Down 10,029 this week

The Earrings of Madame de... (1953)
"Madame de..." (original title)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  19 July 1954 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 4,633 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 70 critic

In the Paris of the late 19th century, Louise, wife of a general, sells the earrings her husband gave her as a wedding gift: she needs money to cover her debts. The general secretly buys ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 20 Mar 2011
a list of 41 titles
created 22 Jun 2012
a list of 31 titles
created 28 Oct 2012
a list of 32 titles
created 8 months ago
a list of 35 titles
created 1 month ago

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Earrings of Madame de... (1953)

The Earrings of Madame de... (1953) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Earrings of Madame de....
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

L'Eclisse (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young woman meets a vital young man, but their love affair is doomed because of the man's materialistic nature.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Monica Vitti, Alain Delon, Francisco Rabal
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A humble clerk courts a woman who night after night awaits for the return of her lover.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Maria Schell, Marcello Mastroianni, Jean Marais
L'Atalante (1934)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When Juliette marries Jean, she comes to live with him as he captains a river barge. Besides the two of them, are a cabin boy and the strange old second mate Pere Jules. Soon bored by life ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Vigo
Stars: Dita Parlo, Jean Dasté, Michel Simon
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A waifish prostitute wanders the streets of Rome looking for true love but finds only heartbreak.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Giulietta Masina, François Périer, Franca Marzi
La Ronde (1950)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An all-knowing interlocutor guides us through a series of affairs in Vienna, 1900. A soldier meets an eager young lady of the evening. Later he has an affair with a young lady, who becomes ... See full summary »

Director: Max Ophüls
Stars: Anton Walbrook, Simone Signoret, Serge Reggiani
El (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Francisco is rich, rather strict on principles, and still a bachelor. After meeting Gloria by accident, he is suddenly intent on her becoming his wife and courts her until she agrees to ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Arturo de Córdova, Delia Garcés, Aurora Walker
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her madness proves to be a problem in the marriage. The film transpires to a positive role of madness in the family, challenging conventional representations of madness in cinema.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Fred Draper
Before Sunset (2004)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse's book tour.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Vernon Dobtcheff
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When a woman dying of cancer in early twentieth-century Sweden is visited by her two sisters, long-repressed feelings between the siblings rise to the surface.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Harriet Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Kari Sylwan
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A 19th-century samurai tries to protect a battered wife.

Director: Yôji Yamada
Stars: Hiroyuki Sanada, Rie Miyazawa, Nenji Kobayashi
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A man and a woman move in to neighboring Hong Kong apartments and form a bond when they both suspect their spouses of extramarital activities.

Director: Kar Wai Wong
Stars: Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ping Lam Siu
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Joan Webster is an ambitious and stubborn middle-class English woman determined to move forward since her childhood. She meets her father in a fancy restaurant to tell him that she will ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, George Carney


Complete credited cast:
Général André de...
Comtesse Louise de...
Baron Fabrizio Donati
Jean Debucourt ...
Monsieur Rémy
Jean Galland ...
Monsieur de Bernac
Mireille Perrey ...
La Nourrice
Paul Azaïs ...
Le premier cocher
Hubert Noël ...
Henri de Maleville
Lia Di Leo ...


In the Paris of the late 19th century, Louise, wife of a general, sells the earrings her husband gave her as a wedding gift: she needs money to cover her debts. The general secretly buys the earrings again and gives them to his mistress, Lola, leaving to go to Constantinople. Where an Italian diplomat, Baron Donati, buys them. Back to Paris, Donati meets Louise... So now Louise discovers love and becomes much less frivolous. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

earring | italian | countess | debt | lover | See more »


It was her vanity that destroyed her.


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

19 July 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Earrings of Madame de...  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


'Charles Boyer' often fought with 'Max Ophuls' about his character's motives. Ophuls one day during rehearsal broke down and said "Enough! His motives are he is written that way!" Boyer never asked him again and decided to play his character as being omnipotent in all his scenes. See more »


When the general gives the earrings to Lola on the train, she is crying and has her little bag on her lap. In the next cut, the bag is on the table. See more »


Général André de...: [Remy shows a pair of earrings] What's that?
Monsieur Rémy: I couldn't believe she'd sell them without your knowledge.
Général André de...: Sell them?
Monsieur Rémy: I thought that by buying them...
Général André de...: What are you saying, Monsieur Remy?
Monsieur Rémy: I thought I was doing both of you a favor.
Général André de...: I don't follow, Monsieur Remy. I sometimes do favors for others but I avoid letting others do them for me.
Monsieur Rémy: A good policy.
See more »


Featured in Max par Marcel (2009) See more »


Einmal im Leben ...(L'amour m'emporte)
music: Oscar Straus
lyrics: Robert Gilbert & Armin Robinson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Art, not an essay by William Bennett
14 September 2009 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

There is little of praise I can add to what others have said. I would like to address the comments of those who don't like the film because they find Louise unworthy of their admiration or sympathy. (There are two threads on the board that raise the same objection, and one quotes a review that calls her a "dick.")

Do you feel sympathy for Humbert Humbert? Or for Emma Bovary? Or for Anna Karenina? Or for the Vicomte de Valmont?

People are certainly free not to like the directing style of Max Ophuls or the performance styles of his actors. But in the negative reactions to this film, and especially to the character of Louise, I detect a strong whiff of anachronistic response, and an inability to see the film in the context of its time and place, not to mention the characters in the context of their society. It also seems to me that many people have a sort of high school notion that you have to find a character admirable in order to feel sorry for her. Or, for that matter, that you have to feel sympathy for a character in order to be moved by her story.

The irony of "Madame de. . ." is that it turns out that the character with the deepest and most constant emotions is the General, who has concealed the depth of his feelings for Louise because it is not the fashion to be in love with one's own wife. He follows the rules; he has mistresses; he doesn't mind Louise's lovers too much as long she too follows the rules. He can't handle it when she strays outside the lines, and it is HIS behavior, not hers, that finally ruins them all.

The art of "Madame de..." is that the lush setting and sense of a society that lives on ersatz emotion prepares us to be caught up in the ecstasy of Louise's immolation as the emotions become real. That doesn't mean that the Baron is really the Romeo to her Juliet, or that (artistically speaking) he needs to be. In her review of "The Story of Adèle H.," Pauline Kael comments on what a pathetically inadequate object of obsession Lt. Pinson constitutes. Indeed, late in the film, when Adèle passes him on the street, she doesn't even notice him. The Baron is also a rather bland love object, and it is true that we have little sense of how far their affair has progressed, or if he would even want Louise to leave her husband for him. (That is not, after all, how the game is played.) In the Garbo "Camille," Robert Taylor's Armand is utterly unworthy of her, and I've never seen a version of "Anna Karenina" where the Vronsky seemed worth ruining oneself over--or who, for that matter, really seemed to WANT Anna to leave her husband for him.

Louise's tragedy is that her understanding of the game, of which she is a typically petty and only somewhat skilled player (she has, after all, already skirted the edge of ruin by falling deeply into debt), does not prepare her for actual love. Once there she tries to behave well, but events spiral out of the control of all the characters once they are outside of the predictable game. We don't even have to see a redemption in the completeness with which she gives herself up to her love, or her making herself ill over it; her behavior is by and large selfish and unconcerned with the feelings of anyone other than herself. If not a redemption she does have a kind of saving grace: she doesn't ask for pity or understanding (although she does ask for forgiveness), and she does achieve a kind of understanding of herself when she admits near the end that she is hopelessly vain.

What makes "Madame de. . ." a great film, though, is how we see the General, Louise, and even the bland Baron become human as they step outside the rules of the game, and the way in which the art of Ophuls prepares us for the exaltation of Louise's destruction. You don't have to pity her to be moved by the emotion of it. You may even find a dreadful comedy in it, as one does with Humbert. Humbert knows how unworthy he is as a figure of tragedy; Valmont realizes with a bitter sense of irony that he has destroyed himself with his own clever pettiness. Louise lacks those levels of insight, as well as their degree of villainy, but her lack of credentials to be a great heroine is itself moving. At the end, when she finally destroys herself, it seems to be, at last, in her first more-or-less-selfless gesture-- ambiguous, though, as everything in Ophuls is.

Perhaps Renoir (the allusion to him above being deliberate) could have made these characters more sympathetic, or made us feel more tenderness for unsympathetic characters. (Renoir could make us feel tenderness for a rock.) But Ophuls is not as purely focused on the human heart as Renoir; he always sees the absurd social animal, as well. I think it is more appropriate with Ophuls to have that distancing, as we have when we read "Madame Bovary."

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The best picture ever made. Algunavezhaztenidounrelojsuizo
US DVD? Peter J
Nameless? mrkph
Criterion September 2008 colvinis
The Opera they attend? woodie66
Gambler Thistle-Rose
Discuss The Earrings of Madame de... (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: