Le Plaisir; House Of Pleasure

2358. LE PLAISIR (House Of Pleasure) (1951-France). With CLAUDE DAUPHIN, GABY MORLAY, MADELEINE RENAUD, DANIELLE DARRIEUX, PIERRE BRASSEUR, JEAN GABSN, SIMONE SIMON, DANIEL GELIN. Narrated by PETER USTINOV. Directed and co-adapted by MAX OPHULS. Based on three short stories by GUY DE MAUPASSANT. The films Of Max Ophuls are characterized by sweeping camera movements and a formal elegance unparalleled among directors worldwide. This is one Of his most brilliantly realized features. Actually, it consists Of a trio Of short films with a unifying theme: Pleasure might come easily to those who are so inclined to seek it out, but finding true and Tasting happiness is another matter altogether. The films respectively compare pleasure to old age, marriage and virtue. “The Mask” is the first episode, and it is an enticing tale which opens at an opulent masked ball where a strange man appears. He is using his mask to cover his wrinkles. Who is he? What has brought him to the ball? “The Model” comes next. It tells Of an intense love affair between an artist and his model which evolves into a most atypical marriage. “Tellier House” is the finale. It is a perceptive tale which recounts the impact upon prostitutes and customers alike when a madame closes her brothel to attend her niece’s communion. All are linked by the English-language narration Of Peter Ustinov. The cast is composed Of a “Who’s Who” Of French movie stars, and the result is a literate and richly rewarding film which you will not soon forÂget. In French with English subtitles. 94 minutes. Drama