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Madame Bovary (1949)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  23 January 1950 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,722 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 15 critic

A provincial doctor's wife's romantic illusions about life and social status lead her to betray her naive husband, take on lovers and run up ruinous debts.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alf Kjellin ...
Leon Dupuis (as Christopher Kent)
Frank Allenby ...
Mayor Tuvache
Hyppolite (as Henry Morgan)
George Zucco ...
Henri Letondal ...
Esther Somers ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


All she wanted was everything. See more »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 January 1950 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Madame Bovary und ihre Liebhaber  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Minelli originally wanted James Mason for the role of Rodolphe, eventually played by Louis Jourdan, but Mason instead took the role of Gustave Flaubert in the framing story. See more »


Rodolphe Boulanger: I'm a fairly courageous man, Emma, but I was afraid of you.
Emma Bovary: No! Oh... oh, I ask for too much, I know it. I expected too much of you.
Rodolphe Boulanger: You asked for something that consumes while it burns - that destroys everything it touches. I didn't want to be destroyed.
See more »


Version of Madame Bovary (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

Flaubert revisited by Hollywood.
1 August 2001 | by See all my reviews

Three versions stand out as far as Flaubert's classic is concerned:the Jean Renoir one,with Valentine Tessier,which has not worn well,the acting has become unconvincing and almost lurid when you see it today,Minelli's version and Claude Chabrol's starring Isabelle Huppert ,which doesn't avoid totally academism,despite Jean-François Balmer's portrayal of Charles that steals the show . Now for Minelli 's attempt:some have been hard on his rendition,and however,it features the best Emma ever:Jennifer Jones,the romantic heroine par excellence.Her savage beauty,looking tense,triumphs here. The supporting acts are well-chosen:Van Heflin is oafish,meek.The French Louis Jourdan is well-cast as Rodolphe Boulanger,Emma's lover who betrays her and leaves her to despair.Their final confrontation,in Boulanger's luxury mansion oozes hatred and contempt. The main drawback is the rural background:Minelli did not realize how this country life disgusted Emma:the wedding,a very very peasant one ,which Flaubert describes in lavish detail,is too short on the screen.The farms are too clean-Emma dreamed her childhood away because she could not stand the mediocrity of her milieu.She jumped out of the frying pan into the fire:a two-bit doctor,a would-be sawbones who 's totally incompetent.Van Heflin's rendering makes up for Minelli's weaknesses.The movie is sandwiched between two brief scenes of Flaubert 's trial (He was accused of immorality in his book),that's redundant.It would have been better to tell the audience about Emma's daughter's terrible fate:after the doctor's death,an orphan,she becomes a worker in a spinning mill.Supreme decay for a mother who was longing to be a socialite.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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What a supremely selfish woman!!!! SusanJL
why make the novel into a film? phil_manic
Emma Bovary's ball gown boudica10
Is Jennifer Jones in the court scene at the end? JB-36
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Hippolyte's faux operation ahall-3
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