Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne

Robert Bresson’s intense study of erotic obsession and the redeeming power of true love, scripted by Jean Cocteau.

One of the most revered figures in French Cinema, Robert Bresson’s second film, scripted by Jean Cocteau, is the work that established his unique, highly personal vision. Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne is a renowned masterpiece of cinematic storytelling and psychological insight.

Made during the last days of the Occupation and based on a story by the eighteenth-century writer Denys Diderot, the film centres on a dangerous love triangle. This intense study of erotic obsession and the redeeming power of true love combines the superficial glamour of Parisian high society with the seething passions and jealousies that cause a spurned femme fatale, Helene, to seek her ex-lover’s humiliation.

At the film’s heart is Maria Casares (Les Enfants du Paradis; Orphee) who gives a compelling performance as the woman who is driven to destroy the object of her most ardent desire. Her co-star Lina Labourdette (Elena et les hommes; Lola) is also powerful in the role of Agnes, the woman for whom Helene’s lover has fallen.

The visual style – rainy streets, belted trench-coats, cars looming out of the darkness – has much in common with the iconography of film noir and adds another rich layer of meaning to this engrossing film.

Special features

  • Biography of Robert Bresson.
  • Biography of Jean Cocteau.
  • Biography of Maria Casares.
  • Original film poster.
  • Sleeve notes by French Cinema specialist Keith Reader.

Product information

    • Certificate

      PG

    • Colour

      Black/white

    • Sound

      Sound

    • Running time

      83mins

    • Languages

      French

    • Subtitles

      English

    • Original aspect ratio

      1.33:1

    • DVD region

      • 2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories

    • Catalogue number

      BFIVD624

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