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Diary of a Chambermaid

Diary of a Chambermaid (1946)

My Rating

Movie Info

Based on the novel by Octave Mirbeau, Diary of a Chambermaid is a noble experiment: a "Continental" sex drama with a virtually all-Anglo cast. Paulette Goddard plays the title character, a saucy servant named Celestine whose forthrightness has a curious effect on a wealthy Parisian household. Determined to elevate her lot in life, Celestine uses her unsubtle charms to beguile her wishy-washy master, Monsieur Lanlaire (Reginald Owen), and Lanlaire's wastrelly son, Georges (Hurd Hatfield). She

Unrated,

Drama, Romance, Classics, Comedy

Burgess Meredith, Octave Mirbeau

Cast

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All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (0) | DVD (1)

Less bitterly savage than Bu˝uel, but equally sharp in its satire.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A brilliant film which synthesizes the serious and the comic.

August 30, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Diary of a Chambermaid

Celestine, a French servant girl (Paulette Goddard), decides she's had enough of kowtowing to her masters, struggles with the gold-digging side of her nature, and eventually crashes through the class barrier to find true love, symbolically on Bastille Day. Renoir's American movies are generally not up to the standard of his best work, and "Diary of a Chambermaid" is no exception. Tonally it is rather uneven, and one suspects that a lightening or a darkening of Burgess Meredith's script could equally have improved it. Although they're never remotely convincing, the 'exterior' sets are quite grand, and Renoir makes good use of them with his fluid camerawork. The cast is good: Goddard as Celestine, Meredith as an impish ball of energy and Judith Anderson (Hitchcock's Mrs Danvers from "Rebecca") as an indomitable matriarch. Francis Lederer and Hurd Hatfield, as two of Goddard's suitors, a wicked valet and a consumptive aristocrat, respectively, each deliver their lines rather stiffly, but each, also, has a magnetic screen presence.
March 27, 2008
harrycaul

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Diary of a Chambermaid (1946) (DE)
  • Diary of a Chambermaid (UK)
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