Celestine, the chambermaid, has a new job in the country, at the Lanlaires. She has decided to use her beauty to seduce a wealthy man. But Mr Lanlaire is not a right choice: all the house is firmly controlled by Mme Lanlaire, helped by the strange valet Joseph. Then she tries the neighbour.
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Violence hangs over everything like a specter. Renoir despairingly investigates the conflict between subservience & being one's own master. For Renoir, the latter--the will & ambition to progress--is too inextricably tied to a perverse idea of male virility. Ambition can become murderous. The aristocracy & the republic. The ending is a forceful illustration of social justice transforming into a recognition of guilt.
one of the greatest Renoirs: his most theatrical and his most oneiric. That the dream of class-dissolve could be so eloquently staged while simultaneously being so coyly masked for its intended American audience is a strange sort of miracle. Major masterpiece.
This is a solid adaptation to this story by Jean Renoir but personally I prefer Bunuel's version to this story. Paulette Goddard is good here as well but Jeanne Moreau was better in this role. That being said, this is still a good film and worth a watch to compare the styles of two great filmmakers.
A striking condemnation of the inaction of good people, which lets others get away with doing bad things. All the more startling for its wonderful compositional grace and control, and its thematic compactness: the unmistakable work of a master.
A sinfully undervalued film with a central performance by one of the greatest undervalued stars, Paulette Goddard, still fighting her way out of poverty all these years after running off with the Little Tramp.
A bit of a romp at first, it turns into a drama of some relevance. With its artificial sets and the strange mix of moods and motivations of the characters it touches the surreal. Paulette Goddard is very energetic, a predecessor of Anna Magnani in 'Le Carosse d'or ".