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11 user 6 critic

Au bonheur des dames (1930)

Denise, an orphaned girl, moves to Paris where she hopes to find work at her uncle's store. But the glamorous department store 'Aux Bonheur des Dames' across the street crunches all the little businesses around. She finds a position there.

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(adaptation), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Denise Baudu
Ginette Maddie ... Clara
Andrée Brabant ... Pauline
Mireille Barsac ... Madame Aurélie (as Madame Barsac)
Nadia Sibirskaïa ... Geneviève Baudu
Germaine Rouer ... Madame Desforges
Simone Bourday
Cognet
Colette Dubois
Récopé
Yvonne Taponié
Marthe Barbara-Val ... (as Barbara Val)
Marcelle Adam
Pierre de Guingand ... Octave Mouret
Fabien Haziza ... Colomban
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Storyline

Denise, an orphaned girl, moves to Paris where she hopes to find work at her uncle's store. But the glamorous department store 'Aux Bonheur des Dames' across the street crunches all the little businesses around. She finds a position there.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

3 July 1930 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A hölgyek öröme  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

(at around 37 mins) During the "demolition" montage, a bus passes in front of two men arguing and the camera tripod is reflected on the side of the bus. See more »

Crazy Credits

All actresses in order of importance are listed before all the actors (also in order of importance) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Important and beautiful Impressionist silent film
14 June 2006 | by See all my reviews

Duvivier's AU BONHEUR DES DAMES is a gorgeous surprise, since along with SUNRISE, METROPOLIS, and a few other of the masterpieces of the period, it taps into so many key movements and concerns of the 1920s. It's a faithful adaptation of Zola's novel by the same name, part of his sweeping "Rougon-Macquart" series that casts a panoramic look on 19th century French society. The story, banally put, is a proto- "You've Got Mail." But instead of the giant bookseller edging out the human-scale bookstore in the neighborhood, it's a small fabric merchant vs. the huge department store. (The department store was a new phenomenon in the mid-to-late 19th century.) Like SUNRISE, this movie shows the seduction of the fast pace of the modern city, mass consumption and revolution of our desires--and the insults that modernity hurls at older ways of thinking about community and "values" such as honesty, family, and propriety.

AU BONHEUR is now available on DVD, with a very good musical score. It is an exquisite example of what silent-era cinematic "Impressionism" was all about--including fantastic experiments with conveying sound, emotion, speed, and confusion through images and their editing. In sum, this is an important film and a beautiful one. Wacky ending, but let's not spoil it... With not only Dita Parlo (cf. Vigo's L'ATALANTE and Renoir's GRAND ILLUSION), but Nadia Sbirskaya (Renoir's CRIME OF M. LANGE).


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