Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Based on a 1907 comedy by Victorien Sardou and Emile Moreau, Madame Sans-Gene was first interpreted by Gloria Swanson in 1923. In this version of the free-wheeling laundress who joins the nobility, Sophia Loren plays the lead and the man she falls in love with, the soldier Lefebvre, is played by Robert Hossein. Madame Sans-Gene does the laundry for a little-known lieutenant named Napoleon (Julian Bertheau), but after she falls for Lefebvre, she takes off, following him around the French Revolution and loses track of Napoleon, who has other things to do. Circumstances bring Lefebvre a noble title and even more -- Napoleon decides to make him the local ruler over a large territorial fiefdom. But trouble brews when Madame Sans-Gene, now elevated to the nobility along with her man -- cannot keep her frank observations under control.
upward-mobility, France, madame, time, war