Catch-up: The Earrings of Madame de…(1953)
It is with slight shame that I say I had never seen a Max Ophüls film before. After seeing The Earrings of Madame de…, I have no choice but to see them all. Profound and technically brilliant to the point of near perversion, The Earrings of Madame de… is Citizen Kane meets “Madame Bovary”.
The film, set in late 19th century Paris, centers on the countess Louise (Danielle Darrieux), who sets fate in motion by pawning a pair of diamond earrings, a gift from her General husband. Lies, fate, love and vengeance mix as the earrings re-appear, change hands, and gain layers of sentimental meaning. Throughout, Ophel’s camerawork is without peer, drawing us into Louise’s world and enriching the story.
Watching Madame… now, Ophüls’ influence on everyone from Stanley Kubrick to P.T. Anderson is clear. So if you are in need of an old classic, you can’t do better than the Madame.