The Diary of a Chambermaid (1946 film)
|The Diary of a Chambermaid|
|Directed by||Jean Renoir|
|Produced by||Benedict Bogeaus
|Written by||André Heuse (play)
André de Lorde (play)
Thielly Nores (play)
Octave Mirbeau (novel)
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Running time||86 minutes|
The Diary of a Chambermaid (1946) is a drama film about a newly hired servant who severely disrupts a wealthy family. The film was based on the novel of the same name by Octave Mirbeau and the play Le journal d'une femme de Chambre by André Heuse, André de Lorde, and Thielly Nores, was directed by Jean Renoir, and starred Paulette Goddard, Burgess Meredith, Hurd Hatfield, and Francis Lederer.
In 1885 France, chambermaid Celestine begins her new position at a rural mansion in the Lanlaires district with the intention of moving up the social ladder. She starts working on her new employer, Monsieur Lanlaire, and he soon takes a liking to her, preferring her company to that of his dominant wife.
Soon the excentric neighbor, captain Mauger becomes quite obsessed with having her working for him instead, and offers to marry her as reward for her coming to live with him, which would give her considerable wealth.
Monsieur Lanlaires sickly son Georges temporarily returns home to the estate, and in an attempt to make him stay longer, his mother does her best to make the attractive Celestine even more beautiful by buying her fancy clothes, and orders her to take extra good care of her son.
Still, Georges makes plans to go back to Paris, and the desperate madame Lanlaires orders Celestine, dressed only in her nightgown, to bring Georges some broth in his room. Georges realizes that his mother is trying to trick him into staying, and Celestine draws the same conclusion. Upset with Madame Lanlaires attempt to manipulate her, Celestine quits her job at the mansion and trirs to catch a ride into town with the cunning valet Joseph. He tells her of his plans to steal the house silverware on independance day, which is only a few days away, and persuades Celestine to stay and be his accomplice.
Madame Lanlaires eavesdrops on their conversation and spoils Joseph's plan. Instead he starts planning to steal Captain Mauger's hidden money. While the captain is out celebrating Joseph searches his house, and when the captain comes back and catches him red handed, Joseph is forced to kill the captain to get away.
Joseph tells the Lanlaires that he intends to leave his position and marry Celestine, and Madame Lanlaire is overjoyed. She has realized that her son unfortunately has fallen in love with their attractive maid. She agrees to give Joseph the silverware if he leaves the estate and takes the maid with him.
When Joseph and Celestine get caught in the celebrating crowds down in the village, Georges manages to catch up with them, determined to win Celestine back. Joseph and Georges fight each other, and it ends with Joseph being killed. Georges and Celestine then go away together.
- Paulette Goddard as Celestine
- Burgess Meredith as Captain Mauger
- Hurd Hatfield as Georges Lanlaire
- Francis Lederer as Joseph, the valet
- Judith Anderson as Madame Lanlaire
- Florence Bates as Rose
- Irene Ryan as Louise
- Reginald Owen as Captain Lanlaire
- Almira Sessions as Marianne
- The Diary of a Chambermaid at the TCM Movie Database
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- The Diary of a Chambermaid at allmovie