La Femme et le Pantin

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La Femme et le Pantin / Femmina
Directed by Julien Duvivier
Produced by Christine Gouze-Rénal
Fred Surin
Written by Albert Valentin
Marcel Achard
Based on La Femme et le pantin[1]  
by Pierre Louÿs
Starring Brigitte Bardot
Music by Jean Wiener
José Rocca
Cinematography Roger Hubert
Edited by Jacqueline Sadoul
Release dates
  • January 2, 1959 (1959-13-02) (France)

April 3, 1959 (1959-04-03) (Italy)
Running time 100 minutes
Country France
Language French

La Femme et le Pantin (Italian: Femmina) is a 1959 French-Italian drama film directed by Julien Duvivier.
It is the third adaptation of the correspondent classic novel.
At first glance Brigitte Bardot was predestined for this film because for many people she had become downright the incarnation of a femme fatale. Yet for that very reason everybody knows right from the start how the story will end. Eva Marchand walks the streets so proudly and so obviously aware of her attractivity that there is no doubt she knows it too. There is even a scene where a grown man spontaneously kisses her feet and she couldn't be less impressed. She shows just enough reaction to prove that her feet are not wooden. So when the ill-fated Don Matteo Diaz (Antonio Vilar) gets obsessed with her and doesn't even try to hide that, it must become his downfall, for it cannot be any other way.


Matteo Diaz is a wealthy gentleman who loves and respects his wife but doesn't find her attractive any longer because she is paralysed. He already has a certain reputation among women. Accordingly he doesn't hesitate to get close to Eva Marchand as soon as he has realised her beauty. But to his surprise she can't be bothered to show any appreciation for his advances. He begins trying to explain and justify his way of life and his interest in her. The more he tries, the harder she makes it on him. Eventually he is so humiliated that even his walk shows he is a broken man and that is the end of story.


Brigitte Bardot writes in her autobiography[2] the crew used to call the director "Dudu" but despite that their rapport wasn't always perfect during the making of this film. She also stresses how the shooting in Sevilla during the Seville Fair became a hardship because of the heat.


External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  1. ^ "La Femme et le pantin von Pierre Louÿs (e-book download)". Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  2. ^ Extrait de ses mémoires, Initiales BB, Éditions Grasset, Paris, 1996, ISBN 2-246-52601-9