Cannes Classics | Update : 13.02.18 . 6:28 PM

Madame de… (The Earrings of Madame de…) - Henry-Jean Servat shares his thoughts

Film still of Madame de...

Film still of Madame de... © RR

A copy of Max Ophuls's 1953 masterpiece, Madame de… (The Earrings of Madame de...), restored by Gaumont, is being shown at Cannes Classics to celebrate the 100th birthday of Danielle Darrieux. The screening is hosted by Dominique Besnehard, Pierre Murat and Henry-Jean Servat, with the latter presenting an extract of the last ever interview filmed with the actress. The French author and journalist shares anecdotes about the most iconic film of an actress he truly admires.

A champagne bubble...
In Madame de... (The Earrings of Madame de…), she is as dazzling as she is exciting, and with Max Ophuls - who was crazy about her and with whom she got on famously- she was able to truly let herself go. Watching this film about superficiality is like witnessing the bursting of a champagne bubble. From a frivolous and spoilt society woman, she becomes a heroine of Greek tragedy and falls madly in love. Society life turns tragic.

The noise of carriages?
Though we are told her name in Louise de Vilmorin’s novel, the inspiration behind the film, Max Ophuls insisted that we must never find out the name of Madame de... There are seven or eight occasions in the film when her name might be revealed, but it never happens. It is always masked by the sound of a carriage or another noise that makes it impossible to hear it. This is characteristic of the director’s extremely elegant style of directing. The staging, like the film, is magnificently and elaborately baroque.

The antithesis of Madame de...
Danielle Darrieux may have been the actress du jour, but in reality she had always been a star. She was 14 when she began her career with Le Bal (1931). She was fresh and exciting, she sang, and she sang well because her mother was a singing teacher. In life, Danielle Darrieux was the antithesis of Madame de... She lived close to nature, on an island off the coast of Brittany, far from Parisian society.

Written by Charlotte Pavard

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Max OPHULS

FRANCE, ITALY - 1953

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Cannes Classics Released on 23.05.17

Madame de… (The Earrings of Madame de…) - Henry-Jean Servat shares his thoughts

A copy of Max Ophuls's 1953 masterpiece, Madame de… (The Earrings of Madame de...), restored by Gaumont, is being shown at Cannes Classics to celebrate the 100th birthday of Danielle Darrieux. The screening is hosted by Dominique Besnehard, Pierre Murat and Henry-Jean Servat, with the latter presenting an extract of the last ever interview filmed with the actress. The French author and journalist shares anecdotes about the most iconic film of an actress he truly admires.

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Cannes Classics23.05.17

Madame de… (The Earrings of Madame de…) - Henry-Jean Servat shares his thoughts

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