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LE PLAISIR (1952) - Arrow Video Club

  • dir. Max Ophuls
  • year. 1952
  • country. France
  • run-time. 97 mins
  • rating. PG

£6.00 (£4.50 conc.)

Film 6:00PM

Le Plaisir takes three of Guy de Maupassant’s stories as its source: in Le Masque, a masked dandy conceals a secret; in La Maison Tellier, the girls of a small-town brothel are taken on an outing to attend the communion of the madam’s niece; and in La Modèle, a painter falls in love with his model, but the course of love isn’t as smooth as either expected.

To tell these tales director Max Ophuls assembled a remarkable cast of French talent, including Jean Gabin (Pépé le MokoLa Grande illusion), Pierre Brasseur (Eyes Without a FaceSpotlight on a Murderer), Danielle Darrieux (Madame de…Les Demoiselles de Rochefort), Claude Dauphin (Casque d’OrBarbarella), Simone Simon (Cat PeopleLa Ronde) and many more besides.


The beauty and Mozartian sense of visual musicality of his work enhance rather than detract from Ophüls’s toughness, for, beneath the velvety suavity, the director’s worldview could be as bleak, savage even, as those of fellow Teutonic masters Von Stroheim, Lang, Wilder, and Preminger.
— Fernando F. Croce, Slant Magazine