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Madeleine (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 14 February 1950 (UK)
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.

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Norman Wooland ...
William Minnoch
...
...
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
...
Clerk of the Court
...
Lord Advocate
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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

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Can YOU decide what no jury ever could? See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

14 February 1950 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Strange Case of Madeleine  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Lean regarded this as his worst film. 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

Referenced in Foul Play (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Parjeure
(uncredited)
Written by Amedee de Beauplan
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User Reviews

 
Familiar material given the David Lean touch but is emotionally cold...
29 October 2007 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

It should come as no surprise that the trial of MADELEINE may well have been termed "the trial of the century" in 1857's Scotland. And from this true story, David Lean has made a period romance starring ANN TODD as the scheming woman from a wealthy background who feels compelled to hide her love affair with a commoner from her disapproving father.

Madeleine defies the conventions of her stiff upper-class household and, after receiving a proper gentleman caller with her family, retreats to her private room where she has an assignation with a lover who is not a man of means. The shadowy interiors suggest the menace to come, as her father urges her to take a suitable suitor in marriage as soon as possible.

What hurts the story is the familiarity of it all--a woman of substance wanting to break out of the social boundaries of convention. And unfortunately, there is nothing novel or different about this version of such a tale to make it of more than routine interest, despite the David Lean touch. What it really needed was Alfred Hitchcock's guiding hand.

All of the technical ingredients are fine but the script is ultimately a disappointment and tends to be dull in spots. Furthermore, Ann Todd's Madeleine is not a very arresting character. This has to be considered one of David Lean's less effective films. The story is as emotionally cold as Madeleine herself and her demure behavior with her father seems more like a pose than anything else, one that he should easily be able to see through. Her arrest for murder in the poisoning of her lover is handled with too many frigid close-ups of Todd's face and no real explanation of what happened.

It's certainly not a "must see" film by the renowned directed Lean.

Best performance in the entire film: ANDRE MORELL as the defense counselor who gives the most stirring and satisfying speech in the courtroom as to why Madeleine should be found innocent of the circumstantial evidence.


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