Madame Bovary

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Average Rating: 3/5

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Movie Info

When French-filmmaker Jean Renoir offered his 1934 version of Flaubert's Madame Bovary to the distributors, he was compelled to cut it severely. This was not due to the subject matter, but because Renoir's "director's cut" ran nearly 3 and a half hours! Though Renoir steadfastly defended his choice, Valentine Tessler was much too old for the part of Emma Bovary, a Frenchwoman whose life is ruined because she seeks escape from a boring bourgeois upbringing and an even more tiresome marriage. Renoir saw the character as "noble and elegant," which Flaubert most certainly did not; still, he was reasonably faithful to the source novel, even to the point of sometimes exasperating slowness. Madame Bovary was filmed several times, most famously by director Vincente Minnelli in 1949. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Pierre Renoir
as Charles Bovary
Alice Tissot
as Charles Bovary's Mother
Valentine Tessier
as Emma Bovary
Max Dearly
as M. Homais
Fernand Fabre
as Rodolphe
Héléna Manson
as La premiere Mme. Bovary
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Critic Reviews for Madame Bovary

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (3)

  • Turned out by a capable French director, with an excellent cast at his command, the screen version of the tragic life of the middle-class small-town girl... makes the most of a subject hardly likely to stir the pulses of a modern audience.

    Aug 8, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Butchered by its original distributor (who cut it by an hour), surviving in a merely adequate print, this is nevertheless superb early Renoir.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Not the best Renoir, but Renoir nonetheless -- and so, very well worth seeing.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

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