Madame Bovary (1949)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Period Film, Romantic Drama  |   Release Date - Aug 25, 1949 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 115 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

MGM circumvented the censorship that would otherwise have prevented a film version of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary by adding a prologue and epilogue that assured any and all bluenoses that the story was strictly a work of fiction. James Mason appears as Flaubert, defending his inflammatory novel before a French jury. Thus, the tragedy of Emma Bovary (Jennifer Jones) is offered as a product of Flaubert's imagination, rather than a real-life story. The body of the film concerns Emma's attempt to escape the boredom of her bourgeois existence by marrying a doctor (Van Heflin). She finds life with the physician even more tiresome than her previous experiences, thus begins taking a series of wealthy lovers-all of whom prove to be two-dimensional cads. Unable to tolerate a lifetime of dead-end affairs, Emma eventually commits suicide. The best sequence-indeed, one of the finest set pieces ever directed by Vincente Minnelli-is the "Emma Bovary Waltz" sequence, a dazzling experience in dizzying camera movements.



bourgeois, jury, lover, marital-problems, woman, writer