Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


MADAME DE (1953/AKA The Earrings of Madame de). Director: Max Ophuls.

To pay off her debts, Comtesse Louise (Danielle Darrieux) pawns earrings that were given to her by her husband, General Andre (Charles Boyer), but they wind up being given back to her as a gift from the man she's fallen in love with, Baron Donati (Vittorio de Sica), causing mildly interesting complications. I confess I'm not a fan of Ophuls' most famous film (made in Hollywood), Letter from an Unknown Woman, and I liked the French-Italian co-production Madame de even less. The characters are not that dimensional, although the actors, especially a fine Boyer, do their best to put them over. Despite some of the emotions boiling under the surface, the story is slight and not handled with much dramatic flair. The modestly attractive Darrieux makes too ordinary a heroine. [She had a decidedly brief Hollywood career, appearing in The Rage of Paris in 1938.] I like de Sica better as a director than as an actor, although he is certainly not bad as Donati.

Verdict: A mere trifle all told. **.

No comments: