Also known as
La Souriante Madame Beudet
France [1923] - 38m
Directed by
Germaine Dulac
More info on
The Smiling Madame Beudet poster


October 14, 2020


Often cited as one of the first true feminist films. While not something I'm going to contest, almost 100 years later that part of the film has little to no impact anymore. What remains is a simple drama about a woman trapped in a loveless marriage.

That's pretty much the entire story right there. Mme Beudet sulks and pouts, whilst her husband behaves like a comic book villain. When it gets too much for Mme Beudet, she decides to take matters into her own hands, devising a plan to get rid of her husband.

The film offers a mix of functional shots and close-ups of characters trying very hard to express basic emotions. The cinematography is plain, the drama doesn't work well and even though it's a very short film, there's hardly enough here to warrant the runtime. Not impressed.