (Leslie Banks) insists on her seeing various suitors. When Madeleine becomes engaged to William Minnoch (Norman Wooland), Pierre threatens to reveal their relationship. Five weeks later, Pierre is found dead, and Madeleine is arrested for his murder.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Madeleine" (1950) appears to have been the eighth film made, in his long career, by famed British director Sir David Lean, who won Oscars in 1958 for The Bridge On The River Kwai [DVD] [1957]; in 1963 for Lawrence Of Arabia [DVD]; and was nominated in 1966 for Doctor Zhivago [1965] [DVD], and in 1985 for A Passage To India [DVD] [1984]. The film was made at Pinewood Studios, initially released by the J. Arthur Rank Organisation: as a child, I just about squnched down in my movie seat with delight every time Rank's living logo of the bare-chested man banging the dinner gong came on; I was always that sure that I was in for a treat, and "Madeleine," in many ways, sure is. More recently, the film has been released on DVD by Granada Ventures, and ITV; and, thankfully, it has subtitles. It has been restored and remastered. It is a dark, sinister film, with a menacing, moody look from the opening shots, lots of Scots `weather,' a period, costumed `film noir,' made at a time, actually, when a number of strong movies focused on female psychological conflicts were being made.

As a film made early in Lean's work, it differs greatly from the latter work that made him so well-known and much-admired: it is in black and white, small-scale, shot almost entirely indoors, and, in fact, for much of its length, is a courtroom drama.
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The unmarried daughter (Ann Todd, SEVENTH VEIL) of a wealthy family in 1850's Scotland is carrying on an illicit affair with her penniless French lover (Ivan Desny). But when she attempts to break off the affair, he threatens her with blackmail by revealing her compromising love letters to her father. When the lover dies of arsenic poisoning, she is arrested for his murder. Based on a true story and the sensational murder trial of Madeleine Smith, David Lean doesn't appear to have the talent for suspense or mystery. Perhaps that's not what he was interested in but the film doesn't remains vaguely unsatisfying. The Smith verdict was "not proven", apparently a verdict indigenous only to Scottish law, and Todd's enigmatic performance doesn't reveal anything regarding her guilt or innocence. Todd (who was Lean's wife at the time) at 40 is rather matronly to be playing the young Madeleine who was only 22 at the time of the murder trial. Guy Green did the cinematography, William Alwyn the score and Todd's handsome frocks by Margaret Furse. With Elizabeth Sellars, Norman Wooland, Leslie Banks, Barry Jones, Andre Morell and Anthony Newley.

The ITV DVD from Great Britain is a nicely rendered transfer in the appropraite 1.33 aspect ratio.
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Format: DVD
Having seen this only once before on Turner Classic Movies over a year ago, I recall being impressed by the velvety black and white cinematography. Considered by many to be one of David Lean's lesser works no doubt, it still rises head and shoulders over most other films of similar ilk. Ann Todd's performance is one of her best, and while most might quibble over the pacing I still find this film highly engaging. Recommended without reservation.
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Format: DVD
Having been brought up in Glasgow and worked around the corner from Madeleine Smith's home in Blythswood Square I found this movie of great interest.Made at the start of David Lean's illustrious career he has taken great care to create the atmosphere of the period, using the actual square and imposing house for his location.

Historically accurate and with a well drawn and worthy cast this makes absorbing viewing.
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Probably one of the most 'mysterious' love stories ever brought to the screen - a 'David Lean' movie with lots of great cinematography which has been beautifully re-mastered.

A young Victorian woman (Ann Todd) is secretly meeting a handsome, mysterious and exciting young Frenchman who appears tapping at her Cellar window late at night when everyone else in the house has gone to bed. It's unclear as to how Todd's character ever met the man - and more surprisingly; how it all ends - but this only adds fascination to the very unusual plot.

The Frenchman (played marvellously by Ivan Desny) appears to be from a different class (though dressed affluently) but excepting this; there seems no obvious reason for any opposition coming into play from the girl's parents to disapprove of such a match.

With a 'sinister' undercurrent that's distinctly 'vague' in its presence - there are some wonderful scenes - including a close shot of Desny's character's 'masculine' prowess when seen stood in leather boots towering over the skirts of Ann Todd's character, after she's fallen to the ground at his feet imploring him not to expose their relationship to her father. There is also an interesting and 'obscure' scene when both characters are seen dancing to nearby music outside in the moonlight late at night.

One of the best stories involving any kind of romance I have seen - cleverly combined with an implied 'sinister' mystery that never really gets solved... In view of Desny's wonderful portrayal of the gentleman, one can only empathise and sympathise at how Todd's character 'hypnotically' would die for this small piece of illicit romance with such a fascinating and exciting man!

Also stars Barbara Everest.

Great Movie!
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