7.4/10
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Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne (1945)

Les dames du Bois de Boulogne (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 3 April 1964 (USA)
A society lady engineers a marriage between her lover and a cabaret dancer who is essentially a prostitute.

Director:

Robert Bresson

Writers:

Robert Bresson (scenario & adaptation), Denis Diderot (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Paul Bernard ... Jean
María Casares ... Hélène
Elina Labourdette ... Agnès
Lucienne Bogaert ... Mme. D
Jean Marchat Jean Marchat ... Jacques
Yvette Etiévant ... La bonne
Marcel Rouzé Marcel Rouzé
Bernard Lajarrige Bernard Lajarrige
Lucy Lancy Lucy Lancy
Nicole Regnault Nicole Regnault
Emma Lyonel Emma Lyonel
Marguerite de Morlaye Marguerite de Morlaye
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Storyline

Hélène understands that Jean doesn't love her anymore. She is full of grief and anger, and she starts brooding on revenge. When she meets Jean, she pretends herself to be the one that has ceased to love the other. Jean is relieved, because now he thinks they can part as friends. Hélène goes to a night club, where a young woman, Agnès, is a famous dancer. Agnés has been forced into this life of debauchery and courtesanship because of poverty. She hates it and all the lecherous men. Hélène has met Agnès and her mother several years ago, and after the show she looks them up. She says that she will help them to leave this degrading life. The next day they shall move to an apartment she has rented, and stay there anonymously. Some days later she arranges a seemingly spontaneous meeting between Jean and Agnès in the Bois de Boulogne. Jean immediately falls in love with Agnès, who he thinks is an innocent girl from the countryside. Fueled by Hélène, and by Agnès's resistance, his infatuation... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Starring the magnificent Maria Casares as 'first violin" in a 'string quartet" of 3 women and 1 man - Diderot's classic tale adapted by Jean Cocteau of a jilted woman's devastating revenge that boomeranged!

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

3 April 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ladies of the Park See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The dialogue was written by writer and filmmaker Jean Cocteau. See more »

Goofs

Agnes changes position between shots after she faints at her wedding reception. See more »

Quotes

Agnès: Men are fools. Too bad for him!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The German dubbed version is about two minutes shorter, due to several cuts in the final scenes. The channel Arte screened the complete movie with the missing scenes subtitled. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cinéastes de notre temps: Bresson ni vu ni connu (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A tale of revenge
28 January 2019 | by gbill-74877See all my reviews

After a woman tells her lover the thrill is gone and that she wants to break it off, he confesses the same thing, taking her aback and wounding her pride. This sets in motion a plan for slow, methodical, delicious revenge. That makes total sense, right? Her idea is to get him interested in a woman who had aspirations to become a serious dancer, but out of poverty, had to turn to dancing in cabarets and prostitution to support herself and her mother. She plots to keep the 'fallen' woman's story hidden and to put the two in each other's path, then manipulate him into falling in love. The icy cruelty and emotional torture may remind you of the aristocrats in Laclos's 'Dangerous Liaisons', and indeed, the script is based on a part of a book by Denis Diderot, 'Jacques the Fatalist,' which was also published in the late 18th century.

María Casares is suitably evil in the leading role, and I really felt for the young woman who becomes her pawn (Elina Labourdette). When we first meet the latter, she's dancing in front of men and trying to keep a smile on her face, but hating their attention. We soon see her in the grip of a rich guy who humiliates her by blowing smoke in her face and smirking. It's hard to fathom how her mother can encourage her to accept this life, even out of necessity. This along with the tropes of the wrath of a woman scorned and the shame of a woman who is not virginal give the film an unpleasant overall taste. It is interesting to see the story unfold, however, with Labourdette's character sensing something is amiss and suspecting Casares. The ending is also strong.


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