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

Thursday, October 3, 2013

THE SINS OF MADAME BOVARY /PLAY THE GAME OR LEAVE THE BED

An Emma Bovary with Something Extra
THE SINS OF MADAME BOVARY (AKA Play the Game or Leave the Bed and Die Nackte Bovary/1969). Director: Hans Schott-Schobinger.

In this loose adaptation of Gustave Flaubert's "Madame Bovary," Emma (Edwige Fenech) is married to a country doctor (Gerhard Riedmann) but has affairs with Rudolf Boulanger (Peter Carsten) and young Leon Dupuis (Gianni Dei) while dodging the admiring creditor Adolphe Lheureus (Franco Ressel). Major changes to the story include Boulanger being willing to pay off Emma's debts [which he never does in any other version, pleading poverty], and Emma having sex with Lheureus in exchange for a batch of IOUs. Fenech seems to have been cast for her body, which is undraped as often as possible, while the male cast members seem not to have been cast for their looks; Fenech's acting seems adequate as does the others'. This is an adaptation of a French novel made by a combined German-Italian production company with a French-born star and dubbed into Italian. Fenech's eye make up is way overdone but her fans won't be looking at her eyes.

Verdict: Watch Jennifer Jones in Madame Bovary instead -- or even Beyond the Forest. **.

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