Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary has been made numerous times, as early as Albert Ray’s 1932 film Unholy Love to Jean Renoir, Gerhard Lamprecht and Vincente Minnelli making their own versions. There are three BBC series — in 1964, 1975 and 2000, as well as Hans Schott-Schobinger’s 1969 version (starring Edwige Fenech!), Alexandr Sokurov’s Save and Protect, the Hindu film Maya Memsaab, Sophia Barthe’s Madame Bovary and even David Lean’s loose adaption, Ryan’s Daughter.
Emma (Isabelle Huppert) faced a single life on her father’s farm until he sets her up with Dr. Charles Bovary (Jean-François Balmer), yet he bores her. And even moving to the city does nothing for her interest in him and everything for her interest in others, like Léon (Lucas Belvaux), a court reporter who can discuss all of the culture that she adores as well as giving her the physical love that she needs. Yet he’s soon gone and she moves on to other men, like the wealthy Rodolphe Boulanger (Christophe Malavoy), but when he leaves her after four years, she finds her way back into Leon’s arms.
However, to court him again, it takes money. So she secretly uses her husband’s cash — and a secret deal with shop keeper Lheureux (Jean-Louis Maury) — to pay for clothing, a hotel and gifts. Their home is seized and sold and even the lawyer who should be helping her only wants her for sex. So — spoiler warning for a book written in the 1850s — she takes poison and dies a long and agonizing death, followed by her husband dying from grief and their daughter being sold into factory work.
So you know, basically a heartwarming film that’ll brighten any day.
Arrow Video’s Lies And Deceit: Five Films By Claude Chabrol collected five high definitions (1080p) blu ray versions of Cop Au Vin and Inspector Lavardin to Madame Bovary, Betty and Torment. Each movie has an introduction by film scholar Joël Magny and select scene commentaries by Chabrol. Additionally, there’s an 80-page collector’s booklet of new writing by film critics Martyn Conterio, Kat Ellinger, Philip Kemp and Sam Wigley, trailers and image galleries for each movie and limited edition packaging with newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella.
Madame Bovary has new commentary by critic Kat Ellinger and Imagining Emma: Madame Bovary On Screen, a new visual essay by film historian Pamela Hutchinson.
You can order this set from MVD.