IMDb > Diary of a Chambermaid (1964)
Le journal d'une femme de chambre
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Diary of a Chambermaid (1964) More at IMDbPro »Le journal d'une femme de chambre (original title)

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Overview

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7.6/10   4,837 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Octave Mirbeau (based on the novel by)
Luis Buñuel (adaptation) ...
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Contact:
View company contact information for Diary of a Chambermaid on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 March 1965 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Celestine, the chambermaid, has new job on the country. The Monteils, who she works for are a group of strange people... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Minor masterpiece? Quite the opposite! See more (32 total) »

Cast

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Directed by
Luis Buñuel 
 
Writing credits
Octave Mirbeau (based on the novel by)

Luis Buñuel (adaptation and dialogue) &
Jean-Claude Carrière (adaptation and dialogue)

Produced by
Michel Safra .... producer
Serge Silberman .... producer
 
Cinematography by
Roger Fellous 
 
Film Editing by
Luis Buñuel 
Louisette Hautecoeur 
 
Production Design by
Georges Wakhévitch 
 
Costume Design by
Georges Wakhévitch 
 
Makeup Department
Simone Knapp .... hair stylist
Maguy Vernadet .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Henri Baum .... production manager
Jacqueline Dudilleux .... assistant production manager
Ulrich Picard .... production manager (as U. Picard)
André Retbi .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Juan Luis Buñuel .... assistant director
Pierre Lary .... assistant director
 
Art Department
René Calviera .... assistant art director
Charles Merangel .... set dresser
 
Sound Department
Robert Cambourakis .... sound assistant
Antoine Petitjean .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Agathe Beaumont .... second assistant camera
Jean-Louis Castelli .... still photographer
Adolphe Charlet .... camera operator
René Schneider .... first assistant camera
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jacqueline Moreau .... wardrober
 
Editorial Department
Arlette Lalande .... assistant editor
 
Other crew
Robert Demollière .... administrator
Suzanne Durrenberger .... script supervisor (as Suzanne Duremberg)
Odette Laeupplée .... production secretary
Maurice Otte .... production accountant
Jean Van Praag .... administrator
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le journal d'une femme de chambre" - France (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
101 min | France:97 min | Brazil:94 min | Argentina:97 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Finland:K-16 | Ireland:12 (DVD rating) | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | Portugal:17 (censored version) | UK:X (original rating) | UK:12 (video rating) (2001) | UK:15 (video rating) (1993) | UK:AA (original rating) (1981) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:12 (w)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This is Luis Buñuel's only film in the anamorphic widescreen format.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Céléstine:Are you from the priory?
Joseph:Yes.
Céléstine:Is it far?
Joseph:You'll see.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Call Him Jess (2000)See more »

FAQ

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Minor masterpiece? Quite the opposite!, 16 March 2006

Luis Buñuel, the man considered Spain's finest filmmaker and revered master of surrealism by both critics and film historians, made a surprising change of style in the first of the series of masterpiece she did in France during his last years. Taking out his usual surrealist set-pieces, he adapts Octave Mirbeau's revered novel about social classes in a very straight-forward fashion. However, this does not mean the movie is bad as many may believe; quite the opposite, "Le Journal d'eune Femme de Chambre" is a perfect showcase of Buñuel's finest film-making style, ambiguous and stylish, like the master's own vision of life.

The plot follows Celestine (Jeanne Moreau), an urban young woman moving to country in 30s France to work as a chambermaid for the Monteils, a rich family with a few dark secrets. As soon as she arrives, problems start as she tries to adapt to her new life with the bizarre Monteils. Between the constant advances of sexually insatiable Monsieur Monteil (Michel Piccoli), the always vigilant eye of his materialist wife (Françoise Lugagne) and the shoe fetish of old Monsieur Rabour (Jean Ozenne); Celestine makes her way through this collection of living portraits of the most bizarre human nature.

With a plot like this it would easy to believe this is a movie where the high class is demonized and the poor sanctified, but this is not the case here. Buñuel makes sure to have an ambiguity in every character, even in Celestine herself. There is no black and white, just different shades of gray, in a way similar to the beautiful black & white photography he uses here.

The photography is essential in this film; not only for aesthetic purposes, it represents the dark decadent days of 30s Europe, and the pessimism latent in both rich and poor people. As I wrote above, the shades of gray match perfectly the ambiguity of a group of characters with as many virtues as flaws. Buñuel and his cast manage to create believable and realistic characters.

Jeanne Moreau gives a brilliant performance as Celestine. As the beautiful young city woman highly intelligent and not without aspirations, her character has enough room to let her shine, and she really makes the most of it. Equally brilliant is Georges Géret as Joseph, the tough gardener with fascist ideals that has a secret agenda. The rest of the cast is also very good and together with the witty script complete a superb character-driven movie.

Buñuel's masterful direction creates a film that, while completely focused on the characters, is still filled with his usual symbolism. The edition and the camera-work are superb and way the camera seems to flow inside the house gives the film a voyeuristic feeling. No wonder why Buñuel consider it a very erotic film.

While many people consider this movie as one of his "lesser works", I consider it to be quite underrated, as it proved that Buñuel was a master not only of surrealism, but of film-making in general. 9/10

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Societal Issues and Evil SurrenderToto
So who actually killed Claire? johnmuir76
PARODY OF BRESSON FILM? nikhil7179
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The hidden message at the end of the movie furnitzitro
I love this film! lordgoblinking
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