Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Madame X | A Story Retold

1966 and 1929 posters
Madame X story is about a woman thrown out of her home by her jealous husband who sinks into depravity. Twenty years later, she finds herself accused of murder for saving her son, who does not know who she is. He finds himself defending her without knowing her background.

The play originally opened in Paris, France, on 15 December 1908. An English translation of the play by John Raphael opened in New York City, New York, USA on 2 January 1910 and had 125 performances IMDb

By 1929 it had already come to emblematize the maternal melodrama, in which devoted mothers sacrifice money and respectability so that their children can live their lives free of the taints of poverty or scandal. This "fallen woman" formula would become a genre of its own in the 1930s. The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931), Blonde Venus (1932), Stella Dallas (1937) and Kitty Foyle (1940) all owe a dramatic debt to Bisson's original play and Barrymore's 1929 adaptation. Incidentally, Dickie Moore, who plays the object of maternal affection in Blonde Venus can be glimpsed in the puppet show sequence of Madame X. TCM

Madame X story has since been adapted to the screen many times and the infamous Jacqueline Floriot portrayed by many actresses:

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