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La maternelle (1933)

When her father files bankruptcy and then dies, Rose's fiancé jilts her; she takes a job as a maid in a Montmartre kindergarten with 150 poor children. Rose gives each child loving ... See full summary »
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Cast

Cast overview:
... Rose
Alice Tissot ... Superintendent
Paulette Élambert ... Marie Coeuret
Sylvette Fillacier ... Mme. Coeuret
Mady Berry ... Mme. Paulin
Henri Debain ... Dr. Libois
Alex Bernard ... Professor
... Pantin
Gaston Séverin ... Inspector
Maryanne
Jany Delille ... Singer
Aman Maistre
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Storyline

When her father files bankruptcy and then dies, Rose's fiancé jilts her; she takes a job as a maid in a Montmartre kindergarten with 150 poor children. Rose gives each child loving attention, and soon she's their favorite. An especially needy child is Marie, a prostitute's daughter. Rose and she bond, and Marie is jealous of all attentions paid Rose, especially those of Dr. Libois, the school's physician. When Rose inadvertently guides the children through the educational experiment of a visiting scholar, and then discloses she has a college degree and is working beneath her station, the principal wants to fire her. Is there any way she can stay? And what will happen to Marie? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Drama

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Release Date:

15 November 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Children of Montmartre  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Remade as La maternelle (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Marie Epstein's popular front poetry compares with VIGO same year
15 February 1999 | by See all my reviews

Until I saw this film at a Cinema Conference in Aberdeen in 1995 I was ignorant of the fact that a woman director had produced poetic and social cinema comparable with Vigo's ZERO DE CONDUITE (certainly one of the greatest films ever). Vigo in 1933 is revolutionary anarchist with modernist poetry at his finger tips; Epstein in 1933 is warm-hearted popular front realism with magnificent performances by nursery school kids, though the main schoolgirl is a little older (and in love with her teacher, like the protagonist in Leontine Sagan's MAIDENS IN UNIFORM 1931). And that teacher (unqualified according to the authorities) is a young Madeleine Renaud, dazzlingly soft focus in the tradition of French poetic realism. It should be shown this film as source material for pedagogical controversy and reform (Epstein's approach is after Rousseau progressive and child-centred). And it should be on everybody's list as one of the greatest films of all time. You can't have your Vigo without your Epstein, not that Blunkett would care for either.


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