4 user

The Strange Madame X (1951)

L'étrange Madame X (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 24 May 1951 (France)
Can a person really lead a double life? It looks as though Irène can. On the one hand, she is the wife of Jacques Voisin-Larive, a big name in the publishing world. On the other hand she ... See full summary »


Jean Grémillon


Marcelle Maurette (original scenario), Pierre Laroche (dialogue) | 1 more credit »


Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An eccentric man (Paul Bernard) endangers himself when he makes advances toward the girlfriend (Suzy Delair) of a saloon keeper (Fernand Ledoux).

Director: Jean Grémillon
Stars: Suzy Delair, Fernand Ledoux, Paul Bernard
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Marie Prieur, a young doctor, decides to settle down on Ushant, a remote island belonging to Brittany. Little by little she manages to be accepted by the population. One day she meets André... See full summary »

Director: Jean Grémillon
Stars: Micheline Presle, Massimo Girotti, Gaby Morlay
Lady Killer (1937)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Lucien Bourrache, a good looking non-commissioned officer at the Spahis, is used to charm many women. He met Madeleine Courtois at Cannes. She is beautiful and lives in luxury. He lends her... See full summary »

Director: Jean Grémillon
Stars: Jean Gabin, Mireille Balin, Pierre Etchepare
L'Humanité (1999)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When an 11-year-old girl is brutally raped and murdered in a quiet French village, a police detective who has forgotten how to feel emotions--because of the death of his own family in some kind of accident--investigates the crime, which turns out to ask more questions than it answers.

Director: Bruno Dumont
Stars: Emmanuel Schotté, Séverine Caneele, Philippe Tullier
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A seemingly tame leopard used for a publicity stunt escapes and kills a young girl, spreading panic throughout a sleepy New Mexico town.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Margo, Jean Brooks
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When assassin Philip Raven shoots a blackmailer and his beautiful female companion dead, he is paid off in marked bills by his treasonous employer who is working with foreign spies.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Robert Preston
Remorques (1941)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Andre Laurent, the captain of a tugboat, married Yvonne ten years ago. She has a heart disease but does not want to tell him. She dreams he quits the job for they can live quietly. One ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Grémillon
Stars: Jean Gabin, Madeleine Renaud, Michèle Morgan
Tomboy (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A family moves into a new neighborhood, and a 10-year-old named Laure deliberately presents as a boy named Mikhael to the neighborhood children.

Director: Céline Sciamma
Stars: Zoé Héran, Malonn Lévana, Jeanne Disson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The dancer, Diotima, meets an engineer and skier, Karl, in his cottage in the mountains where they fall in love and have an affair. When Karl's young friend, Vigo, meets her she gives him ... See full summary »

Director: Arnold Fanck
Stars: Leni Riefenstahl, Luis Trenker, Ernst Petersen
Comradeship (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

On the night of their tenth anniversary, Doctor Rene Richard accidentally discovers that his wife, actress Madeleine Richard, has been having an affair with a disturbed artist, Daniel ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Delannoy
Stars: Michèle Morgan, Jean Gabin, Walter Chiari
Music | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In expressive, melodic tones, the fraternal pair debate God's true message and intent for His creations, a conflict that leads their followers - in extravagantly choreographed song and dance - towards chaos and sin.

Directors: Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub
Stars: Günter Reich, Louis Devos, Eva Csapo


Cast overview, first billed only:
Michèle Morgan ... Irène Voisin-Larive
Henri Vidal ... Étienne
Arlette Thomas Arlette Thomas ... Jeanette
Louise Conte Louise Conte ... Angèle (as Louise Conte sociétaire de la Comédie Française)
Robert Vattier ... Moissac
Paul Barge Paul Barge ... L'oncle Léon
Roland Alexandre Roland Alexandre ... Marcel
Fernand Gilbert Fernand Gilbert
Raphaël Patorni Raphaël Patorni ... Un invité
Yvonne Clech Yvonne Clech ... Joséphine
Georges Sellier Georges Sellier ... Le général
Geneviève Morel Geneviève Morel ... Une invitée
René Hell René Hell ... Un ouvrier
Christian Lude Christian Lude ... Le chauffeur d'Irène
Louis Blanche ... Un invité


Can a person really lead a double life? It looks as though Irène can. On the one hand, she is the wife of Jacques Voisin-Larive, a big name in the publishing world. On the other hand she pretends to be a simple chambermaid when she is with Etienne, a handsome young cabinetmaker. But what will happen when Irène gets pregnant? Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

double life | pregnancy | adultery | See All (3) »




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

24 May 1951 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Sündige Liebe See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Codo Cinéma, S. G. G. C. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


French visa # 10634. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Waltzing into darkness
8 October 2006 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

The first thing to bear in mind is that,at the time,Michèle Morgan and Henri Vidal were the ideal French couple for sixteen-year old schoolgirls .They met when they were making "Fabiola" and they got married.

Jean Grémillon and Albert Valentin do what they do best: setting a working class milieu against the bourgeois world ;the former had done "Gueule d'Amour " and "Lumière d' Ete " ,the latter had given "l'Entraineuse" and "la Vie de PLaisir".

This is the kind of "cinema-made-in-the-studio " which the Nouvelle Vague used to despise but it is this cinema which had lent credibility to the French films since the thirties.There's a striking contrast between the proles ' places (the street ,the uncle's restaurant,Etienne's bedroom,the small apartment where he thinks he 'll lead a peaceful life with the woman he adores and their baby girl)and the excessive luxury of the Voisin-Larive mansion.

THe construction of the movie can disconcert the audience cause the director takes us from one world to the other one,without giving any explanations.MIchèle Morgan is the only link between them and it is only little by little that we discover the truth.

Etienne (Henri Vidal) is a good guy ,in the grand tradition of Jean Gabin's parts of "Quai des Brumes" or "Le Jour se Lève".It is often mooted that Henri Vidal was a limited actor but his naiveté ,his human warmth and his handsome smile work wonders here.His hope is to marry Irene who told him she was the Voisin-Larive's chamber maid.

Irène (Morgan) is married to a rich bourgeois with whom she has no sexual relations.For him,she is a marvelous toy, a statue or a masterpiece ,something decorative you can show when you throw a party . When Irene tells him she is pregnant (by Etienne) he does not care ,he sends her to Switzerland ."I do not need any descendants " he says in a terrifying neuter voice .

Jacques ,the rich husband is some kind of monster.He is not evil,and the fact that he does not need children is downright disturbing,cause the bourgeois 's dream is par excellence a dynasty ,a boy who will continue his work .But this one seems selfishness itself.When Etienne -who still believes Irene is the chamber maid of the house - tells him his wife is pregnant by him,he finds it rather funny and does not give the game away.

Jeanette ,the less-than -attractive girl in love with Etienne ,is the rejected person we had met in "Pattes Blanches" (1948) .Played by the same actress (Arlette Thomas) ,she epitomizes hope against hope ,she is a Cinderella whose pumpkin never turns into a horse-drawn coach.Both those heroines (Jeanette and "Pattes Blanches"'s young hunchback girl ) have a similar fate.Both think that a dress can make the job done,both were born to cry.

This cinema-in-the-studio which I mention is often dazzling: there's a sublime shot of a prostrated desperate Morgan while a train is whistling and a hearse down there is crossing the street ,a scene to rival the best of Sirk (there's a similar scene in " a time to love and a time to die" ).Those carols ("Gloria in Excelsis Deo") become something as obscene as the dazzling Xmas decorations (one finds the same refinement in the final scenes in the castle in " Pattes Blanches" ) when a child is dying.Those bourgeois ,dancing in their luxury mansion ,waiting for the clock which's going to strike twelve ,is really a sickening sight.

"There are so many ways to die" Irene says to Jeanette,and then ,back home,she begins her waltz into darkness.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed