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The Female (1959)

La femme et le pantin (original title)
Handsome and rich Spanish gentleman abandons his wife and riches for his love of a young girl of poor stock who taunts and degrades him. Only after she has humbled him mercilessly does she offer him her love in the end.


Julien Duvivier


Julien Duvivier, Marcel Achard (screenplay) | 4 more credits »


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Credited cast:
Brigitte Bardot ... Eva Marchand
Antonio Vilar ... Don Matteo Diaz
Lila Kedrova ... Manuela
Daniel Ivernel Daniel Ivernel ... Berthier
Darío Moreno ... Arabadjian
Michel Roux Michel Roux ... Albert
Jacques Mauclair Jacques Mauclair ... Stanislas Marchand
Jess Hahn ... Sidney
Espanita Cortez Espanita Cortez ... Maria Teresa
Claude Godard Claude Godard ... Mercedès
Rivers Cadet Rivers Cadet ... Le passager du bus
Germaine Michel Germaine Michel ... La passagère du bus
Dominique Zardi Dominique Zardi ... Un marin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Betty Beckers Betty Beckers ... Une danseuse
Paul Bonifas Paul Bonifas ... L'aubergiste


Handsome and rich Spanish gentleman abandons his wife and riches for his love of a young girl of poor stock who taunts and degrades him. Only after she has humbled him mercilessly does she offer him her love in the end.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dance | jealousy | based on novel | See All (3) »


She was a special kind of girl with no heart, fiery, dramatic, more jungle cat than kitten! See more »




See all certifications »



France | Italy



Release Date:

4 March 1959 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Female See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor) (USA release)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The first color movie for director Julien Duvivier. See more »


Referenced in Le coeur au poing (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

The puppet is Duvivier.
31 December 2005 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

"La femme et le pantin" is the most distressingly mediocre Duvivier film.It was absolutely bland ,not even distinguished by the professionalism that came to stamp his later work.It was exactly his professionalism that provoked the derision of the young Turks of the Nouvelle Vague for whom "carrying on the tradition" was not the road to follow.But when even professionalism is in question,what can be saved?

"La femme et le pantin" found the director lost in the folklore for tourists and hiding behind Brigitte Bardot's sensual body.BB is the only thing worthwhile in the whole movie.She is probably the ideal actress cast in the wrong movie.She is sadly unsupported by a very poor cast:her lover is not even handsome ,her father acts like a zombie and her mother's overplaying is thoroughly unbearable.

This is the third version of Pierre Louïs's novel;for the record,there was also De Baroncelli's (France,1928) ,Von Sternberg's ("The Devil is a Woman" ,US,1935) and Luis Bunuel 's( "Cet Obscur Objet du Desir" France,1977)

Do not get me wrong:I am a big Duvivier fan and I have written more comments on his films than on any other director 's works.This is the only one of which I cannot say something nice.

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