Review: ‘The Madwoman of Chaillot’

Story of struggle between good and evil becomes audience's struggle against tedium. Margaret Leighton with her imaginary dog and Giulietta Masina with her imaginary amours ricochet around the Chaillot district of Paris sharing a phantom world of the past with Katharine Hepburn.

Story of struggle between good and evil becomes audience’s struggle against tedium. Margaret Leighton with her imaginary dog and Giulietta Masina with her imaginary amours ricochet around the Chaillot district of Paris sharing a phantom world of the past with Katharine Hepburn.

Hepburn, as equally disturbed Countess Aurelia, the madwoman of Chaillot, measures life somewhere between a lover lost years ago and a missing feathered boa. Richard Chamberlain, an active pacifist, and Danny Kaye, a local ragpicker, rattle the countess into the present with the news that there’s a plot afoot # or underfoot # to destroy Paris.

Film doesn’t come off. Hepburn fails to capture the fantasy-spirit of the countess. Her performance suffers because of indecision.

The Madwoman of Chaillot

Production

Warner/Seven Arts. Director Bryan Forbes; Producer Ely Landau; Screenplay Edward Anhalt; Camera Claude Renoir, Burnett Guffey; Editor Roger Dwyre; Music Michael J. Lewis; Art Director Georges Petitot

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1969. Running time: 142 MIN.

With

Katharine Hepburn Richard Chamberlain Yul Brynner Margaret Leighton John Gavin Giulietta Masina

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