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Madame Bovary
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Madame Bovary (1991) More at IMDbPro »

Madame Bovary -- In nineteenth-century France, the romantic daughter of a country squire (Emma Rouault) marries a dull country doctor (Charles Bovary)...


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Down 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Gustave Flaubert (based on the novel by)
Claude Chabrol (adaptation)
View company contact information for Madame Bovary on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1991 (USA) See more »
In nineteenth-century France, the romantic daughter of a country squire (Emma Rouault) marries a dull country doctor (Charles Bovary)... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
It flags and it drags, and whilst it loses its direction on the odd occasion, there is about enough to involve one's self in. See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Claude Chabrol 
Writing credits
Gustave Flaubert (based on the novel by)

Claude Chabrol (adaptation and dialogue)

Produced by
Marin Karmitz .... producer
Original Music by
Jean-Michel Bernard 
Matthieu Chabrol 
M.J. Coignard-Helison  (as Maurice Coignard)
Cinematography by
Jean Rabier 
Film Editing by
Monique Fardoulis 
Production Design by
Michèle Abbé-Vannier 
Set Decoration by
Jacques Mollon 
Costume Design by
Corinne Jorry 
Makeup Department
Jean-Pierre Berroyer .... hair stylist
Sandrine Coraux .... hair stylist
Sandrine Coraux .... makeup artist
Catherine Demesmeaker .... makeup artist
Elisabeth Perchet .... hair stylist
Elisabeth Perchet .... makeup artist
Production Management
Yvon Crenn .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Cécile Maistre .... assistant director
Alain Wermus .... assistant director
Art Department
Jean-René Coulon .... property master
Serge Le Puil .... property buyer (as Serge Le Puyl)
Sound Department
Brigitte Grynblat .... sound editor
André Naudin .... foley artist
Gadou Naudin .... foley artist
Philippe Richard .... boom operator
Camera and Electrical Department
Cendrine Dedise .... second assistant camera
Jean-Marc Rabier .... assistant camera
Dominique Robert .... best boy grip
Alain Tanguy .... electrician
Michel Thiriet .... camera operator
Richard Vidal .... electrician
Music Department
Jean-Michel Bernard .... music arranger
Michel Ganot .... conductor
Other crew
Aurore Chabrol .... script supervisor
Eva Simonet .... press attache

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
143 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

In its original French version, one of the masculine voices overheard by Emma during the great Bail sequence is director Claude Chabrol's voice saying: "Mais qu'il en soit fait selon votre desir, ma chere... Lucien!".See more »
Anachronisms: During the ball, the music is "The Blue Danube" by Johan Strauss, composed in 1866. However, the action is taking place in 1837.See more »
Le docteur Charles Bovary:[after his wife's death] Fate's the one to blame!See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Madame Bovary (1969)See more »
Les voix du printempsSee more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
It flags and it drags, and whilst it loses its direction on the odd occasion, there is about enough to involve one's self in., 6 October 2011
Author: johnnyboyz from Hampshire, England

Madame Bovary is one of those period pieces one can only really describe as "competant" when one is offering their most glowing of assessments, a film with a sense of the grandiose and extravagant but somehow managing to feel restrained and stiff; a film with the feeling that there is something inherently important at the centre of it all, without there actually being anything too drastic to actually get wound up about. The piece, somewhat needlessly narrated throughout, is a sturdy but patchy French period drama; a film about reasonably unlikeable characters in a time rich in both extravagance and high-culture dressing profligately and feeling sorry for themselves; unlikeable characters having affairs and rather a bit of sex on top of living rich, dainty lives. Few of the performers in the film seem all that interested, and the film is stiltedly directed; one character worth their weight is that of an aide to a predominantly featured doctor – a bubbly, enthusiastic presence and the only individual with a bit of life about them. The rest of it, a piece made by that of Claude Chabrol and adapted from a certain Gustave Flaubert novel, just about lives up to its historical eminence and the weighty directorial name who's behind it, in what is an engaging enough, although-often-unsure-of-itself drama with pretensions to be a mental health awareness piece generally uneasily gluing together.

The film follows Isabelle Huppert's Emma, a young French girl initially living alone in the 19th Century with her father on his farm and under some rather basic conditions. Through a great deal of physical pain and bother that one man must suffer through comes the catalyst which eventually leads to further great amounts of pain and bother - this time of a psychological sort and shouldering itself with a woman. The man in initial pain is Emma's father, who badly injures himself whilst drunk and is forced into being bed-ridden on account of a broken leg as a very specific doctor comes to visit and offer assessment. We sense Emma is frustrated at living with such a man, her father; his lying there on the bed as the doctor, Charles Bovary (Balmer), tends to him we sense is the father at the most static he has been in quite a while. Emma appears interested in Bovary, their exchange of glances and the manner in which she sucks a wound derived from sewing is highly suggestive of a desire, at least on her behalf, of perhaps furthering something.

In spite of his careful and highly astute nature in both his demeanour and profession, something which clashes with her farm-hand lifestyle and alluded-to rebellious streak of times gone by when she once toyed with the realities of her health at a convent, they hook up. As the title would suggest, something does indeed spawn out of this chance encounter; Emma becoming the titular Madame Bovary in marrying Charles, himself a widower and easy-going guy, before moving in with him and his practise in a far-off town. What transpires from here appears to be a film trying to tackle the nihilist realities of life; a drama covering the exploits of a woman whom disliked the nature of what her life was from the stage of being a juvenile to that of a young adult before reaching the conclusion that her life, or polarised existence, is just as crummy in amidst the operas; grand balls and social interaction with 19th Century northern France's elite.

There just isn't pleasing some people - or is there? The film alludes to the lead suffering from some sort of illness; some sort of depression, perhaps born with it – perhaps not, perhaps always destined to be unhappy at whatever her surroundings generally consisted of and with whom she lived. Boredom gives way to lust within the echelons of Emma's head, the dancing with an anonymous younger man at one of those fancy private functions, after it's established she is unamused by the nature of the thing, sees her immediately pick up hinting to an unabashed desire to perhaps step out of her marital bubble. Such a characteristic becomes more inherently real when the Bovary's up-camp and move to another town-plus-practise so that Charles may expand his repertoire.

With their marriage already on the rocks, Emma meets a cocksure landowner named Rodolphe (Malavoy); a character confirming earlier ponderings on whether Emma would step out of wedlock to sleep with another man. It would appear the two of them enjoy a passionate enough relationship, but a scene in a grassy field underneath a tree in which Rodolphe verbally establishes his desire to tame her sexual lustings he's pretty sure she possess ought to be though processes or minor exchanges established visually, and with some sort of urgent flare rather than have a static character reiterate what his, or her, thoughts are. In spite of veering nearer a pretence that it is to explore the diminishing mental well-being of a woman as well as her ill-advised desires to explore sexual awakenings, the film actually shies away from any brash, confrontative content of that nature; as if willing to mention such adult subject matter but too timid to go the distance and properly depict the character slip away and into this newfound lifestyle (brought about by whatever) of smut and sleaze in a fashion that a film like Polanski's 1992 film Bitter Moon did not fall foul of. Madame Bovary is not a total loss - there are fair degrees of drama and peril to be had out of certain scenes but her tragic, seemingly restrained, inhibition to share her problems or issues with her fellow characters arrives in sync with the film's evident annoyances not to not head down a specific route and depict a woman in a stone-wall state. It is prim and proper whilst professionally put together, but it lacks a cutting dynamic which tells us that we should be caring more than we are.

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It is pointless to make this novel into a film phil_manic
Rodolphe or Leon had really loved Bovary? malta54
Arsenic Poisoning? ellen_sar
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