4 user 5 critic

Madame (1961)

Madame Sans-Gêne (original title)
Catherine, an out-spoken Parisian laundress follows Napoleon's army to the battlefront to be near her Sergeant Lefevre. The couple perform a deed of heroism which abets Napoleon's victory, ... See full summary »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Pasquale and Maria, husband and wife, live in a palace supposedly haunted by ghosts and pay no rent. When Pasquale finds some food in the cupboard he thinks the ghosts are at work. Actually... See full summary »

Director: Renato Castellani
Stars: Sophia Loren, Vittorio Gassman, Mario Adorf
Angela (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A war vet finds out that a former prostitute had his baby. Doubting it's his, he gives it away, so she reports him. 20 years later, she still wants to find her son. She meets a young man and falls in love, but the vet's prison term ends.

Director: Boris Sagal
Stars: Sophia Loren, Steve Railsback, John Huston
Lady L (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Lady L. is an elegant, elderly lady who recalls the past loves and lusty adventures she has lived through.

Director: Peter Ustinov
Stars: Sophia Loren, Paul Newman, David Niven
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Sophia Loren plays a dual role, as both the sultry Queen of the Nile with a "man-a-night" appetite and a beautiful slave girl who takes her place and is wooed by a bodyguard who thinks she's the real monarch.

Director: Mario Mattoli
Stars: Sophia Loren, Alberto Sordi, Paul Muller
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A maddened German war criminal lives in a secluded house owned by his rich father who lets him think the war is still on 20 years after the fact. However, no deception can last forever.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Sophia Loren, Maximilian Schell, Fredric March
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A wonderful fairy tale of the misadventures of a beautiful but temperamental Neapolitan peasant, Isabella, when she meets the ill- tempered Spanish Prince Rodrigo Ferrante y Davalos. The ... See full summary »

Director: Francesco Rosi
Stars: Sophia Loren, Omar Sharif, Georges Wilson
Judith (1966)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Beautiful woman who survived concentration camp goes to Israel in 1948 to track down Nazi husband who betrayed her.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Sophia Loren, Peter Finch, Jack Hawkins
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Ephraim Cabot is an old man of amazing vitality who loves his New England farm with a greedy passion. Hating him, and sharing his greed, are the sons of two wives Cabot has overworked into ... See full summary »

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Sophia Loren, Anthony Perkins, Burl Ives
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Alla fine del '600 nel napoletano sotto la dominazione spagnola, il mugnaio Luca cerca di arrabattarsi per non pagare le gabelle che impone Don Teofilo, il governatore, con il consiglio di ... See full summary »

Director: Mario Camerini
Stars: Vittorio De Sica, Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni
Certificate: GP Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Discovering her boyfriend is married, a young lady attempts to take her life, pausing only to phone a Help Line. Finding herself very much alive in hospital she meets the priest who took ... See full summary »

Director: Dino Risi
Stars: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Venantino Venantini
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Back to his hometown, a former marshal finds his house occupied by a young woman working as a fishwife.

Director: Dino Risi
Stars: Vittorio De Sica, Sophia Loren, Lea Padovani
The Sin (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A nun falls in love with her patient, who happens to be a communist.

Director: Alberto Lattuada
Stars: Sophia Loren, Adriano Celentano, Fernando Rey


Cast overview, first billed only:
Renaud Mary ...
Léa Gray
Gianrico Tedeschi ...
Enrique Ávila ...
Le sergent Fricasse
Carlo Giuffrè ...
Fernando Sancho ...
Bruno Carotenuto ...
Blanchet - un garde
Gabriella Pallotta ...
Célina Cély ...
Anna dite Ziguette
Caroline Bonaparte (as Annalia Gadé)
Ida Galli
Silvia Solar ...


Catherine, an out-spoken Parisian laundress follows Napoleon's army to the battlefront to be near her Sergeant Lefevre. The couple perform a deed of heroism which abets Napoleon's victory, so that after the war the grateful Emperor bestows on the now married couple the title of Duke and Duchess. Catherine squabbles with Napoleon's haughty sisters, scandalizes the nobility with her lack of courtly manners, flirts with the men - and consistently creates havoc as she remains true to her earthy background. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Comedy | Romance | War


See all certifications »



| |



Release Date:

13 February 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Madame  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (English dubbed) | (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa # 36239 delivered on 9-12-1961. See more »


When the French revolutionary soldiers march against the Austrian camp, before Lefebvre sabotages the Austrian artillery, a large column of black smoke could be seen already, in the far distance. See more »


Referenced in Showman (1963) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The comedy of war
10 March 2010 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

I haven't read the original play nor have I seen previous adaptations, so I can make no comparisons. But I can tell you, regardless of other versions, that this is a thoroughly enjoyable film with great acting, magnificent sets, witty dialogue and an unusual theme.

First let's talk about the unusual theme. This film is much like the celebrated stories of Guy de Maupassant, using an epic situation as a backdrop and instead telling a very common, human (and humorous) story. In this way, it reduces the epic backdrop to the absurd whilst focusing instead on the importance of individuals in their not-so-epic lives. In other words, this is anti-history. I know I didn't explain that very well, so I'll give you an example instead: Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly" is a perfect illustration, set against the American Civil War yet trivializing the war and instead focusing on 3 gunslingers fighting their own private war. Comedy, wit & irony are key in telling an ironic story like this, and "Madame Sans-Gêne" (as well as "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly") pulls it off brilliantly, largely due to the larger-than-life presence of Sophia Loren in the role of Catherine Sans-Gêne.

There's a line early in the film where the revolutionaries are storming the Tuileries Palace, and they pass by Catherine's laundry shop asking her if she'll come along. She laughs and replies, "No thanks, I already stormed the Bastille last week!" and continues with her laundry. This is the kind of Maupassantian humour I described above, and the film is full of it.

Robert Hossein delivers a marvelous performance as Catherine's husband, the handsome yet awkward provincial (a miller's son) who gets swept up in the epic and gets promoted to royalty. I've only seen Hossein in his heroic, swashbuckling roles, so it was a real treat to see him playing the role of a maladroit oaf for once. His goofy expressions, clumsy gait and general goofiness had me in stitches every time. If you're not familiar with Robert Hossein, try to imagine someone like maybe Christopher Walken playing the part of a nerd. That's the comedy I'm talking about.

I give another thumbs up to Julien Bertheau who plays the "little General" himself, Napoleon. His character is a real douchebag, but you love him for it, and you may even gain an appreciation for the infamous egomaniac who was thrust into one of the most absurd situations in history (leading a nation that had just overthrown its monarchy yet was all too eager to re-create the same monarchy, only with different faces).

I don't think you need to be a student of French history to appreciate this film. It tells a timeless story of the silliness of government, revolution, war, corruption & back to government ...and the loud-mouthed laundress who didn't seem to be affected by any of it. Watch it & enjoy!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Need a Copy_ Penndraggon
The celebrated cannon-shoving scene jonah_begone
NY Release robert4770
Discuss Madame (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: