7.4/10
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Gervaise (1956)

Gervaise Macquart, a young lame laundress, is left by her lover Auguste Lantier with two boys... She manages to make it, and a few years later she marries Coupeau, a roofer. After working ... See full summary »

Director:

René Clément

Writers:

Émile Zola (novel), Jean Aurenche | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maria Schell ... Gervaise Macquart Coupeau, une blanchisseuse douce et courageuse
François Périer ... Henri Coupeau - le second compagnon de Gervaise, un ouvrier zingueur
Jany Holt ... Mme Lorilleux - la soeur revêche de Coupeau
Mathilde Casadesus Mathilde Casadesus ... Mme Boche - la concierge curieuse
Florelle ... Maman Coupeau - la vieille mère d'Henri
Micheline Luccioni ... Clémence - une blanchisseuse, ouvrière chez Gervaise
Lucien Hubert Lucien Hubert ... M. Poisson - un gendarme le mari de Virginie
Jacques Harden Jacques Harden ... Goujet - un forgeron, ami de Gervaise et d'Henri
Jacques Hilling Jacques Hilling ... M. Boche - le mari de la concierge
Amédée Amédée ... Mes Bottes - un camarade de Coupeau
Hubert de Lapparent Hubert de Lapparent ... M. Lorilleux - un chaîniste, le mari souffreteux de Mme Lorilleux (as Hubert Lapparent)
Hélène Tossy Hélène Tossy ... Mme Bijard
Rachel Devirys ... Mme Fauconnier (as Rachel Devyris)
Jacqueline Morane Jacqueline Morane ... Mme Gaudron
Yvonne Claudie Yvonne Claudie ... Mme Putois - une invitée au repas de fête
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Storyline

Gervaise Macquart, a young lame laundress, is left by her lover Auguste Lantier with two boys... She manages to make it, and a few years later she marries Coupeau, a roofer. After working very hard a few more years, she succeeds in buying her own laundry (her dream)... But Coupeau starts to drink after having fallen from a roof, and Lantier shows up... A faithful adaptation of Emile Zola's novel "L'Assomoir", depicting the fatal degeneration of a family of workers, mainly because of alcohol. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The pen of Emile Zola...the Paris of Renoir See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

11 November 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gervaise See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Maria Schell as won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress in GERVAISE, at the 1956 Venice Film Festival. See more »

Quotes

Gervaise Macquart Coupeau, une blanchisseuse douce et courageuse: Morning came and he still hadn't returned. He'd been out all night. It was the first time. I was so proud to have the handsomest guy around, me, the gimp.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original French version is much more risque than the heavily edited US version in at least one scene and probably others: the scene where Maria Schell has a catfight with Suzy Delair, which ends with Schell spanking Delair with a wooden paddle, is much more explicit in the French version which includes scenes of Suzy Delairs' bare behind getting whacked. See more »

Connections

Version of Alcohol and Its Victims (1902) See more »

Soundtracks

Chanson de
Gervaise""
Music by Georges Auric
Lyrics by Raymond Queneau
Performed by Maria Schell
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Maria Schell shines in a tragic story
1 March 2009 | by LCShackleySee all my reviews

This is a beautifully made, but terribly sad film, based on one of Emile Zola's most depressing stories of French life in the 1800s.

Gervaise is a poor woman with a poorer choice of men. She is loving, smart, and industrious, but falls for superficial, lazy drunks who take advantage of her. While she tries to provide for her family by following her dream of owning her own shop, her husband drinks away the profits and complicates her life by inviting her former lover to live in their house.

I can't say enough good things about Maria Schell's glowing performance as a tragic heroine. Her beautiful, expressive face is impossible to forget, and her emotional range is impressive. The rest of the cast is also pitch-perfect, from her various neighbors and clients, down to the lovely little girl who plays daughter Nana with touching sadness.

Surgeon general's warning: don't watch this film while under the influence of alcohol or mood- depressing drugs. It might push you over your limit.


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