Madame Bovary

( 1 )

Overview

MGM circumvented the censorship that would otherwise have prevented a film version of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary by adding a prologue and epilogue that assured any and all bluenoses that the story was strictly a work of fiction. James Mason appears as Flaubert, defending his inflammatory novel before a French jury. Thus, the tragedy of Emma Bovary (Jennifer Jones) is offered as a product of Flaubert's imagination, rather than a real-life story. The body of the film concerns Emma's attempt to escape the ...
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Overview

MGM circumvented the censorship that would otherwise have prevented a film version of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary by adding a prologue and epilogue that assured any and all bluenoses that the story was strictly a work of fiction. James Mason appears as Flaubert, defending his inflammatory novel before a French jury. Thus, the tragedy of Emma Bovary (Jennifer Jones) is offered as a product of Flaubert's imagination, rather than a real-life story. The body of the film concerns Emma's attempt to escape the boredom of her bourgeois existence by marrying a wealthy doctor (Van Heflin). She finds life with the physician even more tiresome than her previous experiences, thus begins taking a series of wealthy lovers-all of whom prove to be two-dimensional cads. Unable to tolerate a lifetime of dead-end affairs, Emma eventually commits suicide. The best sequence-indeed, one of the finest set pieces ever directed by Vincente Minnelli-is the "Emma Bovary Waltz" sequence, a dazzling experience in dizzying camera movements. The Warner Bros. DVD release includes the short Those Good Old Days, plus a classic cartoon and the original theatrical trailer.
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Special Features

Vintage Pete Smith specialty short Those Good Old Days; Classic cartoon Out-Foxed; Theatrical trailer; Subtitles: English & Português (feature film only)
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Beautiful to look at but curiously hollow emotionally, Madame Bovary is not a totally satisfying adaptation of the Gustave Flaubert classic, but its assets tend to outweigh its deficits. While director Vincente Minnelli's work here is uneven, when it is good it's stunning -- as witnessed in the highly acclaimed waltz sequence, in which the camera seems to never hold still for a moment, as well as the elopement sequence and the courtroom scenes. At other times, Minnelli seems to be treading water, putting in acceptable but uninspired work as he waits for the next sequence that truly excites him. More consistent is Jennifer Jones, who surprises with her fiery sensitivity; the film's hollowness is certainly not due to her performance, which perfectly captures the complexities of the character. Van Heflin is good, although he seems to be holding back a bit, and James Mason captures attention in the unnecessary framing sections. Louis Jourdan and Gladys Cooper also turn in fine support, and the sets and costumes are sumptuous. Bovary may fall short in some areas, but its strengths are very strong indeed.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/6/2007
  • UPC: 012569795068
  • Original Release: 1949
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
  • Presentation: Subtitled / Full Frame
  • Time: 1:54:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 24,220

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jennifer Jones Emma Bovary
James Mason Gustave Flaubert
Van Heflin Charles Bovary
Louis Jourdan Rodolphe Boulanger
Christopher [Alf] Kent Leon Dupuis [Kjellin]
Gene Lockhart J. Homais
Frank Allenby Lhereux
Gladys Cooper Mme. Dupuis
John Abbott Mayor Tuvache
Henry Morgan Hyppolite
George Zucco Dubocage
Ellen Corby Felicite
Eduard Franz Roualt
Henri Letondal Guillaumin
Esther Somers Mme. Lefrancois
Frederic Tozere Pinard
Paul Cavanagh Marquis D'Andervilliers
Larry Simms Justin
Vernon Steele Priest
Richard Alexander
John Ardizoni Lagandy
Florence Auer Mme. Petree
Paul Bryar Bailiff
David Cavendish Man
Andre Charisse Young Man
Fred Cordova Guest
George Davis Innkeeper
Charles de Ravenne Pimply-faced Youth
Edith Evanson Mother Superior
Stuart Holmes
Teddy Infuhr Boy
Karl Johnson Drunken Guest
Edward Keane Presiding Judge
Victor Kilian Mons. Canivet
Anne Kunde
Bert LeBaron Young Man
Eula Morgan
Mayo Newhall
Manuel Paris Servant
Lon Poff
Constance Purdy Mme. Foulard
Jack Stoney
Sailor Vincent
Helen St. Rayner Opera Singer
Phil Schumacher
Gracille LaVinder Woman
Ed Agresti
Charles Bancroft
Angi O. Poulos Porter
Technical Credits
Vincente Minnelli Director
Robert Ardrey Screenwriter
Pandro S. Berman Producer
Jack Dawn Makeup
Jack Donohue Choreography
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Richard A. Pefferle Set Decoration/Design
Robert Planck Cinematographer
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
Miklós Rózsa Score Composer
Jack Martin Smith Art Director
Ferris Webster Editor
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Madame Bovary
1. Credits [1:40]
2. Author on Trial [4:17]
3. Charles Meets Emma [4:06]
4. Dream World [4:36]
5. Country Wedding Scene [4:59]
6. Weeping Newlywed [4:15]
7. Entertaining [4:32]
8. Daily Routine [5:41]
9. The Ball [4:30]
10. The Waltz [4:18]
11. Leon's Mother [4:30]
12. Rodolphe's Advances [5:10]
13. Storybook Ambition [3:27]
14. No Cure for Hippolite [3:24]
15. Ecstasy [2:24]
16. Full-Flame Affair [4:10]
17. Take Me Along [4:33]
18. Left Behind [5:38]
19. Reunited With Leon [5:03]
20. Rueful Rendezvous [3:59]
21. Woman in Trouble [4:00]
22. Tell the Woman Goodbye [3:34]
23. Facing Foreclosure [5:48]
24. No Help From Rodolphe [6:24]
25. Visit to the Apothecary [2:55]
26. Last Rites [3:19]
27. Lives Truthfully Touched [2:06]
28. Cast List [:44]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Madame Bovary
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Those Good Ole Days
      Out-Foxed
      Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Português
      Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    What A Character To Portray

    This film was brilliantly done just like many movies made during the same period. Jennifer Jones played Emma Bovary to perfection-in fact maybe a little to well. This character, who by no means is desirable, was very bold and striking. The story itself was told very well and the acting was top notch. I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys classic black & white films or the Victorian and Georgian periods.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews