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Boule de suif (1934)

Pyshka (original title)
| Drama | 4 May 1958 (USA)
A company of French bourgeois travel through the territories occupied by Germans in a stagecoach accompanied by a woman of the oldest profession.


Mikhail Romm


Mikhail Romm, Guy de Maupassant (novel)


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Credited cast:
Galina Sergeyeva Galina Sergeyeva ... Mlle. Elizabeth Rousset (Boule-de-suif)
Andrey Fayt ... Prussian Officer
Faina Ranevskaya ... Mme. Loiseau
Pyotr Repnin ... Lamadon, miller
Tatyana Okunevskaya ... Mme Carre-Lamadon
M. Mikhin M. Mikhin ... Count de Breville
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Anatoliy Goryunov ... Louiseau, wine merchant
Karl Gurnyak Karl Gurnyak ... German soldier
Valentina Kuznetsova Valentina Kuznetsova ... Maid
V. Lavrinovich V. Lavrinovich ... Cornudet
Sofya Levitina Sofya Levitina ... Elderly Nun (as S. Levitina)
Evgenia Mezentseva Evgenia Mezentseva ... Countess de Breville
N. Sukhotskaya N. Sukhotskaya ... Young Nun


A company of French bourgeois travel through the territories occupied by Germans in a stagecoach accompanied by a woman of the oldest profession.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »






Soviet Union



Release Date:

4 May 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boule de suif See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mosfilm See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Kino pro kino (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Best of three.
20 November 2019 | by brogmillerSee all my reviews

Interesting that Guy de Maupassant's first short story should also be the first feature of Mikhail Romm. His adaptation is pretty faithful to the original and his mise-en-scene is highly assured. The characters are wonderfully drawn and Elizabeth Sergeyeva is magnificent as the prostitute Elisabeth Rousset, the 'Boule de Suif' of the title. This literally translates as 'tub of lard' although the character's physique does not make her any less attractive to the male of the species. Definitely plenty of meat with the gravy! The subject represents a very negative view of human nature but is wonderfully made and succeeds in capturing a French ambience which is strangely absent from the later version made by Christian- Jaque with an entirely French cast. Jaque has appeared, rather cleverly, to combine this story with another of Maupassant's Franco-Prussian War tales 'Mademoiselle Fifi'. Unfortunately Elisabeth Rousset is played by Micheline Presle who although a splendid actress is totally miscast as nobody could ever describe her as a 'tub of lard' nor is she nearly plebeian enough. The scene where she stabs the Prussian officer, played maniacally by Louis Salou ,is brilliantly done but in the original story he is killed not by Elisabeth Rousset but by a Jewish prostitute named Rachel! Confused? The low-budget version directed by Robert Wise for producer Val Lewton is rather pedestrian and lack-lustre. Again the temptation to combine both stories has been too good to resist but ends up being neither one thing nor the other. Having previously worked with both producer and director the lovely Simone Simon was cast as Elisabeth Rousset but in order to conform to the Hollywood puritanism of the time the prostitute is now a 'laundress'! 'Boule de Suif' is acknowledged to be one of the greatest short stories of all. Whether you have read it or not I strongly urge you to watch Romm's version. C'est tout!

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