7.5/10
62
1 user 4 critic

The Pit of Loneliness (1951)

Olivia (original title)
Olivia, an English teenager, arrives at a finishing school in France. The majority of the pupils in the school are divided into two camps: those that are devoted to the headmistress, Mlle ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(adaptation), (novel) (as Olivia) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

At an all-girls boarding school, Manuela falls in love with a teacher, to terrific consequences.

Directors: Leontine Sagan, Carl Froelich
Stars: Dorothea Wieck, Hertha Thiele, Emilia Unda
Summertime (2015)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

There was little chance, in the year 1971, that Carole, a Paris Spanish teacher and feminist militant, would ever meet Delphine, the daughter of a couple of Limousin farmers. But they did ... See full summary »

Director: Catherine Corsini
Stars: Cécile De France, Izïa Higelin, Noémie Lvovsky
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After the death of her parents young girl Manuela von Meinhardis is sent to a boarding school where Prussian drill rules the education. Desperately seeking love and warmth in Manuela's ... See full summary »

Director: Géza von Radványi
Stars: Lilli Palmer, Romy Schneider, Therese Giehse
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Watchmaker finds out one day that his son has become a murderer. He tries to understand for whom and why.

Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Jean Rochefort, Jacques Denis
Gigi (1949)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Gilberte is a sixteen year old girl raised by her aunt and grandmother to be a demimondaine. But she's not ready for that yet, and spends her days in lessons and in teasing Mamita's old ... See full summary »

Director: Jacqueline Audry
Stars: Gaby Morlay, Jean Tissier, Yvonne de Bray
The Extra Day (1956)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The final scene of a film has been lost and the extras have to be rounded up for it to be re-shot.

Director: William Fairchild
Stars: Richard Basehart, Simone Simon, George Baker
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This is the sad story of several desperate ladies incarcerated somewhere in Italy in a camp for displaced women after the end of World War II. Among them, Anna, a Yugoslav, who has seen her... See full summary »

Director: Géza von Radványi
Stars: Simone Simon, Vivi Gioi, Françoise Rosay
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A priest is sent to a small parish in the Polish countryside which is believed to be under demonic possession and there he finds his own temptations awaiting.

Director: Jerzy Kawalerowicz
Stars: Lucyna Winnicka, Mieczyslaw Voit, Anna Ciepielewska
Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A young girl rents an apartment from a man who has recently enlisted in the Marines. The trouble is that he's given out keys to a half-dozen of his friends, and they all keep dropping in.

Director: Joe May
Stars: Simone Simon, James Ellison, William Terry
Josette (1938)
Comedy | Crime | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two young men try to wrest their father from the clutches of a gold digger but by mistake think the woman is a young nightclub singer with whom they both fall in love.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Don Ameche, Simone Simon, Robert Young
Water Lilies (2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Summer in a new suburb outside Paris. Nothing to do but look at the ceiling. Marie, Anne and Floriane are 15. Their paths cross in the corridors at the local swimming pool, where love and desire make a sudden, dramatic appearance.

Director: Céline Sciamma
Stars: Pauline Acquart, Louise Blachère, Adèle Haenel
Lianna (1983)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A happily married woman comes to realize herself of being a repressed lesbian after she has an affair with a female college professor, and then tries to come to terms with her newfound lifestyle.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Linda Griffiths, Jane Hallaren, Jon DeVries
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edwige Feuillère ...
...
Mlle. Cara
Marie-Claire Olivia ...
Olivia Dealey (as Claire Olivia)
Yvonne de Bray ...
Victoire
Suzanne Dehelly ...
Mlle. Dubois
Marina de Berg ...
Mimi
Lesly Meynard ...
Frau Riesener
Rina Rhéty ...
Signorina (as Rita Roanda)
Tania Soucault ...
Georgie
Elly Claus ...
Laura (as Elly Overzier)
Nadine Olivier ...
Cécile
Sophie Mallet
Hélène Rémy
Michèle Monty
Ludmilla Hols ...
(as Ludmilia Hols)
Edit

Storyline

Olivia, an English teenager, arrives at a finishing school in France. The majority of the pupils in the school are divided into two camps: those that are devoted to the headmistress, Mlle Julie and those who follow Mlle Cara, an emotionally manipulative invalid who is obsessed with Mlle Julie.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Secrets of a Woman's Love-Starved Soul!

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 April 1951 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Pit of Loneliness  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Mlle. Cara: You don't love me, no one does !
Mlle. Cara: Yes, Cara, I do love you. All I wish for you is that you be cured and well again.
Mlle. Cara: No you don't ! You don't care if I live or die !
Mlle. Julie: How unfair you are ! I have done everything to ensure you are comfortable and well looked-after !
Mlle. Cara: Oh, you're so perfect ! Well I don't need you !
Mlle. Julie: Cara, how can you say such an awful thing ?
Mlle. Cara: Because it's true ! You steal them away from me ! I was counting on Olivia, but you stole her from me too ! Oh, I wish I were dead ! I just want ...
[...]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Look At Olivia Vs. Maedchen Uniform
10 October 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A brief look at "Olivia" versus "Maedchen in Uniform" before I offer my exclusive review of the former.

While it is true that Dorothy Strachey's 1933 novel Olivia (which was published in French originally, and then published again in English in 1949) was inspired by Christa Winsloe's novel-turned-play-turned-movies The Child Manuela, it certainly offered a different backdrop, as well as array of characters. The Child Manuela, adapted for the screen under the title "Maedchen in Uniform", was first made in 1931, starring Dorothea Wieck and Hertha Thiele. It was then re-made nearly 30 yrs later starring Lilli Palmer and Romy Schneider. I am a HUGE Lilli Palmer fan, so I personally favor the re-make over the original. But that's just me.

"Olivia" is probably one of the most civilized films of its kind and for its time. I have only seen the French version of it, so I hope there were no cuts. I am curious to know what all was cut from the US release, as I seem to think that even in the French one, there is a scene toward the end of it in which Mlle Julie (played by the EXTRAORDINARY Edwige Feuillere) comes into Olivia's room to say goodbye to her and Olivia embraces her. She says that she must say goodbye to all that she has loved, even to Olivia, and she leans close. It appears that they may have cut the bit that shows her kissing Olivia on the lips. She comes so close, and then there's this little disturbance and suddenly she's inches away from Olivia.

I have a strong affinity for novels and films regarding erotic pedagogy. I've been there myself. There really is no easy end to a story like that. But "Olivia" somehow sticks with me. I have the novel, which is a must-read, and I am surprised no one has re-made it.

The 1951 film is extremely difficult to find. There is a user on YouTube that offers it, but the quality is not the greatest. Still, it's something ! I am surprised that there is not more on the internet about this, as there is for "Maedchen in Uniform". I think "Olivia" was a bolder film, and less ambiguous in terms of the teacher reciprocating the student's affections. The novel is slightly more explicit about there being a mutual attraction between them, but even the film shows a level of intimacy that we don't see in MiU. The kissing scene in MiU (1958) arises from Manuela rehearsing her lines for Romeo and Juliet. Also, many people could easily say that Manuela is only crushing on Fraulein Von Bernburg because she has just lost her mother and she is searching for the affection she doesn't receive from anyone else at Kaiserin-Augusta EXCEPT for Fraulein Von Bernburg, leading them to conclude that she's not really in love. Both versions of that film hold this same ambiguous uncertainty, which I find disappointing.

"Olivia" is much more blank-slate. The feelings between Julie and Olivia exist and are mutual, even if there are no explicitly sexual scenes which reflect that. It is quite obvious that Mlle Julie sees something in Olivia, and that is love, which she herself does not feel she gets from Cara, the other headmistress (as well as her partner). It's implied that Julie and Cara are companions, not just partners in running Les Avons, both in the novel and the film. The villain in the story is Frau Riesener, who seizes Cara in her vulnerable state and weakens her, driving a wedge between her and Julie which causes her to become jealous of Julie's rapport with her students.

There is an odd scene in "Olivia" which always seems to confuse me. WARNING ! SPOILER ! Julie kisses another girl, Cecile, openly and blatantly on her shoulder in front of Olivia, as if to provoke her jealousy. This is unseemly to me. I'm sure it's meant to attract attention, as she doesn't receive much affection from Cara, who, just a few scenes back, accused Julie of not loving her. Of course, Cara does not appeal to me at all. She is histrionic and ill-tempered. It is obvious that she doesn't appreciate all that Julie does to try to make her happy. It's no wonder that Julie should desire to spend more time with her students and at dinner parties than with Cara !

The story is quite complex ! Aside from it being about a girls' boarding school, and the skeletal notion of erotic pedagogy driving the plot, "Olivia" and "Maedchen" are COMPLETELY different films to me. Actually, I think "Olivia" is more complex and mysterious., which pleases me greatly. There are many ambiguities and unanswered questions, but whether or not Julie returns Olivia's affections is not one of them.

In short, "Olivia" is a dynamic story, quite complex. It is also somewhat of an ensemble. All of the characters play integral roles, from Olivia herself to the headmistresses, to even the Victoire the cook.

This film presents La Premiére (Edwige Feuillère) at her finest !

Ten out of ten !

Cheers, Katharyn R. King Screenwriter, Actor, Director


14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Olivia Vs. Maedchen In Uniform KatharynRKing
Discuss The Pit of Loneliness (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?