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Le Plaisir (1952)

Le plaisir (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 19 May 1954 (USA)
Three separate stories about the same thing: pleasure.

Director:

Writers:

(stories), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Le docteur (segment "Le Masque")
...
Denise - la femme d"Ambroise (segment "Le Masque")
...
Julia Tellier (segment "La Maison Tellier")
...
Madame Flora dite Balançoire (segment "La Maison Tellier")
Mila Parély ...
Madame Raphaële (segment "La Maison Tellier") (as Mila Parely)
...
Madame Rosa (segment "La Maison Tellier")
...
Julien Ledentu - Le commis-voyageur (segment "La Maison Tellier")
...
Joseph Rivet (segment "La Maison Tellier")
...
...
Jean, le peintre (segment "Le Modèle") (as Daniel Gelin)
...
Joséphine - le modèle (segment "Le Modèle")
Amédée ...
Frédéric - le serveur (segment "La Maison Tellier")
Paul Azaïs ...
Le patron du bal (segment "Le Masque")
Antoine Balpêtré ...
Monsieur Poulain - L'ancien maire (segment "La Maison Tellier") (as Balpétré)
René Blancard ...
Le maire (segment "La Maison Tellier")
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Storyline

Three stories about the pleasure. The first one is about a man hiding his age behind a mask to keep going to balls and fancying women - pleasure and youth. Then comes the long tale of Mme Tellier taking her girls (whores) to the country for attending her niece's communion - pleasure and purity. And lastly, Jean the painter falling in love with his model - pleasure and death. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

pleasure | painter | niece | model | mask | See All (31) »

Taglines:

Three intimate tales by GUY de MAUPASSANT about people who live the way people shouldn't!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 May 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le Plaisir  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last segment initially considered was "La Femme de Paul". See more »

Goofs

As the children parade in during the first communion sequence, half of an actor's mustache falls off. He sticks it back on as the camera pans him out of frame. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [Introducing "La Maison Tellier"] How can I put it without shocking you? It was one of the "houses" - - but very well run. Men went there every night like they'd go to a café . The same six or eight would meet. Respectable men - - shopkeepers, young men of the town, They'd drink and flirt with the girls or talk to Madame, whom everyone respected.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Max par Marcel (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Being Is Moving.
12 September 2009 | by (Cincinnati, OH, United States) – See all my reviews

Max Ophuls' indulgence in mobile camera work is given its utmost fulfillment and flourish in his adaptation of three stories by popular 19th-century French writer Guy de Maupassant, considered one of the fathers of the modern short story. There is largely a rationalization for what may seem like intemperance: Ultimately, life is motion, so this continual progression is the intonation of a notion that doesn't exist in physical form. An enthusiast for immutable motion, Ophuls knew that, due to its pure texture, existence can never be entirely fulfilling, finished, or conclusively satisfied. His world is full of inextricable oppositions, a feature most overtly drawn out in the middle segment of this hilarious, melancholy amalgam. That is why, whether or not one interprets the end as a happy note, it commemorates life.

One can trace, throughout the three tales, a clear-cut evolution in the women's statuses. The wife in the first story, embittered, deserted at home every night while her aging husband frolics in the nearby palais de danse in his escapist mask of youth, is completely involved in his compulsion, even content with him in her serfdom. The women of the middle episode are prostitutes in the town brothel, shown as a crucial community establishment, exercising a kind of control over men and, in the instance of Madame Rosa, beginning to spy promise free of the brothel. In the third story, the woman, acting out against the painter and lover who has retained her like a vendible, defies in the sole manner available to her.

Admirable in their cleverness, rigor and craftsmanship as the surrounding segments are, it is the middle episode whose pleasure, assured by the movie's title, is most affectingly troubled by inferences, by a feeling of defeat surrounded by merriment, by underflows of dissolution. What is introductory is decidedly presented as a usual night. What follows is decidedly unusual: a night when the lights are out, the den is forsaken, and society falls apart. Within minutes, the businessmen, the town hotshots, their evening's escapade turned down, are fighting, fussing, nearly waging war. When eventually they dissolve, one straggler finds the solution, on a paper that has dropped from the door. The whole bunch has gone on a daylong trip to the country, to be at the first Communion of one of the madames' young niece. The central tale reverberates, in model, the triangular form of the film.

A single transient twinkle of shared bedroom eyes is at the crux of Ophuls' arrangement of Maupassant's narrative trifecta. One might say that this lavish tragifarce is structured around it: The sole benign love match in the entire film, and indeed hopeless to attain, the categorical Ophuls love story, nipped in the bud by both an elderly wife and business priorities. Going outward from this axial bond, Ophuls gives us the two train journeys, to and from the country. Being is moving.


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