Madeline
  • Madeline
  • Madeline

Madeline

5.0 1
Director: Daisy von Scherler Mayer

Cast: Daisy von Scherler Mayer, Frances McDormand, Nigel Hawthorne, Hatty Jones

     
 

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Daisy von Sherler Mayer directed this family film, an adaptation of the famed book series that Austrian-born writer-illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962) launched in 1939 with the opening lines, "In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. In two straight lines they broke their bread and brushed their teeth… See more details below

Overview

Daisy von Sherler Mayer directed this family film, an adaptation of the famed book series that Austrian-born writer-illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962) launched in 1939 with the opening lines, "In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. In two straight lines they broke their bread and brushed their teeth and went to bed. They smiled at the good and frowned at the bad and sometimes they were very sad. They left the house at half past nine in two straight lines in rain or shine -- the smallest one was Madeline." This live-action film interpretation, set during the mid-1950s, expands on plot elements found throughout several books in the series. Lord Covington (Nigel Hawthorne) plans to sell the small French boarding school where the young orphan Madeline (nine-year-old British actress Hatty Jones) lives with other girls under the supervision of sympathetic schoolmistress Miss Clavel (Frances McDormand). Hospitalized after an appendectomy, Madeline wanders down the hospital hallway and meets Covington's dying wife, Lady Covington (Stephane Audran), an encounter which becomes an asset in Madeline's efforts to save the school. Moving into the house adjacent to the school is the family of the Spanish Ambassador (Arturo Venegas), including his young son Pepito (Kristian de la Osa), who spends a good deal of time wheeling about on his Vespa, so noisy it serves to irritate possible buyers of the school. When Madeline falls into the Seine, she is rescued by a dog, Genevieve, who immediately becomes the school's mascot and pet, despite the "no pets" rule and Miss Clavel's allergy to dogs. Pepito's somewhat sinister British tutor Leopold (Ben Daniels) engineers a plan that leads to the county fair kidnapping of Pepito and Madeline. First filmed by UPA in the early '50s as the Oscar-nominated animated cartoon short, Madeline (1952), decades passed before other adaptations appeared: the 23-minute Madeline's Rescue and Other Stories (1990, available from Facets Video), narrated by Louise Roberts; and the 1989-1993 series of half-hours narrated by Christopher Plummer -- Madeline, Madeline and the Bad Hat, Madeline and the Gypsies, Madeline in London, Madeline's Christmas, and Madeline's Rescue. MGM's 1945 Fred Astaire/Vincente Minnelli film Yolanda and the Thief also adapted Bemelmans. Daisy von Scherler Mayer's earlier Party Girl (1995) was the first feature film seen in its entirety on the Internet.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Madeline is a clean and faithful-looking recreation of a popular storybook world, effortlessly capturing the appropriate tone, and brimming with adorable little girls. However, little girls -- or those reminiscing about their girlhood -- are probably the only ones who will feel a special fondness for this movie, considering its narrow appeal. Others might smile mildly at the precocious adventures of this clan of freckled children, but the story doesn't offer any adult-sized wit or anything else that exceeds cuteness in its narrative value. Worse, it actually perpetuates some thoughtless stereotypes in its portrayal of the neighboring Spanish family, whose son has a string of about 15 surnames. This is supposed to be playful ethnic riffing, but it comes across as condescending. More often, Madeline is a generally pleasing little movie that gets energetic performances from its youthful cast, notably Hatte Jones in the title role, as well as a game lead adult performance from Oscar winner Frances McDormand. The cinematography and cobblestone streets all look great. Just don't plan to rent the movie unless you have a ruby-cheeked daughter in tow, or were a serious fan of the original stories.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/15/1998
UPC:
0043396027183
Original Release:
1998
Rating:
G
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:29:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Frances McDormand Miss Clavel
Nigel Hawthorne Lord Covington
Hatty Jones Madeline
Ben Daniels Leopold the Tutor
Arturo Venegas Mr. Spanish Ambassador
Kristian de la Osa Pepito
Rachel Dennis Actor
Pilar Garrard Actor
Stéphane Audran Lady Covington
Katia Caballero Mrs. Spanish Ambassador
Chantal Neuwirth Helene the Cook
Clare Thomas Aggie

Technical Credits
Daisy von Scherler Mayer Director
Pierre Aïm Cinematographer
Aline Bonetto Set Decoration/Design
Sylvie Brochere Casting
Michael Clancy Costumes/Costume Designer
Bertrand Clercq-Roques Art Director
Saul Cooper Producer
Gerard Drolon Art Director
Jennifer Flackett Original Story,Screenwriter
Rebecca Holmes Art Director
Stanley Jaffe Executive Producer
Michel Kharat Sound/Sound Designer
Pancho Kohner Producer
Mark Levin Original Story,Screenwriter
Karen Lindsay-Stewart Casting
Hugo Luczyc-Wyhowski Production Designer
Malia Scotch Marmo Original Story
Pat McCorkle Casting
Michel Legrand Score Composer
Allyn Stewart Producer
Thierry Verrier Asst. Director
Jeffery Wolf Editor

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Scene Index

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