Madame De (1953)

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Also known as The Earrings of Madame de?, Ophüls’s film follows the trail of a lost pair of earrings to accomplish a triumph of melodrama. Coquettish society lady Louise sells an expensive pair of earrings ?a gift from her husband- to pay off her debts, claiming she has lost them. The earrings change hands, are passed on from husbands to lovers, relatives and pawn brokers to end up back in Louise’s hands as a gift from her admirer, the Baron Donati (played by Vittorio de Sica). Madame de? marks two achievements from Ophüls: the transformation of a mundane object into a symbol of its respective wearers’ soul and the transformation of a mundane love-triangle plot into a true work of art. Filmed with impeccable flourish and grace that superbly captures the shallow elegance surrounding the characters, Madame de? is a romantic masterpiece.

Director: Max Ophüls
Screenwriter: Marcel Achard, Max Ophüls, Annette Wademant
Novel: Louise de Vilmorin
Cinematography: Christian Matras
Editor: Borys Lewin
Principal Cast: Charles Boyer, Danielle Darrieux, Vittorio De Sica, Jean Debucourt, Jean Galland

France / Italy,
French, 100’
Format: 35mm