Madame DuBarry is a 1934 American historical film directed by William Dieterle and starring Dolores del Rio, Reginald Owen, Victor Jory and Osgood Perkins. The film portrays the life of ...
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The daughter of a seamstress, Jeanne Bécu could hardly imagine she would later become one of the most influential women of the Kingdom of France. Nor could she anticipate her quick fall and... See full summary »
Gianna Maria Canale
Madame DuBarry is a 1934 American historical film directed by William Dieterle and starring Dolores del Rio, Reginald Owen, Victor Jory and Osgood Perkins. The film portrays the life of Madame Du Barry, the last mistress of King Louis XV of France. While this film does not serve accuracy to Madame Du Barry, it does feature antiques and jewelry that came from the actual days when Madame Du Barry lived. This film was released just as the Hays Code was taking full swing, and faced many problems with censors of the time. Scenes of this film had to be removed before its release or else it would have not been approved for release.
MADAME DU BARRY, a wanton, vivacious young woman, catches the eye & the heart of the aging Louis XV and quickly becomes his mistress. Through guile & intelligence, she soon finds herself the most powerful woman in France.
Dolores Del Rio shines in this funny, lavish & sadly neglected film. Her Mexican accent is more than compensated for by her fiery beauty & fine acting. She is perfectly matched by Reginald Owen as Louis, in one of his finest roles, somewhat ribald & ridiculously in love. An odd cinematic couple they may be, but they are never less than entertaining.
An excellent cast supports them: Maynard Holmes & Anita Louise as the childish Dauphin & strong-minded Marie Antoinette; Victor Jory, Osgood Perkins, Verree Teasdale, Henry O'Neill & Ferdinand Gottschalk as sundry court officials & hangers-on; Dorothy Tree, Helen Howell & Joan Wheeler as Louis' spiteful daughters; Halliwell Hobbes as the English Ambassador; and Arthur Treacher as the snooty Master of the Bedchamber.
Movie mavens will spot, in uncredited roles, Doris Lloyd as the madam of the royal brothel; and Robert Greig, as Louis' chef, who shares a hilarious omelet-making scene with Reginald Owen.
Curiously, the film takes great pains in making the Dauphin & Marie Antoinette into sympathetic figures, especially during their bizarre wedding night sequence, only to turn them into villains in the very last scene.
Warner Bros. must have spent a pretty penny on this film - and it shows. Its pre-Production Code status is also very evident from the somewhat salacious content & dialogue.
What really happened to Marie Jeanne Bécu, Comtesse Du Barry, after the death of Louis XV in 1774? She retired to a life of luxury in her private château and kept up a schedule of intrigues & dalliances throughout the reign of Louis XVI. With the outbreak of the Revolution, Du Barry escaped to England in 1793. Foolishly, she returned to France & was arrested on charges of conspiracy against the New Order. Du Barry had her appointment with Madame Guillotine on December 8, 1793. She was 50 years old.
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