Retrospective 2016

The Diary of a Chambermaid

Jean Renoir
USA 1946
87 min

In its own strange way, even more genuinely surreal than Buñuel’s later version of Mirabeau’s novel about a keyhole-peeking chambermaid whose arrival in the household of a decadent and eccentric aristocratic family wreaks havoc. What’s so bizarre about Renoir’s adaptation (scripted and produced by Meredith, then husband of Paulette Goddard) is the sheer artificiality of both setting and performances, emphasising the power struggles that develop as a theatre of deceit and delusion. Less bitterly savage than Buñuel, but equally sharp in its satire, it stands on an otherwise uncharted point between LA RÈGLE DU JEU and, say, THE GOLDEN COACH. (Geoff Andrew)

  • Paulette Goddard - Célestine
  • Judith Anderson - Mme Lanlaire
  • Burgess Meredith - Captain Mauger
  • Francis Lederer - Joseph
  • Jean Renoir und Burgess Meredith
  • Lucien Andriot
  • William Lynch
  • James Smith
  • Michel Michelet
  • Julia Heron
  • Eugène Lourié
  • Barbara Karinska
Camden Productions
35 mm
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