|The Madwoman of Chaillot|
|Directed by||Bryan Forbes|
|Produced by||Ely Landau |
Anthony B. Unger
|Written by||Edward Anhalt |
|Based on||La Folle de Chaillot|
by Jean Giraudoux
|Starring||Katharine Hepburn |
|Music by||Michael J. Lewis|
|Cinematography||Burnett Guffey |
|Edited by||Roger Dwyre|
Commonwealth United Entertainment
|Distributed by||Warner Brothers/Seven Arts|
The Madwoman of Chaillot is a 1969 American satirical film made by Commonwealth United Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros.-Seven Arts. It was directed by Bryan Forbes and produced by Ely A. Landau with Anthony B. Unger as associate producer. The screenplay was by Edward Anhalt, adapted by Maurice Valency from the celebrated play La Folle de Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux via the English adaptation The Madwoman of Chaillot. The music score was by Michael J. Lewis and the cinematography by Burnett Guffey and Claude Renoir.
The story is of a modern society endangered by power and greed and the rebellion of the "little people" against corrupt and soulless authority.
A group of four prominent men – The General (Paul Henreid), The Commissar (Oskar Homolka), The Chairman (Yul Brynner) and The Prospector (Donald Pleasence) – discuss how they can increase their fortunes. The Prospector tells them that there is oil in the middle of Paris and they resolve to acquire the rights with or without the consent of the people of Paris. Countess Aurelia (Katharine Hepburn), the "madwoman" of the title, learns of this plan to drill for oil under the very streets of her district from Roderick (Richard Chamberlain) - an activist - and The Ragpicker (Danny Kaye). She enlists the help of her friends, a motley crew of "little people" who include, Constance (Margaret Leighton) and Gabrielle (Giulietta Masina). A trial takes place in the Countess's cellar presided over by Aurelia's friend Josephine (Edith Evans) as judge and the Ragpicker as the lawyer for the defense.
In The New York Times, Vincent Canby wrote "Forbes, who persists in making conventional films of unconventional properties ("Whistle Down The Wind," "The Wrong Box") moves his cameras around quite a lot, but there is really little he can do to hide the fact that "The Madwoman of Chaillot" is--as it was 20 years ago--an incredibly precious theatrical conceit, just the sort of thing somebody might think would make a great Broadway musical comedy. As we all know, it didn't."