Diary of a Chambermaid

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AUDIENCE SCORE

55%
Average Rating: 3.5/5

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Something of an oddity, French director Jean Renoir uses an all-Anglo cast for this sex drama. Paulette Goddard plays Celestine, a saucy servant who disrupts the Parisian household she joins. Both the head of the household, Captain Lanlaire and his son Georges fall for her, as does their neighbor Captain Mauger (Burgess Meredith, Goddard's then husband). But lovesick valet Joseph harbors a deep, secret desire for her: a desire so passionate he is willing to kill to gain her affection.

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Critic Reviews for Diary of a Chambermaid

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1)

Audience Reviews for Diary of a Chambermaid

½

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.

Stephen M
Stephen M

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