Le Plaisir (House of Pleasure) (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

Le Plaisir (House of Pleasure) (1999)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The works of Guy de Maupassant have likely been adapted by more French filmmakers than those of any other author (with the possible exception of Georges Simenon). Max Ophuls harnesses three Maupassant short stories to suit his artistic purposes in Le Plaisir (House of Pleasure). In "The Mask," an aging lothario (Jean Galland) learns more about himself than he cares to when he dons a mask to cover his wrinkles. In "The House of Madame Tellier," the proprietress of a brothel (Madeline Renaud) closes up shop one day for an unusual (for her) personal mission. And in "The Model," both the title character (Simone Simon) and her artist-lover (Daniel Gelin) pay the price for her romantic impulsiveness. Each of the playlets in Le Plaisir explore conflicting sides of human nature -- a theme common to both the works of Maupassant and the films of Ophuls. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Art House & International , Classics , Comedy , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection


Claude Dauphin
as The Doctor [The Mask]
Gaby Morlay
as Denise His Wife [The Mask]
Madeleine Renaud
as Mme. Tellier [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Ginette Leclerc
as Flora [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Mila Parely
as Raphaele [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Jean Galland
as Ambroise [The Mask]
Daniel Gélin
as Jean [The Model]
Danielle Darrieux
as Rosa [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Simone Simon
as Josephine [The Model]
Jean Gabin
as Joseph Rivet [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Jean Servais
as The Friend/Narrator French Version
as Frédéric
Paul Azaïs
as Owner Palais de Danse
Antoine Balpêtré
as Monsieru Poulain
René Blanchard
as Mayor [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Pierre Brasseur
as Julien Ledentu the Salesman
Gaby Bruyère
as Frimousse The Mask's Partner [The Mask]
Mathilde Casadesus
as Louise [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Henri Crémieux
as [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Jo Dest
as The German [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Arthur Devère
as Employee [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Paulette Dubost
as Fernande [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Emile Genevois
as The Groom
Robert Lombard
as [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Héléna Manson
as Marie [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Jean Mayer
as [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Marcel Peres
as [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Louis Seigner
as Mr. Tourneveau [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Michel Vadet
as Journalist [The Model]
Janine Vienot
as His Friend
Georges Vitray
as The Captain [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Anton Walbrook
as Narrator German Version [The House Of Madame Tellier
Charles Vissière
as Old Man from Normandy [The House Of Madame Tellier]
Peter Ustinov
as Narrator English Version [The House Of Madame Tellie
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Le Plaisir (House of Pleasure)

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

The director, Max Ophüls, reshapes the material with his distinctive blend of visual genius and bitter, worldly wisdom.

Full Review… | August 3, 2015
New Yorker
Top Critic

...a visually sumptuous yet tedious and hopelessly irrelevant piece of work.

Full Review… | July 24, 2012
Reel Film Reviews

This omnibus of three stories are all conventional ones told in a genteel conventional way, but the camerawork is sensational.

Full Review… | February 14, 2012
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Le Plaisir illustrates not merely Ophüls's unparalleled sense of flow and texture, but also his proto-feminism.

Full Review… | November 3, 2005
Slant Magazine

Le Plaisir is a miracle.

Full Review… | August 5, 2003
Combustible Celluloid

A minor anthology delight from Max Ophüls

Full Review… | July 18, 2002

Audience Reviews for Le Plaisir (House of Pleasure)

Apart from that natural drawback of most anthologies - being a rather uneven piece made of contrasting stories -, this film is a charming and refreshing experience that benefits mainly from its sumptuous visuals and splendid use of travelling shots and long takes.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Again, Ophuls proves himself a master at camera movement, with astonishing tracking shots, crane shots, pans and zooms and impeccable lighting and set design. I actually found the bookend stories far more interesting, perhaps because their relatively short length prohibited them from wearing out their welcome. The middle story had some amusing moments but there just wasn't much meat there. As befits the title, the movie is pleasant, just not all that mind-blowing except for the cinematography.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

The ending will more or less taunt you because it's like the similar conservative quotation from the other classic film,The Great Dictator,with different themes that is.I preach for your flexible safety,denying to accuse the numbness of the man in the last tale.Nevertheless,let it not prevent you from enjoying this gem.A succulent beauty is a fine-maintained delicacy,preferably on the second story,and passion is the fruitful inspiration.

Dimitris Springer
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

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