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The Smiling Madame Beudet (1923)

La souriante Madame Beudet (original title)
An unhappily married woman devises a scheme to get rid of her husband.

Director:

Germaine Dulac

Writers:

Denys Amiel (play), Germaine Dulac (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Germaine Dermoz ... Madame Beudet
Alexandre Arquillière Alexandre Arquillière ... Monsieur Beudet
Jean d'Yd Jean d'Yd ... Monsieur Labas
Yvette Grisier Yvette Grisier ... La bonne
Madeleine Guitty ... Madame Labas
Raoul Paoli Raoul Paoli ... Le champion de tennis
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Armand Thirard Armand Thirard ... Le commis (as Thirard)
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Storyline

One of the first feminist movies, The Smiling Madame Beudet is the story of an intelligent woman trapped in a loveless marriage. Her husband is used to playing a stupid practical joke in which he puts an empty revolver to his head and threatens to shoot himself. One day, while the husband is away, she puts bullets in the revolver. However, she is stricken with remorse and tries to retrieve the bullets the next morning. Her husband gets to the revolver first only this time he points the revolver at her. Written by Anurag Garg <garo@cs.ucla.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

France

Release Date:

9 November 1923 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A sorridente senhora Beudet See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Colisée Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Trivia

Included among the '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die', edited by Steven Jay Schneider. See more »

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User Reviews

Well-Made but Rather Shallow
26 May 2018 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

La souriante Madame Beudet (1923) ** (out of 4)

Germaine Dulac directed this French film about a husband (Alexandre Arquilliere) who likes to play a trick on his wife (Germaine Dermoz), which is him pulling a gun from his desk, holding it to his head and pulling the trigger. Of course, the gun is empty but this drives his wife to a panic and eats away at her.

THE SMILING MADAME BEUDET is pretty much a Feminist movie that doesn't have much of a story to it and I must say that it struggled to hold my attention throughout its rather short 42-minute running time. There are some good things to be found here including the cinematography as well as the direction, which I would say was strong and especially with some of the more nightmare-ish moments where the film slips into avant-garde territory.

With that being said, there's no question that the story itself is quite lacking as we basically just see a very unhappy housewife who is being tortured by this sick prank of her husbands. There's absolutely no character development on either character. There's really no drama either. There's just not that much that happens throughout the film except for the husband playing his joke on his wife.

I did think the two actors were good in their roles and as I said the film was well-made but it's just way too shallow to really work.


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