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Le Plaisir (1952)

Le plaisir (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 19 May 1954 (USA)
Three separate stories about the same thing: le plaisir (pleasure).


Max Ophüls


Guy de Maupassant (stories), Jacques Natanson (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Claude Dauphin ... Le docteur (segment "Le Masque")
Gaby Morlay ... Denise - la femme d"Ambroise (segment "Le Masque")
Madeleine Renaud ... Julia Tellier (segment "La Maison Tellier")
Ginette Leclerc ... Madame Flora dite Balançoire (segment "La Maison Tellier")
Mila Parély Mila Parély ... Madame Raphaële (segment "La Maison Tellier") (as Mila Parely)
Danielle Darrieux ... Madame Rosa (segment "La Maison Tellier")
Pierre Brasseur ... Julien Ledentu - Le commis-voyageur (segment "La Maison Tellier")
Jean Gabin ... Joseph Rivet (segment "La Maison Tellier")
Jean Servais ... L'ami de Jean / La voix de Maupassant (segment "Le Modèle")
Daniel Gélin ... Jean, le peintre (segment "Le Modèle") (as Daniel Gelin)
Simone Simon ... Joséphine - le modèle (segment "Le Modèle")
Amédée Amédée ... Frédéric - le serveur (segment "La Maison Tellier")
Paul Azaïs ... Le patron du bal (segment "Le Masque")
Antoine Balpêtré ... Monsieur Poulain - L'ancien maire (segment "La Maison Tellier") (as Balpétré)
René Blancard ... Le maire (segment "La Maison Tellier")


Three stories about pleasure. The first one is about a man hiding his age behind a mask to keep going to balls and fancying women, pleasure and youth. Then comes the long tale of Julia Tellier (Madeleine Renaud) taking her girls (whores) to the country for attending her niece's communion, pleasure and purity. And lastly, Jean (Daniel Gélin) the painter falling in love with his model, pleasure and death. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Three intimate tales by GUY de MAUPASSANT about people who live the way people shouldn't!


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Maurice Yvain was originally going to compose an original score, but was replaced by Joe Hajos, who based most of his music on popular music of the late nineteenth century. See more »


As the children parade in during the first communion sequence, half of an actor's mustache falls off. He sticks it back on as the camera pans him out of frame. See more »


Joséphine - le modèle (segment "Le Modèle"): I don't want your money or your letter or your goodbye! I won't be treated like a tart! It wasn't I who ran after you. You begged me, and you took me, so now keep me.
See more »

Alternate Versions

An American release switches the last two stories, and ends with "La Maison Tellier" instead of "Le Modèle". See more »


Referenced in Les échos du cinéma: Episode #1.3 (1961) See more »

User Reviews

Ophuls Is Not Awful
25 February 2020 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Max Ophuls converts three stories by Guy de Maupassant to the screen, and links them via a narration by Peter Ustinov.

Ophuls is one of those directors whose works I admire rather than enjoy. Sometimes I think that's his intention. His taste for formalism, whether it be a Schnitzler play he wishes to film, or his insistence on loading on every camera trick he can think of, as here, seems designed to call for comment by the attentive and cinematic viewer.... one might almost say 'voyeur.'

Perhaps that's Ophuls' intention: to make the audience think they're not watching a story, but spying on reality. Me, when I think it's a great story and great actors, as here, I would use the minimum artistry to tell the story; why paint the beautiful lily or gild refined gold? When the first story begins with a traveling take that lasts minutes, I wonder how much longer it's going to go on, rather than enjoying the event. When he shifts repeatedly to Dutch angles, I wonder what is so odd about the perspective, and when he shoots people in a house through windows, again, I wonder what's the point.

Perhaps it is a longing for the baroque. Or perhaps it's an inferiority complex, to show people who go on about the theater that cinema is an art, too, and anything you can do, we can do better!

Me, my taste is a lot more visceral than Ophuls. He's great, mind you. It's just that I appreciate him with my head and not my heart.

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French | English

Release Date:

19 May 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le Plaisir See more »

Filming Locations:

Clécy, Calvados, France See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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