La maison Bonnadieu (1951)

  |  Comedy, Drama



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Carlo Rim


Carlo Rim

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30 December 2009 | dbdumonteil
A Heart for a heart, a tooth for a tooth
Although the screenplay was written by the director ,it shows Guy De Maupassant's short stories influence.It's one of these rare French comedies which isn't that funny .A story dealing with cuckolds (Bernard Blier played this character so many times ,let's just mention "Manèges" (1949))and with a town where nobody but the hero and the prostitute (a delightful Marthe Mercadier) is and acts like they seem.The beginning of the movie manages to feature two unexpected twists in a dozen of minutes.

Danielle Darrieux is perfect as a two bit Bovary bourgeois lady ,who kills time with her lover and her sewing room,abetted by the local vicar who "considers her a saint laywoman" !Bernard Blier is equally excellent as her not-so-handsome hubby,a man who really suffers :it's an uneven contest ,which , in the end ,justifies the immoral ending. Supporting cast is up to scratch:Jeanne Veniat shines in her part of a grandmother ,and she steals all the scenes she is in; granny is no longer the virtuous moralizing old lady ,who has never sinned : "these hereditary characteristics generally skip a generation" .Françoise Arnoul is the chamber maid who becomes her mistress's rival.Michel François began his career very early as he was one of the young children in "La Cage Aux Rossignols" (later remade as the notorious "Les Choristes" ) and an adolescent discovering love in "Dernières Vacances " .

Mouloudji sings "La Complainte Des Infidèles" (= Unfaithful lovers ' lament).

One should add that Carlo Rim made " La Maison Bonnadieu" just after his sketch of "Les Sept Péchés Capitaux" in which he told another story of cuckold with an unexpected twist.

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