7.1/10
2,152
38 user 16 critic

Madame Bovary (1949)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 23 January 1950 (Sweden)
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.

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Writers:

Robert Ardrey (screenplay), Gustave Flaubert (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
3,146 ( 19,479)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Londoners Arnold and Evelyn Boult had high hopes for the life of their son, Edward. His relatively short life ended up being one of privilege but irresponsibility. His life ended at age 23 ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Deborah Kerr, Ian Hunter
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Sherwood Nash is a swindler who bootlegs Paris fashions for sale at cut-rate prices. His assistant Lynn poses as An American interested in a dress and Snap conceals a camera in his cane. ... See full summary »

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: William Powell, Bette Davis, Frank McHugh
Stella Dallas (1937)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A working-class woman is willing to do whatever it takes to give her daughter a socially promising future.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A sportswriter and a fashion-designer marry after a whirlwind romance, and discover they have little in common.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall, Dolores Gray
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young woman living in an Irish fishing village inherits her late grandfather's estate, but is forced to spend three years in England training to be a proper lady to collect the fortune.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Marion Davies, Onslow Stevens, J. Farrell MacDonald
Ziegfeld Girl (1941)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the spectacle on Broadway: Susan, the singer who must ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Z. Leonard, Busby Berkeley
Stars: James Stewart, Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The recently widowed Mary Stuart returns to Scotland to reclaim her throne but is opposed by her half-brother and her own Scottish lords.

Directors: John Ford, Leslie Goodwins
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Fredric March, Florence Eldridge
The Star (1952)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A washed-up movie queen finds romance, but still desires a comeback.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Bette Davis, Sterling Hayden, Natalie Wood
Madame Bovary (1947)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A sensitive woman who fell down on account of convencionalism. Her dull life will convey her to a tragic fate.

Director: Carlos Schlieper
Stars: Mecha Ortiz, Roberto Escalada, Enrique Diosdado
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An Englishman vacationing in a Ruritarian kingdom is recruited to impersonate his cousin, the soon-to-be-crowned king when the monarch is drugged and kidnapped.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Stewart Granger, Deborah Kerr, Louis Calhern
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Illiterate peasant Juan Gallardo rises meteorically to fame and fortune in the bullfight arena only to sow the seeds of his own fall.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Rita Hayworth
Libeled Lady (1936)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A newspaper man, his ignored fiancée, and his former employee, a down on his luck reporter, hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth in order to prevent a high-society woman from suing for libel.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy
Edit

Cast

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 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 Henri Letondal ... Guillaumin
Esther Somers Esther Somers ... Mme. Lefrancois
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

All she wanted was everything. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 January 1950 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Madame Bovary und ihre Liebhaber See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After the expensive box-office failure of "The Pirate", director Vincente Minnelli worked hard to cut corners on this film, fearing he might be otherwise be accused of extravagance. However, he devoted a great deal of time to the ball sequence, which he regarded as the most important scene in the film; he even had composer Miklos Rozsa compose the waltz theme used in it well in advance of the start of filming. See more »

Quotes

Charles Bovary: I like everything, I suppose that's what's wrong with me.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Private Screenings: Liza Minnelli (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Lacks the complexity and depth of the book but still beautiful cinema...
25 January 2014 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary is beautiful and shocking, one of the European literary greats. While it is not the most faithful adaptation around, Vincente Minnelli's Madame Bovary does stand on its own two feet and is a beautiful film in its own right. It does suffer from what made the book so complex and shocking not being fully allowed to come out due to the limitations of the Production Code at the time of it being made and released(maybe the film's length too). So you do miss the stuffiness and hypocrisy of French provincial life, which I always took as a crucial part to Emma's character, while the script could have done with more of a dark edge and Minnelli's direction is often dazzling and technically skilled(the ballroom sequence has to be a highlight in his directorial career) but also a little too relaxed in places, so the drama has occasional stodginess. But it is unfair to dismiss Madame Bovary due to these because its positives are a great many. That it is one of the most visually beautiful films of the 40s is one, the costumes are evocative and astonishingly elegant, Emma's dresses are a wow factor while the sets are the very meaning of grand with a Baroque/Roccocco influence. The photography dazzles just as much as Minnelli's technical style in the ballroom sequence(an intricate and in all senses wonderful scene, perhaps one of the greats in cinematic history). Miklos Rosza's music score is another huge part of the appeal, one of his best, the stylistic elegance, haunting undercurrent and energy are all here in the score, the Madame Bovary Waltz being the most memorable.

The script may lack edge, but it does maintain the book's ironic humour and is very poignant too without descending into melodrama, and the story regardless of the watering down still compels and moves. Some may find Flaubert's narration and trial at the beginning unnecessary, to me it was actually very interesting- James Mason's thoughtfully earnest performance as Flaubert helps- and that the book itself caused a scandal at the time and is still controversial now made it further easier to understand why the book's depth doesn't quite come through here. The aforementioned ballroom sequence is the highlight of the film, but the deserted windswept streets in the middle of the night scene where Emma is waiting for Rudolphe is beautifully shot and emotionally telling. The performances are fine, Jennifer Jones is very moving(not to mention stunning to look at), she does capture the selfishness and insufferable woman traits that Emma has yet makes it clear Emma is also a victim of her own passions, it is very easy to not stand Emma and make her one-dimensional but with Jones there is a degree of compassion. Van Heflin is sympathetic and mild-mannered without being too much of a bore and oafish without being too much of a dork and clown, like with Jones both of those are easy traps to fall into. Louis Jourdan is perfectly cast, suave and charismatic while conflicted and menacing. Alf Kjellin is a gentle Leon, a good contrast to Jourdan's Rudolphe, while Gladys Cooper as ever is a scene stealer as is Frank Allenby as the malefic L'Hereux. Harry Morgan and Gene Lockhart are dependably solid. Overall, a beautiful film but those wanting a faithful adaptation of Madame Bovary(a big ask really as it is perhaps one of the most difficult books to adapt) may want to look elsewhere. But even then, there will be people who think that to some extent but still take this film for what it is. 8/10 Bethany Cox


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 38 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed