Madame X (1929 film)
|Directed by||Lionel Barrymore|
|Written by||Alexandre Bisson (play)
|Music by||William Axt|
|Editing by||William S. Gray|
|Running time||95 minutes|
Madame X is a 1929 American drama film directed by Lionel Barrymore, who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. Ruth Chatterton was nominated for Best Actress for her performance as a fallen woman. The film is based on the 1908 play by French playwright Alexandre Bisson (1848-1912).
Jacqueline Floriot (Ruth Chatterton) is thrown out into the street without any money by her jealous husband Louis (Lewis Stone) when he discovers she has been carrying on an affair. She is not even allowed to see their four-year-old son. She sinks into depravity.
Twenty years later, she has become the mistress of Laroque. When he finds out that her husband is now the Attorney General, Laroque decides to blackmail him. Desperate to shield her son from her disgrace, she shoots and kills her lover.
By chance, the lawyer assigned to her turns out to be her own son, on his first case. He is puzzled and frustrated when she refuses to defend herself in court. During the trial, her husband shows up in support of his son. When she sees that he recognizes her and is about to speak out, she makes an impassioned plea, not for mercy but for understanding of what drove her to murder. As she had intended, the hidden message silences Louis. When Jacqueline faints from the strain, she is carried into a private chamber. There, she kisses her still-unaware son and dies.
The story had been filmed before by Goldwyn Pictures in 1920 with Pauline Frederick. This was four years before the merger of Goldwyn with two other film studios that led to MGM. MGM inherited the screen rights to the story following the 1924 merger.
- Ruth Chatterton - Jacqueline Floriot
- Lewis Stone - Louis Floriot
- Raymond Hackett - Raymond Floriot
- Holmes Herbert - Noel
- Eugenie Besserer - Rose, Floriot's Servant
- John P. Edington - Doctor
- Mitchell Lewis - Colonel Hanby
- Ullrich Haupt - Laroque (as Ullric Haupt)
- Sidney Toler - Dr. Merivel
- Richard Carle - Perissard
- Carroll Nye - Darrell, a Naval Officer
- Claude King - Valmorin, the Prosecutor (as Claud King)
- Chappell Dossett - Judge
- Henry Armetta - Hotel Owner (uncredited)
- Agostino Borgato - Porter (uncredited)
- Carrie Daumery - Dining Room Guest (uncredited)
- Edith Fellows - Child at Puppet Show (uncredited)
- Mary Gordon - Nursemaid (uncredited)
- Sydney Jarvis - Undetermined Role (uncredited)
- Dickie Moore - Boy Watching the Puppets (uncredited)
- Douglas Scott - Raymond, as a Small Boy (uncredited)
- Sojin - Oriental Doctor (uncredited)