7.4/10
235
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:

Claude Autant-Lara

Writers:

Jean Aurenche (adaptation), Jean Aurenche (dialogue) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

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

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

25 June 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Love Story See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Klangfilm Eurocord)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Safe Conduct (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Un peu d'Amour un peu d'Espoir
Music by René Cloërec
Lyrics by Maurice Vandair
Performed by Marie-José
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Chekov like movie
28 May 2005 | by raskimonoSee all my reviews

This movie plays like a Chekov play. Unspoken emotions are amped to the top. Actions are performed without being revealed. And most importantly, nothing seems to happen. Plays can get away with nothing happening, but the milieu of cinema requires and demands action. This movie avoids it and manages to still work. By doing this, it takes the world of thirties to forties cinema where plot, story and action is king and introduces character as the harbinger of a movie to the big budget studio productions of France and thus the world. It is similar to the idea behind the French New Wave but Truffaut attacked this kind of movies and this director and particularly the writers of this movie, Jean Aurenche and Pierre Bost, a legendary screen writing team as old farts or the old wave, thus the term the new wave. The dialog in this movie is literate almost bibliotequeish to say the least, and it does take its time to warm or move your heart. As I said, it cons you into believing nothing is happening while we are watching the destruction of an old world; one of aristocrats, barons and the meritocracy. It is 1887 and Douce the daughter of the Bonafe patriarch who also lives with her grandma, the Bonafe matriarch in a studio-set created house that seems to have yanked right out of one of Poe's tales. It is a character in itself in the movie. Light does not come from outside in this house. Only the artificial lighting of the cinematographer castigates the gloom. The patriarch wishes to marry the servant teacher Irene who is of poor class. But she is betrothed to another of working class. I know, you've read, heard and seen this plot many times before but not as expertly done as this movie. In fact, if you are a fan of Wong-Kong-Kwai, you should love this movie. It reminded me of In the mood for love. It has all the trademark pacing, irony and exotic direction of his movies. Odette Joyeux is very good but the standout is Marguerite Moreno as the matriarch. Watch it to see how an era disappears with fumes, death, anger and a carol.


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