A provincial doctor's wife's romantic illusions about life and social status lead her to betray her naive husband, take on lovers and run up ruinous debts.


Vincente Minnelli


Robert Ardrey (screenplay), Gustave Flaubert (novel)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Jones ... Emma Bovary
James Mason ... Gustave Flaubert
Van Heflin ... Charles Bovary
Louis Jourdan ... Rodolphe Boulanger
Alf Kjellin ... Leon Dupuis (as Christopher Kent)
Gene Lockhart ... J. Homais
Frank Allenby ... Lhereux
Gladys Cooper ... Mme. Dupuis
John Abbott ... Mayor Tuvache
Harry Morgan ... Hyppolite (as Henry Morgan)
George Zucco ... DuBocage
Ellen Corby ... Félicité
Eduard Franz ... Roualt
Henri Letondal ... Guillaumin
Esther Somers Esther Somers ... Mme. Lefrancois


French author Gustave Flaubert is on trial for writing the "indecent" novel "Madame Bovary." To prove that he wrote a moral tale, Flaubert narrates the story of beautiful Emma Bovary, an adulteress who destroyed the lives of everyone she came in contact with. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hear the "Madame Bovary Waltz" on M-G-M Records See more »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The white dress worn by Emma Bovary (Jennifer Jones) is similar to the gown worn by Gigi (Leslie Caron) in "Gigi". Both are elegant white gowns with blackbirds at the shoulder. Minnelli directed both films and must have given Gigi costume designer, Cecil Beaton, this direction. See more »


When Emma, Charles, and Leon are sitting in a Rouen restaurant, there is an opened wine bottle on the table without the cork. But on the next immediate cut when Charles asks the waiter for the bill, the cork is now in the wine bottle. Then on subsequent cuts, it changes back and forth with the cork being on and off the bottle. See more »


Rodolphe Boulanger: I'm a fairly courageous man, Emma, but I was afraid of you.
Emma Bovary: No! Oh... oh, I ask for too much, I know it. I expected too much of you.
Rodolphe Boulanger: You asked for something that consumes while it burns - that destroys everything it touches. I didn't want to be destroyed.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also shown in a computer-colorized version. See more »


Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Martha Stewart (2007) See more »

User Reviews

More of a question for anyone familiar with this classic
23 July 2011 | by zofo57See all my reviews

I had first seen the 1991 version of this classic and then the 1949 version with Jennifer Jones. I did like both. One large difference that stood out to me was the fact that Dr Bovary does not perform the surgery on the deformed worker in the 1949 version yet he does in the 1991 version? I have not read the book to know how this truly played out with the author Flaubert? Does anyone know why this was done? Of course the surgery to me recollection was a disaster. So I will leave this out there in hopes someone will answer this question as to why the script was changed. And is it actually accepted to do such a thing? Certainly the outcome was fairly much the same as the poor doctor was perceived by his wife as a failure, and isn't it strange to see a doctor referred to as a peasant?

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Release Date:

23 January 1950 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Madame Bovary See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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