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Earrings of Madame de...

51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

French master Max Ophuls's most cherished work, The Earrings of Madame de . . . is an emotionally profound, cinematographically adventurous tale of false opulence and tragic romance. When the aristocratic woman known only as Madame de . . . (the extraordinary Danielle Darrieux) sells her earrings, unbeknownst to her husband (Charles Boyer), in order to pay personal debts, she sets off a chain reaction, the financial and carnal consequences of which can only end in despair. Ophuls adapts Louise de Vilmorin's incisive fin de siecle novella with virtuosic camera work so elegant and precise it's been called the equal to that of Orson Welles.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES New, restored high-definition digital transfer, Audio commentary featuring film scholars Susan White and Gaylyn Studlar , Interviews with Ophuls collaborators Alain Jessua, Marc Frederix, and Annette Wademant
A visual analysis of The Earrings of Madame de . . . by film scholar Tag Gallagher, Interview with novelist Louise de Vilmorin on Ophuls's adaptation of her story, New and improved English subtitle translation PLUS: A new essay by Molly Haskell, Louise de Vilmorin's novella Madame de, upon which the film is based, and a reprinted essay by costume designer and longtime Ophuls collaborator George Annenkov

Review

A romantic masterpiece. --New York Times

The greatest film of all time. --Andrew Sarris, New York Observer

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Boyer, Danielle Darrieux, Paul Azäis, Madeleine Barbulee, Jean Debucourt
  • Directors: Max Ophuls
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: September 16, 2008
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001BEK8C4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,874 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Earrings of Madame de..." on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By JfromJersey on January 22, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Anyone could see that Louise was an attractive but frivolous woman. Ensnared on her own volition in a loveless marriage to an aristocrat general, who showers her with fine furs and jewelry, and abides her petty flirtations whilst always maintaining the decorum proper for a military nobleman in high society, Louise too, adheres to the dictates and protocol demanded of a nobleman's wife in the elaborate, but meaningless and empty milieu in which she resides. Louise is a comely and innocuous creature, prone to fainting spells, whose marriage to the philandering Count is unremarkable and unmemorable. But into this very shallow, unremarkable existence, Louise will find passion, and it will complicate her life, and eventually destroy it.

MADAME de...opens with Max Ophuls' fluid camera taking Louise's viewpoint as it scans her jewelry cases, and wardrobe, searching for something of considerable value to sell. The woman has rung up a large debt, and she loathes to ask her husband for the money. Reluctantly, she decides on a pair of heart shaped diamond earrings, a wedding gift from her husband that she is not particularly fond of. The sale of those earrings sets in motion a chain of events that will lead Louise down a fateful road, where desire, misunderstanding, and deception, will culminate in tragedy. She finds love but at a drastic cost. In an Ophuls film, passionate love is a thing of beauty, the antidote to a shallow existence, the inspiration for art, and for life itself. It is also a kind of sickness that often clouds one's better judgement, causes one to neglect responsibilities and make rash, sometimes fatal decisions.

MADAME de..., Ophuls finest film, and one of the greatest ever made, is a movie that gets better with repeated viewings.
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What a sad, elegant film this is. The Earrings of Madame de... takes us into the fin de siecle Parisian world of the mannered rich, where the act of amorous intimacy is as much an expected social obligation as it is a personal pleasure, where a serious discussion about serious things is considered as indiscrete as loving one's spouse.

"Madame de... is a most elegant lady," we are told, "distinguished, received everywhere. She seemed destined to a delightful, untroubled existence. Doubtless nothing would have happened but for the jewels." She (Danielle Darrieux) is married to the rich and assured General Andre de... (Charles Boyer). When she realizes she has debts she cannot pay and does not want her husband to learn of, she sells a pair of diamond earrings her husband gave her the day after they were married. She tells her husband a little lie, that the earrings were stolen. The jeweler, not knowing of the little lie, soon goes to the general, assuming he will want to buy them back. He does, but rather than embarrass his wife, he gives them to a mistress he is saying farewell to as she departs for Constantinople. And there, she sells the jewels to cover her gambling debts. The jewels soon appear in the window of an elegant Constantinople jewelry store where Baron Fabrizio Donati (Vittorio De Sica), an Italian diplomat soon on his way to Paris, buys them. And since fate and convenience work in mysterious ways, Donati meets Madame de in Paris and they fall into what passes for love by their class. Donati gives the earrings to Madame de as a sign of his love, not knowing they were originally given to her by her husband. And Madame de must now tell a few more little lies. When her husband, the General, sees them, she must tell even more.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mehdi Halli on August 24, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
The note is for the video quality on the bluray disc from criterion / Not the movie.

The bluray transfer has been nearly filtered to death (Obvious by screen caps on Blu-ray.com and caps-a-holic.com).
The forthcoming French Blu-ray (which had been set to use the same transfer as Criterion's) has been delayed indefinitely.

I hope everyone disappointed by this transfer will return their bluray disc, so that Criterion will recall the discs and offer a replacement to adress this issue.
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Format: DVD
What a sad, elegant film this is. The Earrings of Madame de... takes us into the fin de siecle Parisian world of the mannered rich, where the act of amorous intimacy is as much an expected social obligation as it is a personal pleasure, where a serious discussion about serious things is considered as indiscrete as loving one's spouse.

"Madame de... is a most elegant lady," we are told, "distinguished, received everywhere. She seemed destined to a delightful, untroubled existence. Doubtless nothing would have happened but for the jewels." She (Danielle Darrieux) is married to the rich and assured General Andre de... (Charles Boyer). When she realizes she has debts she cannot pay and does not want her husband to learn of, she sells a pair of diamond earrings her husband gave her the day after they were married. She tells her husband a little lie, that the earrings were stolen. The jeweler, not knowing of the little lie, soon goes to the general, assuming he will want to buy them back. He does, but rather than embarrass his wife, he gives them to a mistress he is saying farewell to as she departs for Constantinople. And there, she sells the jewels to cover her gambling debts. The jewels soon appear in the window of an elegant Constantinople jewelry store where Baron Fabrizio Donati (Vittorio De Sica), an Italian diplomat soon on his way to Paris, buys them. And since fate and convenience work in mysterious ways, Donati meets Madame de in Paris and they fall into what passes for love by their class. Donati gives the earrings to Madame de as a sign of his love, not knowing they were originally given to her by her husband. And Madame de must now tell a few more little lies. When her husband, the General, sees them, she must tell even more.
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