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Madame X (1929)

Passed | | Drama | 17 August 1929 (USA)
A young lawyer unknowingly defends his mother who abandoned him when he was three.



(from the play by), (dialogue)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
John P. Edington ...
Mitchell Lewis ...
Colonel Hanby
Ullrich Haupt ...
Laroque (as Ullric Haupt)
Carroll Nye ...
Claude King ...
Valmorin (as Claud King)
Chappell Dossett ...


Young Raymond Floriot, following in his father Louis Floriot's professional footsteps, he now France's attorney general, has just passed the bar exam. Raymond's first case, appointed to him by the courts, is a murder case. His pitiful and poor Jane Doe client, who refers to herself only as Madame X, admits to killing the scoundrel of a man named Laroque, but won't disclose why or in turn defend herself in court. Raymond knows nothing of her past, which includes once being a woman of class, married to man of prestige. But that marriage ended because he treated her without love, which resulted in her leaving him for another man, who in turn passed away shortly thereafter. Her first marriage produced a son, who her husband refused to let her see. Her son never knew she was alive, he being told by his father that she died. The consequence of his action left Madame X on a downward path where she never found love. Now, in turn, she hopes her silence will protect the one that she really ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Ruth Chatterton is truly superb. She reveals a histrionic ability which is extraordinary. Lionel Barrymore's direction is masterly. See more »




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 August 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Absinthe  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Robert Montgomery was originally intended for the role of Raymond. See more »


Version of Madame X (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

Chatterton shines in creaky early talkie

Ruth Chatterton deserved her Oscar nomination for her excellent performance in this wooden early talkie (Barrymore did not deserve his for Direction). In fact she and Jeanne Eagels (The Letter) were the only actresses nominated that second year of the Academy who deserved the honor. Of course neither won. Perhaps the worst performance by an actress ever recorded on film did win (Pickford in COQUETTE). If you enjoy fine acting, see it for Chatterton alone.

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