7.3/10
216
5 user 6 critic

Douce (1943)

Not Rated | | Drama | 25 June 1949 (USA)
In Paris in 1887, Irène works as a governess to Douce, the grand-daughter of the dowager Countess de Bonafé. Douce believes she is in love with Fabien, the handsome manager of the estate. ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(adaptation), (dialogue) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

On the eve of her 16th birthday, Sylvie's father needs cash to stay in his castle so he sells Sylvie's favorite thing, a painting of Alain, the lover of Sylvie's grandmother, killed in a ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Autant-Lara
Stars: Odette Joyeux, François Périer, Pierre Larquey
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

France, 1855. Zélie Fontaine, a twenty-odd-year-old widow and the post mistress of the small provincial town of Argenson, has accepted to receive love letters to Hortense de la Jacquerie, ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Autant-Lara
Stars: Odette Joyeux, François Périer, Simone Renant
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

"Chiffon" is an eccentric young aristocratic girl, who is struggling to comply with the social conventions of the community.

Director: Claude Autant-Lara
Stars: Odette Joyeux, André Luguet, Jacques Dumesnil
Kameradschaft (1931)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Plea against war and for friendship between peoples, through the story of French miners rescued by German colleagues after a firedamp explosion.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Stars: Alexander Granach, Fritz Kampers, Ernst Busch
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A group of German infantrymen of the First World War live out their lives in the trenches of France. They find brief entertainment and relief in a village behind the lines, but primarily ... See full summary »

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Stars: Fritz Kampers, Gustav Diessl, Hans-Joachim Möbis
Nayak (1966)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

En route to Delhi to receive an award, a Bengali film star reevaluates his success through his fellow passengers, dreams and past experiences.

Director: Satyajit Ray
Stars: Uttam Kumar, Sharmila Tagore, Bireswar Sen
Baal (TV Movie 1970)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Baal explores the cult of the genius, an anti-heroic figure who chooses to be a social outcast and live on the fringe of bourgeois morality.

Director: Volker Schlöndorff
Stars: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Sigi Graue, Margarethe von Trotta
Certificate: Passed Musical | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A compulsive gambler dies during a shooting, but he'll receive a second chance to reform himself and to make up with his worried wife.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Ethel Waters, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Lena Horne
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Yukinojo, a Kabuki actor, seeks revenge by destroying the three men who caused the deaths of his parents. Also involved are the daughter of one of Yukinojo's targets, two master thieves, and a swordsman who himself is out to kill Yukinojo.

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Kazuo Hasegawa, Fujiko Yamamoto, Ayako Wakao
La Poison (1951)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Through a series of circumstances and plot twists an enterprising man manages to get away with murdering his wife, even though he cheerfully admits his guilt in court.

Director: Sacha Guitry
Stars: Michel Simon, Jean Debucourt, Jacques Varennes
Moi, un noir (1958)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

"I, a Negro" depicts young Nigerien immigrants who left their country to find work in the Ivory Coast, in the Treichville quarter of Abidjan, the capital. These immigrants live in squalor ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Rouch
Stars: Oumarou Ganda, Gambi, Petit Touré
King of Jazz (1930)
Animation | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This revue presents its numbers around the orchestra leader Paul Whiteman, besides that it shows in it's final number that the European popular music are the roots of American popular music... See full summary »

Director: John Murray Anderson
Stars: Paul Whiteman, John Boles, Laura La Plante
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Odette Joyeux ... Douce
... Irène Comtat
Marguerite Moreno ... Madame de Bonafé
... Engelbert de Bonafé
Roger Pigaut ... Fabien Marani
Gabrielle Fontan ... Estelle
Richard Francoeur ... Julien (as Francoeur)
Paul Oettly ... Le prêtre (as Oettly)
Julienne Paroli ... La vieille Thérèse
Georges Bever ... Le frotteur (as Bever)
Louis Florencie ... Le palefrenier (as Florencie)
Fernand Blot ... Le livreur
Marie-José ... La chanteuse
... La danseuse
Edit

Storyline

In Paris in 1887, Irène works as a governess to Douce, the grand-daughter of the dowager Countess de Bonafé. Douce believes she is in love with Fabien, the handsome manager of the estate. However she cannot hope to marry him because of their class difference. Douce's widowed father, the Count de Bonafé, has a wooden leg, and is infatuated with Irène. Douce discovers that Fabien is planning to flee to Quebec with Irène, and also finds out that the Count has asked Irène to marry him. So Douce tells Fabien this and convinces him to run away with her, causing consternation in the family. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 June 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love Story  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Klangfilm Eurocord)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Safe Conduct (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Joyeux Noël
6 December 2010 | by See all my reviews

Christmas 1887. In a Parisian mansion, Douce, the bored daughter of an aristocratic family, nurtures a secret passion for Fabien, who manages the estate. But Fabien is the lover of Irène, Douce's governess, and plans to elope with her using money stolen from the family. Meanwhile, Douce's father, a widower, has also fallen in love with Irène, and his proposal of marriage sets in motion a train of events with tragic consequences...

The opening tracking shot of "Douce", across a miniature of Paris with an Eiffel Tower in construction, establishes a fin de siècle world in which new ideas are imposing themselves upon the old landscape. In the social order, too, there is evidence of change: Douce's father (Jean Debucourt) sees only good in his planned marriage to Irène (Madeleine Robinson) and in her elevation to his own social level. This elevation is depicted literally when he takes her for a ride in his newly installed lift, a symbol of his modernity in the stuffy gaslit townhouse. For him, love transcends class.

But the father's manner is too mild ("douce"). He has been wounded physically and psychologically, plagued by a sense of failure, hobbling on a wooden leg. The household is dominated by his mother the countess (Marguerite Moreno), a harridan whose starched black dresses represent her inflexible adherence to the old order and the sense of sin associated with transgression of social boundaries. As well as blocking her son's happiness, she is infusing her granddaughter Douce (Odette Joyeux) with her outdated orthodoxies, not realising that the thrill derived from breaking a taboo may become in itself a potent attraction for a modern, rebellious adolescent. The intransigence and cynicism of the crowlike old woman are the poison that saturates this house from the top down.

There's an angry polemic burning at the heart of the film, but on the surface, as in the title, all is soft and calm. "Douce" is one of the most elegant films ever made, each scene gliding smoothly into another as the characters move from room to room within the mansion. The screenplay is polished and literary, the performances intelligent and refined, the music perfectly integrated into the drama, the direction exquisitely choreographed with sumptuous camera movements to rival Ophüls. It's a drama of biting satire and of deep emotions deeply suppressed, registering only as a narrowing eyelid or a pursed lip.

And at the centre of the drama is the 17-year-old Douce herself, brilliantly played by Odette Joyeux - who was almost 30 at the time, and older than Madeleine Robinson who plays her governess. Douce is depicted on contemporary posters as a bird in a gilded cage, but her nature is more feline: playful, impulsive and by turns tender and cruel. She is experiencing love for the first time, and this makes her a vulnerable and ultimately a tragic character. As she sets out in the snow for her midnight assignation with Fabien (Roger Pigaut), her hooded cape reminds us of Little Red Riding-Hood about to meet the wolf.

"Douce" is not an anti-bourgeois film, as some have suggested. Truffaut famously remarked (in condemning films such as Autant-Lara's): "What is the value of an anti-bourgeois cinema made by the bourgeois for the bourgeois?" The countess is ridiculous and contemptible, but the servant classes, as depicted here, are little better: Irène is an opportunist, Fabien is a thief, and his haughty attitude suggests a kinship of temperament with the countess. Only the rare few such as Douce and her father, who are willing to throw aside social convention and follow their hearts, are portrayed with sympathy in this film. And that's the message of Autant-Lara the artist, not the politician.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial