THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE ... (1953) B/W 105m dir: Max Ophuls

w/Danielle Darrieux, Charles Boyer, Vittorio De Sica, Mireille Perrey, Jean Debucourt, Serge Lecointe, Lia di Leo, Jean Galland, Hubert Noel, Leon Walther

From The Movie Guide: "For the five-year period from 1950-55 (shortly before he died), Max Ophuls was arguably the world's greatest filmmaker, creating LA RONDE, LE PLAISIR, LOLA MONTES, and this masterful study of a tragic, three-cornered romance.

"THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE ... opens brilliantly as the Countess Louise de ... (Darrieux; her character's last name is obscured throughout the story) searches through her belongings for something to sell. The camera glides along as she examines furs, a necklace, a cross, and finally a pair of diamond earrings she received as a wedding present from her husband, General Andre de ... (Boyer). When she pretends that the earrings have been stolen, the general begins a search, eventually recovering them discreetly from the jeweler to whom his wife sold them. The general gives the earrings to his mistress (di Leo) who later loses them while gambling with Baron Donati (De Sica). Upon returning to Paris, the Baron Falls in love with the Countess, giving her a gift meant to express his deepest affection ....

"EARRINGS is masterfully told in both verbal and visual terms. The genteel, brittle dialogue traces an elliptical path to tragedy while the relentlessly mobile camera dollies and pans around the stiflingly ornate rooms that Ophuls's characters inhabit. The star trio of Darrieux, Boyer and De Sica have rarely been better, playing characters whose narcissism deepens to obsession and, ultimately, desperation. The film's lush visual style is a perfect, ironic backdrop for the superficialities of the society explored, particularly in the famous ballroom sequence where the Countess and the Baron first become aware of their ill-fated love."

THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE ... was nominated for an Oscar for Best Costume Design (Georges Annenkov, Rosine Delamare).