Mademoiselle Fifi (1944) - Rotten Tomatoes

Mademoiselle Fifi (1944)

Mademoiselle Fifi (1944)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Mademoiselle Fifi Photos

Movie Info

One of the few failures for RKO Radio's resident "prestige programmer" producer Val Lewton, Mademoiselle Fifi is based on two Guy De Maupassant tales, with emphasis on Boule de Suif. The story takes place during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, though it is clearly an allegorical representation of the German mindset of WW2. "Mademoiselle Fifi" is the derisive nickname of a brutal Prussian officer (Kurt Krueger) who rules the roost in a tiny French village. When a stagecoach rides into the village, the passengers are detained by the Prussian tyrant, who threatens to kill them all at any given moment. Desperately, the passengers demand that one of their own, a laundress of dubious morals named Elizabeth (Simone Simon), surrender herself sexually to the Prussian to secure their freedom. Previously the object of scorn and ridicule from her fellow passengers, Elizabeth is bitterly amused by their change of heart, but she's too loyal to France to refuse their request. How she completes her "mission" and eliminates "Mademoiselle Fifi" in the process is the film's dramatic core. Though superbly directed by Robert Wise, Mademoiselle Fifi is laid low by its pretentiousness-not to mention the uneveness of the performances, none more uneven than Jason Robards Sr., who at one point declaims in his flat midwestern tones "We must not forget that we're all Frenchmen!"

Cast

Simone Simon
as Elizabeth Rousset
John Emery
as Jean Cornudet
Kurt Kreuger
as Lt. von Eyrick
Alan Napier
as Count de Breville
Helen Freeman
as his Countess
Jason Robards Sr.
as Wholesaler in Wines
Norma Varden
as his Wife
Romaine Callender
as Manufacturer
Fay Helm
as his Wife
Edmund Glover
as Young Priest
Charles Waldron
as Cure of Cleresville
Mayo Newhall
as Mons. Follenvie
Lillian Bronson
as Mme. Follenvie
Alan Ward
as Coach Driver
Max Willenz
as Captain
Marc Cramer
as Lieutenant
John Good
as Fritz
Allan Lee
as Hostler
Frank Mayo
as Sergeant at Inn
Marie Lund
as Helene
Violette Wilson
as Aunt Marie
Ed Allen
as Soldier
Richard Drumm
as German Sentry
Victor Cutler
as Soldier Waiter
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Critic Reviews for Mademoiselle Fifi

All Critics (4)

My hat is off to the filmmakers who made this brave film.

Full Review… | January 15, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A rare non-horror film for producer Val Lewton, the oft-forgotten Mademoiselle Fifi moves with the same intelligent, elegant style and economy as his other films.

Full Review… | November 15, 2007
Combustible Celluloid

The whole thing is a less-than-successful allegory for the horrors taking place in Europe during WW II.

Full Review… | November 15, 2007
TV Guide

One of the few non-thrillers in the oeuvre of producer-auteur Val Lewton, this period piece shows even more glaringly how close his celebrated taste and intelligence could skirt to outright stodginess.

Full Review… | November 15, 2007
CinePassion

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