Emile Zola's obscure novel entitled "L'Assommoir" has been made into several films. This is one of the best. In this two hour movie an entire mini-series worth of problems have been compressed about a young woman to whom life has dealt hard blows. Set in the 19th-century, this woman deals with an alcoholic husband while doing everything within her power to keep the family together. An incredibly depressing movie in which the protagonist keeps on trying no matter what besets her, the performances are creditable and the direction superb. Self-involved characters give viewers no one to cheer for, but this movie received multiple awards, ranging from Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival to an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. The music was composed by Georges Auric.
by Tana Hobart synopsis