The Balcony


1h 27m 1963

Brief Synopsis

Shelley Winters is the madame of a house where customers play out their erotic fantasies, oblivious to a revolution which is sweeping the country. When her old friend, the chief of police (Peter Falk), asks her to impersonate the missing queen in order to reassure the people and halt the revolution, she offers instead three of her customers to play the general, bishop and chief justice, all of whom have died in the revolution.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1963
Premiere Information
New York opening: 21 Mar 1963
Production Company
Allen-Hodgdon Productions; City Film Corp.; Walter Reade--Sterling, Inc.
Distribution Company
Continental Distributing, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Le balcon by Jean GenĂȘt (trans. by Bernard Frechtman as The Balcony ; London, 22 Apr 1957).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

Madam Irma's brothel, The Balcony, is located in a vast, converted movie studio. Although a revolution is raging in the city streets, Irma ignores the turmoil and continues catering to the desires of her clientele. A gas station attendant pretends to be a bishop erotically stimulated by the lewd confessions of a penitent; a milkman posing as a general delights in whipping his female "horse"; and an accountant pretends he is a chief justice trying the case of a petty thief. One day Irma's lover, the chief of police, commandeers the three phony dignitaries and parades them through the streets in the hope that it will quiet the populace. When the men begin to believe their roles, the chief brutally strips them of their illusions. While Irma is pretending to be the queen, the rebel leader arrives at The Balcony and announces that he wants to impersonate the police chief. As he is being seduced by Carmen, Irma's lesbian confidante, he is suddenly confronted by the chief. The two men begin to fight, and Irma orders her women to strip them of their uniforms. Clad only in bath towels, they leave The Balcony as Irma turns to the audience and tells them to go home, where the illusions they practice are even more false than those she sells at her brothel.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1963
Premiere Information
New York opening: 21 Mar 1963
Production Company
Allen-Hodgdon Productions; City Film Corp.; Walter Reade--Sterling, Inc.
Distribution Company
Continental Distributing, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Le balcon by Jean GenĂȘt (trans. by Bernard Frechtman as The Balcony ; London, 22 Apr 1957).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Award Nominations

Best Cinematography

1963

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1963

Released in United States on Video July 1989

Released in United States 1963

Released in United States on Video July 1989