The Madwoman of Chaillot

Overview

Taken from the popular play by Jean Giraudoux, The Madwoman Of Chaillot has an international all-star cast, but the final result falls short despite the talents of the celebrated thespians. The madwoman in question is the extremely eccentric Countess Aurelia Katherine Hepburn. Roderick Richard Chamberlain is the peace-loving activist who, along with a local rag picker Danny Kaye, warns the Countess of a plot to destroy the city. A quartet of villains led by the Chairman Yul Brynner are after the oil reserves that...
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Overview

Taken from the popular play by Jean Giraudoux, The Madwoman Of Chaillot has an international all-star cast, but the final result falls short despite the talents of the celebrated thespians. The madwoman in question is the extremely eccentric Countess Aurelia Katherine Hepburn. Roderick Richard Chamberlain is the peace-loving activist who, along with a local rag picker Danny Kaye, warns the Countess of a plot to destroy the city. A quartet of villains led by the Chairman Yul Brynner are after the oil reserves that bubble under the water supply. Along with the Broker Charles Boyer, the Commissar Oscar Homolka, and the Prospector Donald Pleasence, the evil developers plan to secure the oil rights to the region with or without the consent of the unsuspecting public. The Countess invites Josephine Dame Edith Evans to judge the villains, who are locked in the Countess's cellar for their crimes against the people of Paris in this lethargic film.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The Jean Giraudoux play upon which The Madwoman of Chaillot is based would be difficult to translate effectively to the screen under any circumstances; it is a strange and didactic but beguiling blend of whimsy, symbolism and fantasy, wrapped up in a delicate and fragile package. Still, writer Edward Anhalt and director Bryan Forbes could have come up with a more imaginative, lively and entertaining adaptation for the screen. Visually, Madwoman is an exquisite feast, from the marvelously ornate and off-beat costumes for the title character to the sumptuous Parisian settings to the gorgeous cinematography of Claude Renoir and Burnett Guffey, and it is the visuals that carry much of the film. Forbes seems to be somewhat at sea here, framing some scenes beautifully but not having any real idea of how to make the material take flight and soar. With few exceptions, his high-powered cast seems lost as to how to play the material, with the result that most of them turn in work that is much too heavy. Katharine Hepburn comes off poorly, never really making the character ring true, and all of the actors playing villains are stereotypical and arch. Richard Chamberlain is adequate, and Giuletta Masina has one or two good moments, but only Danny Kaye manages to find the right combination of charm and seriousness that the production demands.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/1/2011
  • UPC: 883316299296
  • Original Release: 1969
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Remastered / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 2:12:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 38,025

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Katharine Hepburn Countess Aurelia, the Madwoman of Chaillot
Charles Boyer The Broker
Claude Dauphin Dr. Jadin
Edith Evans Josephine, the Madwoman of La Concorde
Margaret Leighton Constance, the Madwoman of Passy
John Gavin The Reverend
Paul Henreid General
Giulietta Masina Gabrielle, the Madwoman of Sulpice
Oscar Homolka The Commissar
Nanette Newman Irma
Richard Chamberlain Roderick
Yul Brynner The Chairman
Donald Pleasence the Prospector
Danny Kaye The Ragpicker
Fernand Gravey Police sergeant
Gordon Heath The Folksinger
Gerald Sim Julius
Jacques Marin
Henri Virlojeux
Gilles Segal Deaf Mute
Gaston Palmer Juggler
Harriett Ariel
Catherine Berg
Henri Cogan
Christian Duvaleix
Jackie Farley
George Hilsdon
Bernard Woringer
Technical Credits
Bryan Forbes Director
Edward Anhalt Screenwriter
Monique Archambault Makeup
Rosine Delamare Costumes/Costume Designer
Roger Dwyre Editor
Jean Giraudoux Screenwriter
Burnett Guffey Cinematographer
Ely Landau Producer
Michael J. Lewis Score Composer
Georges Petitot Art Director
Claude Renoir Cinematographer
Ray Simm Production Designer
Dario Simoni Set Decoration/Design
Anthony B. Unger Producer
Henry T. Weinstein Executive Producer, Producer
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