The middle-class family of a young woman cannot understand why she delays in marrying a respectable young man. They know nothing about her long-standing affair with a Frenchman.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

WATCH NOW

Videos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fictionalized story of British aerospace engineers solving the problem of supersonic flight.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ralph Richardson, Ann Todd, Nigel Patrick
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Passionate Friends were in love when young, but separated, and she married an older man. Then Mary Justin meets Steven Stratton again and they have one last fling together in the Alps.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ann Todd, Trevor Howard, Claude Rains
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Noel Coward's attempt to show how the ordinary people lived between the wars. Just after WWI the Gibbons family moves to a nice house in the suburbs. An ordinary sort of life is led by the ... See full summary »

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Newton, Celia Johnson, Amy Veness
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Henry Hobson is a successful bootmaker and tyrannical widower of three daughters. The girls each want to leave their father by getting married, but Henry refuses as marriage traditions require him to pay out settlements.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Charles Laughton, John Mills, Brenda de Banzie
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This "story of a ship," the British destroyer HMS Torrin, is told in flash backs by survivors as they cling to a life raft.

Directors: Noël Coward, David Lean
Stars: Noël Coward, John Mills, Derek Elphinstone
Blithe Spirit (1945)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Adapted from a play by Noel Coward, Charles and his second wife Ruth, are haunted by the ghost of his first wife, Elvira. Medium Madame Arcati tries to help things out by contacting the ghost.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Rex Harrison, Constance Cummings, Kay Hammond
Summertime (1955)
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A lonely American woman unexpectedly finds romance in Venice, Italy.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi, Isa Miranda
Oliver Twist (1948)
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is about an orphan boy who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. Oliver is taken in by the pickpocket ... See full summary »

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Newton, Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Director: David Lean
Stars: John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Tony Wager
The Sisters (1938)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Three daughters of a small town pharmacist undergo trials and tribulations in their problematic marriages between 1904 and 1908.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Anita Louise
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The Kettles and their fifteen children are about to be evicted from their rundown rustic home when Pa wins the grand prize by coming up with a new tobacco slogan. Birdie Hicks is jealous of... See full summary »

Director: Charles Lamont
Stars: Marjorie Main, Percy Kilbride, Richard Long
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Elwin Kettle might win a scholarship to an agricultural college. Essay contest judges Mannering and Crosby decide to choose between the two finalist by spending the weekend at the home of ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Lamont
Stars: Marjorie Main, Percy Kilbride, Alan Mowbray
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ann Todd ...
Norman Wooland ...
William Minnoch
Ivan Desny ...
...
James Smith
Barbara Everest ...
Mrs. Smith
Susan Stranks ...
Janet Smith
Patricia Raine ...
Bessie Smith
...
Christina Hackett
Edward Chapman ...
Dr. Thompson
Jean Cadell ...
Mrs. Jenkins
Eugene Deckers ...
Thuau (as Eugène Deckers)
Ivor Barnard ...
Mr. Murdoch
David Horne ...
Lord Justice-Clerk
Henry Edwards ...
Clerk of the Court
...
Lord Advocate
Edit

Storyline

The middle-class family of a young woman cannot understand why she delays in marrying a respectable young man. They know nothing about her long-standing affair with a Frenchman.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

FROM THE KISS THAT BEGAN THE BACK DOOR LOVE AFFAIR...to the crime that made the front pages of the world...(USA print ad) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 February 1950 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Strange Case of Madeleine  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ann Todd had portrayed the title character in theatrical productions of the play this film was based on, and had always wanted to play her in a film adaptation. Shortly after she married director David Lean, he agreed to make this film and cast her as the lead as a "wedding present" of sorts. See more »

Goofs

When the prosecutor first walks away from addressing the jury the first time, the shadow of a boom can clearly be seen following after him across the jury. See more »

Connections

Version of Dishonored Lady (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Lord Blantyre
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by William Alwyn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"The tenderest conscience among you"
20 December 2007 | by (Ruritania) – See all my reviews

Madeleine is one of a number of costume dramas produced around the late 1940s to focus upon psychological conflicts from a female perspective. Other notable examples are Vincente Minelli's Madame Bovary and William Wyler's The Heiress, both released in 1949. However, whereas those two pictures were based upon great literary works from the 19th century, Madeleine is a dramatisation (I would imagine a fairly liberal one given its melodramatic style) of actual events.

Director David Lean was always one to immerse the audience in the psychological states of his characters, often through use of attention grabbing shots and expressive use of sound. There are some fairly routine examples of this in the first half of the film – eerie shadows of Emile twirling his cane, the blaring bagpipe music of a village dance at Emile and Madeleine's secret meeting, and so on.

Another of Lean's characteristics was that, in order to tell a full story, the narrative would switch between the multiple points-of-view. This can be done fairly easily with a director who treats the audience as a passive, externalised viewer, but with Lean's constant involvement of the audience it could occasionally give his films a disjointed, unbalanced feel. This is somewhat the case with Madeleine, which begins as a psychological drama in which a young woman from a strict household must choose between her heart's desire and loyalty to her family. About halfway through however the story becomes a murder mystery and eventually a courtroom drama, and the narrative fragments as we see the points-of-view of various witnesses to supposed crimes. All the psychological set-up of the first forty-five minutes becomes forgotten.

In spite of the fragmentary nature of the whole, there are some strong scenes and the occasional touch of class here and there. The pivotal scene in which Madeleine's father discovers his daughters affair, while at the same time Madeleine learns of Emile's death shows Lean's dramatic staging at its best. Intelligent use of space and positioning of actors in this scene best shows off the varying reactions. The final scenes in court are a carefully constructed blend of points-of-view and reaction shots, and Lean's background as a renowned editor is in evidence.

A great cast was often a hallmark of a David Lean picture, but Madeleine suffers from a lack of classy actors. Having said that Ann Todd, whom I don't normally rate that highly, is not too bad here, emoting well in close-ups. Apart from that the only standouts are Andre Morell in a powerful performance as the defence counsel towards the end of the film, and an unfortunately brief appearance from Scottish character actor John Laurie as a fanatical mob leader.

Madeleine has its moments, but all in all is a bit of a mediocrity. Lean was at his best when he could go all out on the emotional drama, but this foray into the courtroom is simply not enough of one thing or the other to be a really strong picture.


23 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Her Father chris_hughes-1
Discuss Madeleine (1950) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?