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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ying Huang ...
Richard Troxell ...
Ning Liang ...
Richard Cowan ...
Jing Ma Fan ...
Christopheren Nòmura ...
Constance Hauman ...
Kusakabe Yo ...
Kamel Touati ...
Miki-Lou Pinard ...
Yoshi Oida ...
Qing Wu ...
Nabil Agoun ...
Lofti Bahri ...
Officer in Charge
Salem Zahrouni ...
The Photographer


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Release Date:

22 November 1995 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Madame Butterfly, de Frederick Mitterand  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton: She's like a porcelain doll. She sets me on fire.
See more »


Version of Madame Butterfly (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

Frédéric Mitterrand made a great opera movie
7 August 2005 | by (Brazil) – See all my reviews

Madame Butterfly is a beautiful, romantic and dramatic story. It is all about a fifteen years old geisha called Cio Cio-San, who gets married with the official of the American navy, Benjamim Franklin Pinkerton.

Pinkerton, the fiancé, is just buying a woman, as he did in other parts of the world, to be close in his moments of loneliness, while he doesn't marry a true American wife.

After three years of marriage, Pinkerton goes back to the United States, leaving Butterfly with a small son he never knew. Cio Cio San believes that her husband will return, and she refuses to assume her Japanese values and a new life.

During all the story, Cio Cio-San will always count with the unconditional friendship of the maid Suzuki.

To get things worst, Butterfly receives a letter of Pinkerton informing that he will not return anymore, making clear that he married an American woman. Butterfly interprets his words in an erroneous way, and she sees new hopes for of her husband arrival.

He returns, however, to look for his son.

The end of the plot shows the suicide of Butterfly, when noticing that she had lost everything that she loved, the husband and now also the son. (She had used as a weapon her father's sword, with the inscription: "To die with honor, when one can no longer live with honor". The now-humiliated, heartbroken daughter of a disgraced samurai, she dies proudly - as a samurai.)

The opera is tragic, because Cio Cio-San really believes in her illusions, and she only notices the mistakes very late.

There are difficulties, for example, how she was renounced by her relatives by converting Pinkerton's religion (Catholicism), or her son, that came to this world, only after the American had already left.

The history is full of cultural contrasts, since the story is in the Japan of the beginning of XX century, where the prejudices were worst.

The reason whyI liked this movie so much : in my opinion, it is the best Madame Butterfly I have ever seen in a movie. I was surprised to see that the movie is all sang in opera terms. Many people might not like that.

The sets are beautiful, and the movie was made full of details, to really show the Japanese habits, thoughts and life style.

Frédéric Mitterrand had even the concern of choosing Asian actors to play in the cast, much better then Jean Pierre-Ponnele's version, where all of the actors are westerns.

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