Blu-ray Review: Beautiful Criterion Edition of ‘The Earrings of Madame De...’

Chicago – French films from the ’50s can be a tough sell to a modern audience and Max Ophuls’ “The Earrings of Madame De…” recently upgraded by Criterion to a gorgeous Blu-ray edition and re-released on DVD, hasn’t gotten the critical attention it deserves over the years and so it’s not as instantly recognizable as “something that should be seen” as some of the other films of its era. Trust me. This is “something that should be seen” by everyone.

Don’t believe me? P.T. Anderson (“Boogie Nights,” “There Will Be Blood,” “The Master”), a candidate for the title of best living director offers an “introduction” to the film on the Criterion Blu-ray. It’s more than a mere introduction. It’s a mini-class, a semi-commentary over 15 minutes of the film. Anderson helps illuminate what’s so great about “Madame” and Ophuls’ work in general. However, once you watch the film,
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Blu-ray Release: The Earrings of Madame de…

Blu-ray Release Date: Aug. 6, 2013

Price: Blu-ray $39.95

Studio: Criterion

Danielle Darrieux in The Earrings of Madame de...

The 1953 drama-romance film The Earrings of Madame de…, a profoundly emotional, cinematographically adventurous tale of deceptive opulence and tragic romance, remains the most cherished work from French master Max Ophuls (Lola Montes).

When an aristocratic woman known only as Madame de (Danielle Darrieux) sells a pair of earrings given to her by her husband (Charles Boyer, Gaslight) in order to pay a debt, she sets off a chain reaction of financial and carnal consequences that can end only in despair.

Ophuls’s adaptation of Louise de Vilmorin’s incisive 1951 novel employs the elegant and precise camera work for which the director is so justly renowned, to ravishing effect.

Criterion issued a splendid DVD version of the classic film (which is presented in French with English subtitles) back in 2008, which is still available. A majority
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