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Gervaise (1956)

 |  Drama  |  11 November 1957 (USA)
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Gervaise Macquart, a young lame laundress, is left by her lover Auguste Lantier with two boys... She manages to make it, and a few years later she marries Coupeau, a roofer. After working ... See full summary »



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Title: Gervaise (1956)

Gervaise (1956) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
François Périer ...
Jany Holt ...
Mathilde Casadesus ...
Mme Boche - la concierge curieuse
Florelle ...
Maman Coupeau - la vieille mère d'Henri
Micheline Luccioni ...
Clémence - une blanchisseuse, ouvrière chez Gervaise
Lucien Hubert ...
Jacques Harden ...
Goujet - un forgeron, ami de Gervaise et d'Henri
Jacques Hilling ...
Amédée ...
Hubert de Lapparent ...
Hélène Tossy ...
Mme Bijard
Rachel Devirys ...
Mme Fauconnier (as Rachel Devyris)
Jacqueline Morane ...
Mme Gaudron
Yvonne Claudie ...


Gervaise Macquart, a young lame laundress, is left by her lover Auguste Lantier with two boys... She manages to make it, and a few years later she marries Coupeau, a roofer. After working very hard a few more years, she succeeds in buying her own laundry (her dream)... But Coupeau starts to drink after having fallen from a roof, and Lantier shows up... A faithful adaptation of Emile Zola's novel "L'Assomoir", depicting the fatal degeneration of a family of workers, mainly because of alcohol. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Most Unusual Love Story in a Most Unusual Motion Picture! See more »




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Release Date:

11 November 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gervaise  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


French visa # 17232. See more »


Henri Coupeau - le second compagnon de Gervaise, un ouvrier zingueur: Look how she handles men's shirts! She knows what she's doing. She knows them well. She's handled a lot of shirts without men in them! And men without shirts!
See more »


Version of Drink (1902) See more »


Laissez-moi dormir
Music by Georges Auric
Lyrics by Raymond Queneau
Performed by Maria Lopez
See more »

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User Reviews

A work to make feminists weep
8 February 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Against every preconception I could think of, I loved this film. Gervaise is not only an interesting parable which rightly exposes the us to the dangers of drink, but making Maria Schell the protagonist casts the light of feminism into the equation. There is no way to ignore this interpretation either given Schell's brilliantly righteous performance as Gervaise.

Her husband is a drunken fool, no longer able to bring in money to support his family following an accident François Perier plays a drunk worryingly convincingly, but Gervaise is far from helpless. She puts up with the incessant tirade of abuse, womanising and eventually the violence. She is vulnerable yet forceful, respected but never entirely respectful. Nonetheless she is a protagonist and she isn't without her flaws. Her forgiveness of her husband cannot be criticised; we mustn't forget that we're watching a film about the second empire. The issues however are increasingly relevant. Both to Clement as a director in the 1950's and to anyone who decides that picking up a bottle can only harm the consumer.

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