Le Plaisir

  • 1952
  • 1 HR 35 MIN
  • NR
  • Drama

Following the success of LA RONDE, Max Ophuls decided to adapt three stories by Guy de Maupassant for this picture, which was released in France in 1952. The first of the stories, "The Mask," concerns an aging roue who, with his wife's compliance, wears a mask to a dance hall in order to hide his wrinkles. The second story, "The House Of Madame Tellier,"...read more

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Following the success of LA RONDE, Max Ophuls decided to adapt three stories by Guy de Maupassant for this picture, which was released in France in 1952. The first of the stories, "The Mask," concerns an aging roue who, with his wife's compliance, wears a mask to a dance hall in order to

hide his wrinkles. The second story, "The House Of Madame Tellier," has Renaud closing her brothel, so she and her girls can go to their niece's first communion. The final episode, "The Model," has Simon, a model in love with a painter, throw herself from a window to express her love. The painter

marries the girl and devotes his life to her care since she has crippled herself. Ophuls' goal was to show the pain and pleasure in people's lives--pleasure and old age in "The Mask;" pleasure and purity in "Madame Tellier," and pleasure and marriage in "The Model." His original intention was to

film the story "Paul's Wife" instead of "The Model," but, at his producer's insistence, Ophuls omitted this sequence dealing with pleasure and death. As with LA RONDE, this film's episodes are joined by a narrator, Peter Ustinov (English), Anton Walbrook (German), and Jean Servais (French). The

dollying and craning camera technique which has nearly become synonymous with Ophuls' name is awesomely evident in the "Madam Tellier" episode, allowing the camera to survey the activities of the brothel. Oscar nominated for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration. (In French; English subtitles.)

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