French author Gustave Flaubert is on trial for writing the "indecent" novel "Madame Bovary." To prove that he wrote a moral tale, Flaubert narrates the story of beautiful Emma Bovary, an adulteress who destroyed the lives of everyone she came in contact with. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Director Vincente Minnelli wanted Lana Turner for the role of Emma, but Turner found the script dull and flat, refusing to accept the role; she was also pregnant at the time, another reason for her turning it down. Jennifer Jones was cast instead. See more »
There are those who are offended by her, and who see in Emma Bovary's life an attack upon public morality. Gentlemen of the court, I maintain that there is truth in her story, and that a morality which has within it no room for truth is no morality at all. Men may dislike truth. Men may find truth offensive and inconvenient. Men may persecute the truth, subvert it, try by law to suppress it. But to maintain that men have the final power over truth is blasphemy and the last illusion. Truth lives...
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Although it is several years since I saw it I can remember the beautiful photography and period setting of this not very happy story of a tormented woman.Particularly Jennifer Jones,a vastly underrated actress giving a sensitive performance which one imagined could have done with a bit more directoral guidance. Minnelli was one of those directors who seemed to give all or nothing to his projects.By his own admission he had very little interest in "Kismet" as he wanted to get it out of the way in order to start "Lust for Life" with Kirk Douglas.The lumbering manner of "Kismet" shows this to be true !! (he owed MGM one picture under his contract before starting "Lust for Life" and unfortunately for the project "Kismet" was it)Additionally Minelli did not want Jones in the lead role and one wonders how influencial David Selznick was in pushing for Jennifer once Lana Turner was unavailable for the lead.At any rate Lana had not yet developed her dramatic abilities which would lie some years ahead.Jennifer showed that she was adaptable to many moods including a few years later her scene stealing turn in "Beat the Devil" few actresses can take credit for stealing a picture away from Bogie,Peter Lorre,Robert Morley and LaLolla. Back to Madame Bovary,although the subject is a heavy one,it is well handled by Minnelli,and most reference books today regard it as a sadly neglected piece,which deserves a wider recognition.Interestingly if my memory serves me correctly Vincente barely mentions it in his autobiography.Maybe his private life at the time and his more financially successful works figure more prominantly in his memory.If I had directed Madame Bovary I would be immensly proud of it.Maybe he was.
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