- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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An underrated 5-star jewel of a movie.
- el debbo
Ivan Desny spent the duration of the war in a Nazi work camp. He's magnificent in this film. So much symbolism---Madeleine looks up at Emile through the bars...she is imprisoned by a tyrant, "I wish to speak to you...my boots." Papa commands. She must get on the floor, listen to his demands, and button his boots. One way out of the suffocating confinement could be a heady illicit affair---she keeps the key to the backdoor on her lacy underwear. Emile was a very magnetic cane-twirling dandy, after all. We see the lovers lying together on the hillside at Rhu, under a night sky; we hear magical music and Madeleine watches a star fall. It's Emile, really. I saw Emile as a man who really loved Madeleine, I saw great tenderness there. He was also a realist who knew their love would dissolve to nothingness if they lived in poverty, which was all he had to offer. He ended up being crushed and dismissed when she was overwhelmed by fear of her father and lifelong conditioning to uphold her social status. In the courtroom she watches a lawyer pace and his booted feet look just like her lover's through the bars in front of her. She can't look away. Maybe Emile and Madeleine were both manipulative, but I see them as players. At least they went to the very edge and lived, for awhile.
- kevin sellers
It's well made, like everything David Lean ever did, and well paced, until the trial, that is, which drags on and on. And on. (The defense lawyer's summation to the jury, with the repeat of witnesses testimony, is like watching molasses drip from a jar.) The big problem for me is that the two main characters, Madeleine and her French lover, are both rather cold, calculating types, both of whom you are rooting for to be done in. Therefore, when Madeleine walks at the end, even though she's guilty as hell, (and if you have any doubt, just check out the cat that ate the canary smile playing at the corners of her mouth in the last shot) you feel cheated instead of happy. Give it a C plus.
- Susanne Cavendish
I have no idea, what movie Mr Maltin watched, but he must have had a power outage, too, somewhere. I'm glad I didn't believe him, at first blush. Ann Todd's haunting look, drew me to watching it, anyway. Is Ann Todd a classic beauty, perhaps not and in that, is her beauty. I was intrigued, mesmerized, even smitten by Madeleine, the character, if not Todd, herself. I'm glad that Lean took his time to develop the plot, the story as he always did, in every movie of his, I ever saw. He was a master and that he, additionally, was drawn to his wife, Ann Todd as the lead character in this movie reveals his other genius, of having impeccable, discriminating taste and foresight. Mr Maltin, if you're still alive, review this movie, again, with your eyes open, this time. I give it, five stars. The others, who reviewed this, said it all, except for one, who thought Madeleine was guilty. I go with the jury, not proven. Ann Todd was forty-two when she played Madeleine and no one, could have played her, more convincingly, as a much younger woman than, perhaps, Julie Christie, who was, but, seven or thereabouts, in 1950. I'd like to see a remake of this movie, with serious direction, just to see how another of our great directors, man or woman, might reveal Madeleine, to us. Yes, get this movie on DVD, please?
- Theresa Rouse
I disagree with David Lean believing this movie was a disappointment. I find it to be an excellent movie with a great cast. As a true story I feel this movie gave the viewer the opportunity to know what the character's role was as the events lead up to this tragedy. The end made me curious for more information on this story so I read many books written about it. I was able to make my own decision of guilty or not guilty. It's too bad this movie didn't get the good reviews it deserves. It's high on my list as one of David Lean's movies. I totally rate this movie very highly. I hope TCM will show MADELEINE much more often!!
TCM To Air It 12/2/15
Enjoyed this the previous showing a few years ago.Thanks for playing it again!
Madeline 1950 Bio Pic
- Elizabeth Gantt
I loved this film. I thought the acting was outstanding. I first saw this film in 2010 on TCM, I saved it to my DVR and watched it multiple times. Ann Todd and Ivan Desney were well suited for their parts. This is one of my favorites along with the Heiress, I never get tired of watching them. In 2012, I erased this film from my VCR, by mistake and waited for its return to TCM with baited breath. If you love intregue, this will become one of your favorites as it is now mine.
Madeleine - One of the Best True Story Classics
- Theresa Rouse
Very intriguing true story movie. Love the actors, especially handsome Ivan Desny & Ann Todd who portrayed Madeleine. As Ann Todd became obsessed with the story, I too became obsessed with reading and obtaining any information I could to make my determination whether or not Madeleine was guilty or innocent. I do believe that Madeleine was guilty!
- Theresa Rouse
Love this movie! One of my favorites. It's been awhile since it has been shown on TCM. Anxiously waiting to see it again. I love the acting, especially Ann Todd as Madeleine and the very handsome Ivan Desny as Emile whom I fell in love with. I find this true story very intriguing. Great Movie!! Five Star for sure!!
Ann Todd-- Enchantress
Fine drama based upon an actual Scottish Victorian Era scandal shows to perfection the genteel touch and obsession with detail of legendary director David Lean. The revelation here is the artistry of Ann Todd who was in early middle age at the time that this film was made ,yet convincingly portrays a very young and naive woman with a multi-faceted and disturbingly realistic characterization--dependent upon yet fearful of her flinty unemtional father, enraptured with her first real love and secret suitor (the bounder--Emille), rebellious against the constraints of her father's expectations, part femme fatal, part naive child. She comes to admire and grow fond of the upstanding young man chosen by her father but lacks the experience and will power to deal with the manipulative fortune hunter Emillle. The courtroom scenes were as suspenseful as the interpersonal and societal relationships were intriguing--one of the best defenses of murder by poisoning in full forensic detail which I have ever seen captured on film. The story centers upon the consumate acting skill of Ann Todd whose delicate beauty and depth of portrayal beguiles and fascinates minute by minute. The ending alone is worth the time spent in viewing. Too bad Sir David and Ms. Todd (who were cousins and husband and wife) are no longer with us.
- Bruce C
A fantastic British vehicle that wastes no time with fluid - driven movement throughout the film.There is a definitive reality when Madeline (Ann Todd) is brought up a set of stairs to trial andthe old man - perhaps the bailiff that continually allows the door to drop and slam shut. Thereis a lot of crafted suspense that comes with the cast and camera work. The cliff hanger ending adds to the dramatics. This film cannot be placed into the working's of today's time period, is absurd to attempt such. A very good film.
- daniel soroky
This is a fine Victorian mood piece with great acting and a superb script. The prosecutor and defense attorney are both convincing, as they always are in great courtroom scenes. Mrs. Todd is mesmerizing. I view some negative reviews of this movie to be ridiculous. You don't see such superb acting and great dialogue very often. This movie, in my opinion, was well worth preserving and should be issued on DVD.
I was completely wrapped up in this movie...got to the last part of the trial and just before the verdict, my Dvr didnt record the finale. Please play this movie again so I can see the ending.
Missed the very last of it
- Sandy Raney
This movie was fascinating...only my DVR cut off the very last of the movie and I had to google it to see how it came out. Literally the last five minutes. I heard it was sort of like the Casey Anthony case, not enough evidence to convict but hope it will be on again so I can catch the end. How frustrating was that! David Lean's early movies were the best! Especially the ones with Trevor Howard.
I too loved this movie and got caught up in the trial but sadly I too had a power outage and did not get to see the end! would love to see it played again in the evening hours so we all can enjoy it. Anyone want to tell me how it ended? argh..
Madeleine (1950) Directed by David Lean
I watched this movie for the first time when you showed it a couple of weeks ago. I was completely drawn into the movie. First there was the dilemma that Ann Todd's character found herself in with her overbearing father and her fear of his disapproval. Then there was the dilemma that her French lover, found himself in; loving Madeleine, yet longing for the life that the upperclass Smith family had. I had never heard of Ivan Desny who played her lover, Emile, but was taken with his good looks and acting abilities. He made you feel sorry for him for the way he had to sneak around to see Madeleine, yet at the same time you feel contempt for his manipulation of Madeleine. Then there was the excellent directing of David Lean. The scene where the two lovers danced on top of a hilltop overlooking a lake; the rain and snow that Emile waited in to see Madeleine. The focus on the clock, the window where he came at night, the cup of cocoa, the maid sleeping in the kitchen so that Madeleine and Emile could have her bedroom. Then finally Emile staggering home in agony from poison, the courtroom scenes using flashbacks to show the evidence for and against Madeleine having murdered her lover. The movie so intrigued me that I am looking for the movie on dvd, and also a book about the strange case of Madeleine. I notice that you do replay some of the more outstanding movies over several times in a year. How about putting this one on that list. I would love to see it again real soon. I give the movie 5 stars.
I had the pleasure to first view this film on March 25, 2010. I found it to be very enjoyable. The black and white cinematography was excellent. Both the lead and supporting roles were very well done. I had not heard of this film, and was pleasantly suprised in becoming enveloped in the gradual transition from interesting romance to dark tragedy. I hope this film will be released on dvd soon.
I came across this movie 3/4 through and was caught up in the story immediately. I would love to see it in its entirety. Great movie.
- Alice Lahnstein
This perfectly terrific David Lean movie was shown ONCE in this decade, at 4:00 PM on a Friday when few people can be at home watching films. It is not available on home video. WHY????Could you at least show it at an hour when it might have an audience or offer it for purchase?
Why isn't this movie on dvd
- robert novarro
The cool and reserved Ann Todd finds herself accused of murder and on trial for her life. Miss Todd gives a magnificent portrayal of a woman caught in a trap of passion.
"Did she or Didn't She?
I LOVE this movie! what more could you want? The beautiful,cold,"ethereal" Ann Todd,and a great story' and it's a true story! I don't know why the critics didn't like this one?But every time this movie is on I'm completely "riveted"by Ann Todds' excellent performance. This movie reminds me of Hitchcocks The Parridine Case which I also LOVED. Don't miss this one!
Ann Todd As Madeleine: It Deserves Another Look
When one first views the film Madeleine (1950), one suspects another well made British drama. Between the magnificent home, overbearing father, and beautiful costumes, one is lulled into a false sense of mediocrity and security. David Lean directs his then-wife, Ann Todd, in a haunting mystery which unfolds in front of you like a fine piece of Chinese silk. Todd, (Madeleine), has a haunting and ethereal look. Accused of poisoning her lover, Todd is more concerned about wearing her dress correctly than the death sentence. She gives new meaning to the term "poker face." To the powers-that-be at TCM, this film merits many more showings. Todd, and the entire cast turn in fine performances.
Play it again
- Cal Colvin
Didn't get to see all of Madeliene due to power outage. Please show it again so we can see the ending.
I've only seen this movie once. It was early morning and I was late to an appointment because I just had to see how it all came out. I do not claim to be an expert of any kind. I just know what I like and I was completely taken by this movie. It reminds one of The Heiress with Olivia de Havilland-which I also love. I had never even heard of this movie. TCM...please, Please, PLEASE play this one again!!!