Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
- Interviews with actress Sylvie Testud and director Jean-Pierre Denis
- Janet Flanner's 1933 Vanity Fair article recounting the actual events
- Photos from newspapers of the time
Top Customer Reviews
In late 1933, the trial resulted in the elder sister, Christine, being convicted of both murders and sentenced to death, a sentence later commuted to that of life in prison. She would die four years later in an asylum for the criminally insane. Her younger sister, Lea, was also convicted, but only of the murder of Madame Lancelin, and was sentenced to serve ten years of hard labor. She served eight years of her ten year sentence and was then released, living to a ripe old age.
In the film, the viewer sees that the sisters came from a totally dysfunctional household. Their mother, the selfish and unloving Clemence (Isabel Renauld), kicked her alcoholic husband out the household, when she discovered that he had been molesting their oldest daughter, Emilie. She then placed their three daughters in a Catholic orphanage run by nuns. Clemence, relieved of the day-to-day responsibility of her daughters, would see them on occasion.
Emilie eventually decided to become a nun. When Christine later expressed an interest in following in Emilie's footsteps, her mother quashed that notion. Instead, as Christine (Sylvie Testud) grew older, Clemence looked to her as a source of income, hiring her out to work as a maid. The viewer sees the deadening effect of her servitude, as her employers treat Christine as a virtual nonentity.Read more ›
Two sisters with an abusive mother are forced into servitude as maids. The eldest sister forms a protective bond over her younger sister to shelter her from their mother. Eventually the bond turns incestuous. When the madam of their household discovers their relationship and threatens to expose them, the sisters turn to murder to protect their secret.
Based on the true story of the Papin sisters, Murderous Maids is interesting and well acted. The movie forgoes delving into the psychological motivations of these two women. Best I can guess from the content of the film is that they felt like it was them against the world. Poor, uneducated, unwanted, picked on by their employer and their mother, it seems they only had each other and would do anything to protect their relationship.
I've seen enough French films to feel indifferent to the theme of this movie but be warned that many other reviewers found it dark and disturbing. I've written this before-the French are so...inventive when it comes to relationships and when passion takes hold, they let it flow over all reason.
If you like this movie, I'd high suggest watching One to Another and Savage Grace which are also based on a true crimes involving incest and murder.
Both girls are raised by nuns and on finishing school, their mother sells them into servitude. Christine, the elder sister, is fiercely protective of Lea, becoming more of a mother to Lea than their actual mother. In time, Christine arranges for Lea's employment in the same household and eventually they develop an obsessive, incestuous Lesbian relationship.
Christine's world is rocked in childhood: she is shattered by the realization that her beloved alcoholic father raped her elder sister--a sister who resolved her own demons by becoming a nun. As Christine matures, she becomes brittle, tightly wound and mentally unstable: her whole life totally focused on her sister. Lea, a much weaker character, willingly clings to Christine, almost as if Christine is the leader of their private cult. It is a deeply disturbing portrayal and very well acted.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic and great movie. Provided more details about the sister's relationship.Published 6 months ago by Linda M. Scott
Based on a true story about two sisters (Papin sisters) who have an incestuous relationship and participate in a brutal murder of their employers. Read morePublished on May 30, 2010 by Amazon Customer
As I said WOW. It`s been a long time since I truely enjoyed a truely good movie. Murderous Maids more than lives up to it`s billing. Read morePublished on February 13, 2008 by Amazon Customer
As one reviewer said below, this is one movie you only need to see once...and once is enough! I don't know why I was able to stomach "Sister My Sister"--another movie based on the... Read morePublished on June 7, 2007 by Maja Loba
This case of murder has inspired many interesting adaptations over the years. The best being Jean Genet's fabulous one act play called the 'Maids'. Read morePublished on October 6, 2004 by Stalwart Kreinblaster
Muderous is a slow movie in the begining as it shows the Christine and Lea. After waiting almost an hour, the movie give you a punch in the murder scene. Read morePublished on August 15, 2004 by chicoer2003
the movie tells the story of two sisters, working as maids, who through a sad combination of servitude, ignorance, psychological ailments, incest & lack of privacy, brutally... Read morePublished on February 9, 2004 by lady detective
Based on Janet Flanner's 1933 Vanity Fair article, MURDEROUS MAIDS (Home Vision Entertainment) vividly creates a sympathetic but unapologetic account of the notorious Papin sisters... Read morePublished on October 24, 2003 by Robin Simmons