The Earrings of Madame De... (Madame de...)


The Earrings of Madame De... (Madame de...)

Critics Consensus

Ophüls' graceful camerawork and visual portrayal of luxury and loss make Earrings a powerful French drama.



Total Count: 34


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,946
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The Earrings of Madame De... (Madame de...) Photos

Movie Info

Max Ophüls' masterpiece stars Danielle Darrieux as the titular Madame Louise de..., who in the film's opening scenes is forced to discreetly sell a pair of earrings, a gift from her military officer husband Andre (Charles Boyer), in order to make good on her debts. After she claims the earrings to be lost, the story of their possible theft hits the newspapers, prompting the jeweler who bought them (Jean Debucourt) to secretly sell them back to Andre, who then gives him to his mistress Lola (Lia Di Leo) as she prepares to leave for a holiday in Constantinople. There, the earrings again change hands as Lola pawns them to cover her gambling losses. They are then purchased by Donati, an Italian diplomat (Vittorio de Sica) on his way to France to meet with Andre. Of course, the earrings soon find their way back to Louise. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

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Charles Boyer
as Général André De
Danielle Darrieux
as Comtesse Louise de
Vittorio De Sica
as Baron Fabrizio Donati
Jean Debucourt
as Monsieur Rémy
Jean Galland
as Monsieur de Bernac
Mireille Perrey
as Madame de...'s nurse

Critic Reviews for The Earrings of Madame De... (Madame de...)

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (8)

  • A superb film and a matchless trio of performances.

    Feb 14, 2013 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Slighter and more emotionally distant than Ophüls's masterpiece 'Letter from an Unknown Woman', but filled with a similar mood of romantic despair and desperation.

    Nov 17, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • On one hand, Madame De . . . is all surface and style; on the other, it conveys real loss.

    Mar 13, 2007
  • Three good reasons you should see The Earrings of Madame de ... are the presence and performances of Danielle Darrieux, Charles Boyer and Vittorio De Sica. This celestial triangle has never been surpassed in grace, charm and, yes, wit and humor.

    Mar 7, 2007 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • Ophüls' penultimate film.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Like its turn-of-the-century décor and costuming, it is elegant and filled with decorative but basically unnecessary little items, which give it gentility and a nostalgic mood, but nothing much more substantial.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Earrings of Madame De... (Madame de...)

  • Jan 11, 2019
    Yes the tracking shots are beautiful but its the pure simplicity of the tragedy that is truly staggering here. Every moment falls into place perfectly.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 20, 2017
    As the earrings of the wife of a rich General circulate from hand to hand but always find a way back to her, it may seem like a silly plot device, and perhaps it is. However, it is interesting to watch Danielle Darrieux (the wife) lie to Charles Boyer (her husband) about how she's lost and then later found these earrings, which were a wedding present, and eventually to Vittorio De Sica (her lover) as well, without realizing that in each instance these men know they're being lied to. The restraint shown in their facial reactions is fantastic. All three turn in subtle and nuanced performances, and the movie as a whole captures the grace of the 19th century with several ballroom scenes. Director Max Ophüls shows restraint as well, as the progress of the affair is shown during commentary and the pair dancing over many late evenings. This is a good film to be sure, but I don't think it lives up to its reputation, which has grown over the years. The passion is a bit too far beneath the surface for my taste, and the plot reminds one of 19th century fiction, which had a tendency to be over-constructed.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 17, 2013
    A very entertaining romp through the intrigue of Madame De... and the true story of where her earrings disappeared to and where all they travel..through wives, mistresses and across the continent.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 17, 2012
    As the film opens, Madame Louise is looking through her things for something to sell, in order to have some extra spending money. In lieu of her furs or her diamond cross pendant, she takes out a pair of earrings. She sells them, then pretends to "lose" them at the opera one night. When the missing earrings are reported in the paper as stolen, the jeweler she pawned them off on comes to return them to her husband, the General (Charles Boyer). The general buys them back and gives them to his mistress, who's about to leave the country on an extended trip to Constantinople. When the mistress runs upon hard times, she hocks the earrings and it's then that the visiting ambassador, Baron Fabrizio Donati buys them. Donati meets Louise at customs and falls in love with her at first sight. As the two pursue a friendship that turns into romance, he gives her the earrings, not knowing they were originally hers. That Louise could sell the earrings her husband gave her as a wedding present speaks of how she regarded her marriage to the General. It's not as if the general were a bad man or that they weren't quite suitable companions. "I don't like the person I've become in your eyes" says the general to Louise, who suddenly feels the painful sting of jealousy as he watches his wife fall in love with another man. The general, deep down, is quite a human character, perhaps even more so than the overly romantic Baron who comes to steal away his wife. The idea that people create these narrow pathes through life that they limit themselves to is not strictly the domain of the upper class of the past. Perhaps it's a lesson to be found in watching the, uhs... march to their own respective dooms in such orderly fashion.
    Devon B Super Reviewer

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