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      The Earrings of Madame De ...

      Released Jul 19, 1954 1h 45m Drama List
      97% Tomatometer 36 Reviews 91% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings This film follows a pair of earrings as they change hands during a series of betrayals and romances. A French general (Charles Boyer) presents his wife with the pricey jewelry, but she is forced to sell the earrings after she runs into financial trouble. When the general sees them in a shop, he secretly purchases them back for a woman he is having an affair with. Then, after a gambling loss, she pawns them, and an Italian aristocrat (Vittorio De Sica) buys them for a special Frenchwoman. Read More Read Less

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      Critics Consensus

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

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      Critics Reviews

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      Jean Yothers Orlando Sentinel The love story is movingly tender, interspersed with appealing humor. The suspense built up through complications over a pair of earrings is engrossing. Oct 8, 2021 Full Review Peter Bradshaw Guardian A superb film and a matchless trio of performances. Rated: 5/5 Feb 14, 2013 Full Review Ben Kenigsberg Time Out Slighter and more emotionally distant than Ophls's masterpiece 'Letter from an Unknown Woman', but filled with a similar mood of romantic despair and desperation. Rated: 4/5 Nov 17, 2011 Full Review Pauline Kael Kulchur The virtuosity of his camera technique enables [Ophuls] to present complex, many-layered material so fast that we may be charmed and dazzled by his audacity and hardly aware of how much he is telling us. Sep 11, 2023 Full Review David Nusair Reel Film Reviews ...a lifeless, all-too-theatrical period piece that's hardly able to engender the lush, romantic vibe that Ophuls is clearly striving for. Rated: 1.5/4 Mar 2, 2019 Full Review Austin Trunick Under the Radar Max Ophls' French 1953 production is widely regarded as one of the German-born director's best, and Criterion's presentation lives up to that reputation. Rated: 7.5/10 Sep 8, 2014 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Leaburn O Drags. No idea why it’s regarded a classic. The best bit was the ending. Watched on DVD. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 06/09/24 Full Review Alec B 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. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/05/24 Full Review Thomas V Visually sumptuous, funny and thoroughly enjoyable. Ophuls is a stylist first and foremost, but this film has heart. And the dance montage sequence is brilliant. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/03/23 Full Review andres s Wow the camera work is entrancing, I love it. The way it follows and moves with the actors hands and movements. It reminds me of the way a child might look at the world - in a curious and aware sort of way. The cinematography is magical. It seems Madame De lives a pretty good and easy life surrounded by lavish things. Wow, she's putting him through all this trouble to try and find the earrings when she herself was the one who sold them off. Now she's creating all this unnecessary commotion by involving all these people and even the newspaper - posting an article about it! I do have to say though Madame De sure is attractive. She's pretty in a very elegant and regal sort of way. I find it interesting how there's this undertone of war and politics going on in the background of the movie. Namely the scene when Mr. Remy meets with the general to tell him that she sold the earrings back to him and there's all this marching music and enormous gun fire going on the background while Rey is trying to talk. It's funny, I've noticed in a lot of French movies that having open relationships is pretty common. People will be married, and they'll still have affairs with other people and make it seem like it's ok, like it's normal. But again, just like in good French fashion, it might be some satire on the wealthy society or some political commentary. They love that kind of shit. How funny and ironic how the earrings made their way back to her through her new admirer, Baron Donati. Love that transition from her throwing the shredded papers out of the train to the snowy mountain landscape. Beautifully seamless transition with the use of a fog machine and set design. I love the way the earrings were passed down from different lovers and back to the original owner. It's an interesting dynamic that the earrings have with all of its previous owners and how it connects them all in some cosmic way. The general seeing that Madame now has the earrings again lets him know that the mistress girl that he gave them to sold them off and got rid of them, and now also knows that Donati was the one who gifted them back to her. So now he knows that they're having an affair. Omg lmao! The general forced Madame to give the earrings to his niece as a present, out of spite and punishment, but then she went ahead and sold them back to Mr. Remy lol! Oh shit they're gonna duel it out! About fucking time there's some action in this movie lol! I think it was for the better that the earrings didn't end up being possessed by any one person, instead they were basically gifted to the the church by Madame. Some of the shots that Max Ophuls was able to pull off are almost mind boggling, especially for that time when it was filmed before the advancement of technology and all that. It really is magical at times watching this movie. A good movie about love and the tragedies that come with loving another person. With that being said though, I don't think I'd watch it again. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member The Earrings of Madame de is an astonishing piece of cinema with an convoluted plot that plays with the heartstrings. In most of the its beautiful cinematography, it can be inundating to see the amount of moving shots constantly rotating, putting the subjects in an unending frame of movements and capturing them in their frantic emotions. In the dancing sequence of Madame de... and Donati, we closely orbit them in the half body shot that spans for almost 5 minutes. The effect of this is profound where the viewer is almost in a trance-like state while listening in on the conversation that takes place between them. Its story writing is as clever as it gets with elements analogous to The Only Son where the plot spirals in an out of itself and back into its origin in the ending. The characters are distinct and memorable, each with their own twisted convolutions and fixations. And in the center of that whirlwind of happenstances is the earrings, as the characters are pulled in its direction, slowly shrouded with jealousy, doubts, and delusions by it existence. To put it into perspective, it is as if the earrings precedes the identity of Madame de... for her name was never revealed, only to be associated by her earrings. This gives a glimpse, and even from the very beginning, the materialistic mindset at work: it is object that defines memories and thoughts. The earrings symbolizes different for each character but they never succeed to capture it; it is elusive. On top of that, the dialogues are equally as elusive and hovering (as in never grounded). In my opinion they are deep, symbolic, self-referential, and philosophical, embodying the French romantic spirit (to this in juxtaposition with Umberto D that focusses on the profane mundanity). Overall, the film so beautifully tells the story of romance, guilt, and betrayals; never a moment was it settling and certain for the viewer because the story unfolds in a way that was ambiguous and never too revealing. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/15/23 Full Review peter w As beautifully filmed and acted as it is, it is hard, today, not to reduce this 1953 film to a trope of toxic masculinity - a term that Ophuls, I think, would have found intriguing, given his critical portrayal of women as objects of desire. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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      Movie Info

      Synopsis This film follows a pair of earrings as they change hands during a series of betrayals and romances. A French general (Charles Boyer) presents his wife with the pricey jewelry, but she is forced to sell the earrings after she runs into financial trouble. When the general sees them in a shop, he secretly purchases them back for a woman he is having an affair with. Then, after a gambling loss, she pawns them, and an Italian aristocrat (Vittorio De Sica) buys them for a special Frenchwoman.
      Director
      Max Ophuls
      Producer
      Ralph Baum
      Screenwriter
      Max Ophuls, Annette Wademant, Marcel Achard
      Distributor
      Criterion Collection
      Production Co
      Franco London Films
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      French (France)
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jul 19, 1954, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Mar 17, 2017
      Runtime
      1h 45m
      Sound Mix
      Mono
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