The Diary of a Chambermaid

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In its own strange way, even more genuinely surreal than Buñuel's later version of Mirbeau's novel about a keyhole-peeking chambermaid whose arrival in the household of a decadent and eccentric aristocratic family wreaks havoc. What's so bizarre about Renoir's adaptation (scripted and produced by Meredith, then husband of Goddard) is the sheer artificiality of both setting and performances, emphasising the power struggles that develop as a theatre of deceit and delusion. Less bitterly savage than Buñuel, but equally sharp in its satire, it stands on an otherwise uncharted point between La Règle du Jeu and, say, The Golden Coach.

Release details

Duration: 86 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jean Renoir
Screenwriter: Burgess Meredith
Cast: Paulette Goddard
Hurd Hatfield
Francis Lederer
Burgess Meredith
Judith Anderson
Reginald Owen
Florence Bates
Irene Ryan
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