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.
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.
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 ".
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.