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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 <email@example.com>
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 »
I'm a fairly courageous man, Emma, but I was afraid of you.
No! Oh... oh, I ask for too much, I know it. I expected too much of you.
You asked for something that consumes while it burns - that destroys everything it touches. I didn't want to be destroyed.
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Many readers have found Gustave Flaubert's classic novel 'Madame Bovary' somewhat cold and dispassionate, but few will have that complaint after watching this film. Jennifer Jones' flesh-and-blood embodiment of Emma Bovary has passion and emotion to burn, yet it still manages to remain in the spirit of Flaubert's work. Vincente Minneli's direction is brilliant and at times stunning. Witness the waltz sequence. Besides being so aesthetically wonderful, just think what a technical marvel this scene must have been in 1949! I can recommend this version of 'Madame Bovary' without reservation.
Jones' center-stage presence dominates, of course, but the performance of Van Heflin as another memorable character, the pitiable, cuckolded Charles Bovary, should not be overlooked. Plus this movie shows us that Ellen Corby wasn't always old! Check her out as the Bovary's servant, Felicite.
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