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Mademoiselle
     

Mademoiselle

4.5 2
Director: Tony Richardson

Cast: Jeanne Moreau, Ettore Manni, Umberto Orsini

 

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In 1951, French writer Jean Genet presented a screenplay called "Les Rêves Interdits/L'Autre Versant du Rêve" to actress Anouk Aimée as a wedding gift. He then proceeded to sell the rights three times without telling her. Eventually the script was reworked by Marguerite Duras and filmed by British director Tony Richardson as Mademoiselle, with Jeanne Moreau in

Overview

In 1951, French writer Jean Genet presented a screenplay called "Les Rêves Interdits/L'Autre Versant du Rêve" to actress Anouk Aimée as a wedding gift. He then proceeded to sell the rights three times without telling her. Eventually the script was reworked by Marguerite Duras and filmed by British director Tony Richardson as Mademoiselle, with Jeanne Moreau in the title role. In its final form, Mademoiselle tells the story of a repressed schoolteacher who visits a veritable plague of deliberate "accidents" on the people of her rural French village. She sets fires, poisons animals, and causes floods -- all in a fit of thwarted passion for an immigrant woodcutter. Though Marlon Brando was originally set to play the role of the Italian craftsman, the part went to Ettore Manni when the production schedule shifted. Umberto Orsini plays Antonio, the woodcutter's forlorn son, whom Mademoiselle maliciously humiliates out of perverse desire for his father. A notoriously difficult shoot, Mademoiselle was filmed consecutively with The Sailor From Gibraltar, another collaboration between Richardson, Moreau, and Duras. As for Genet, he despised the casting of Moreau; nevertheless, she would go on to star in Querelle, another adaptation of the author's work.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Although it was booed at its premiere at Cannes and it distorts the vision of the Jean Genet script on which it was based, this savage melodrama is good fun in its over-the-top, blackly humorous way. With her big eyes and buttoned-down façade, aging beauty Jeanne Moreau proves delightfully monstrous as the titular schoolmarm stirred by secret passions. One moment besotted by an itinerant peasant, the next cruelly torturing his coarse, motherless son, Moreau is the absolute picture of frustrated obsession. The mad delight with which Mademoiselle tears around her rural French village secretly fomenting "natural" disasters brings to mind the sadomasochistic camp of Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Strapping hunk Ettore Manni, meanwhile, oozes vitality and humanity as the unsuspecting object of Mademoiselle's sick fascination. The love scene between Manni and Moreau -- played out against a vast countryside backdrop during a violent storm -- is as expressionistic as any silent German classic. Indeed, cinematographer Philippe Brun's fixed-frame camera and director Tony Richardson's avoidance of incidental music lend the picture an eerie hyper-naturalism. Unfortunately, the fateful denouement, visible from the first act, feels rote when it finally arrives. In between, though, Mademoiselle takes several surprising turns. Even at its most schematic, when it merely moves from one vicious stunt to the next, the film exudes a shrill vigor that must have somehow wafted right past those stuffed shirts at Cannes in 1966.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/05/2002
UPC:
0883904129127
Original Release:
1966
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jeanne Moreau Mademoiselle
Ettore Manni Manou
Umberto Orsini Antonio
Keith Skinner Bruno
Jeanne Beretta Antonio
Mony Rey Vievotte
Georges Aubert Rene
Paul Barge Young Policeman
Pierre Collet Marcel
Gérard Darrieu Boulet
Georges Douking The Priest
Gabriel Gobin Police Sergeant
Claire Ifrane Lucie
Charles Lavialle Flood Farmer
Rosine Luguet Lisa
Folco Jacques Monod Mayor
Laure Paillette Milk Woman
Annie Savarin Rose
Jean Gras Roger
Denise Peronne Maria

Technical Credits
Tony Richardson Director
Philippe Brun Cinematographer
Sophie Coussein Editor
Marguerite Duras Screenwriter
Jean Genet Screenwriter
Antony Gibbs Editor
Oscar Lewenstein Producer
Charles Merangel Set Decoration/Design
Jocelyn Rickards Costumes/Costume Designer
Jacques Saulnier Production Designer
David Watkin Cinematographer

Customer Reviews

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Mademoiselle 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
anselmus More than 1 year ago
This film, based on a script by Jean Genet, features a great performance by Jeanne Moreau and the rest of the cast. It was unknown to me when I saw it and I was astonished at how good it was. People who liked Moreau in Jules and Jim will not be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was online one day looking up an old film, and this was one of the reccomends for similar titles, but before that, I had never heard of the film, and that is quite strange! I ordered it at the bookstore, I was so excited, it had Moreau, a brilliant french actress, and was directed by Tony Richardson, a highly acclaimed British director. I watched it, and after the film ended I was literally speechless, the film was amazing, it had excllent cinematography, flawless performances, and had a very original, intriguing plot. I cannot believe I have heard so little of this film in the past, it is in my opinion, a masterpiece. To this day, it's haunting images are still in my mind. I reccomend for fans of suspence, foreign, classic, or psycological drama, or fans of brilliant art house cinema. Do yourself a favor, and watch this forgotten masterpiece, it's absoloutely worth it!