Madame Claude Poster

Madame Claude (2021)

Biography | Drama 
Rayting:   5.4/10 1544 votes
Country: France
Language: English

Paris, the late 1960s. Madame Claude is at the head of a flourishing business dedicated to prostitution that gives her power over both the french political and criminal worlds. But the end of her empire is closer than she thinks.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

michael-sidiropoulos 2 April 2021

Trying to think what the point of this film is. Is it purely biographical? Probably. Are there any cinematic values? Probably not. An environment of prostitution would lend itself to some character development. There is none. Okay, there may be some other redeeming features. An interesting storyline, some surprises and plot twists. Nope. Normal acting and direction, nothing superb. This film doesn't rise above mediocrity.

albertval-69560 3 April 2021

Fernande Grudet's life is a fascinating story but the film falls short of making it compelling. The main focus is on the requisites of the sex sex trade: how she manages her burgeoning business and the growing power and influence that go with it. It does little to dive into the interesting characters that inhabit her story.

Given the story's potential, one could imagine dramatic encounters with the police and her influential clients. But when such opportunities arise, the encounters happen mostly matter-of-factly except for that memorable meeting of Sidonie and her father in the restaurant where he got his comeuppance.

louisesweeting 8 April 2021

I do not care about the nudity or sex BUT what offends me is the quality of this film. Atrocious acting; bad dubbing; non-existant storyline. French movies are so good. Perhaps they should have had a French team on it and this sorry saga would have been a success.

von_stauffenberg 4 April 2021

Not a high drama action film but interesting biopic of a highly ambivalent figure in a well reconstructed Paris of the late 60s/early 70s. Madame Claude is certainly no feminist hero, but at a very basic level she not a brutal pimp either: she does provide a "family" for her "girls" while managing her "business" in a male dominanted environment to satisfy male desires (but that does not prevent her from exposing her girls to dangerous situations and she certainly does not get the sympathy of the viewer). She operates at the fringes of legality yet police and security forces use and exploit her to their ends (and drop her likel a hot potato), while she also has to deal with the figures of the underworld... Film scores very highly on the reconstruction of the peculiar atmoshere of the period, and I recommend viewing this picture.

zohaeffendi 8 April 2021

Utter crap and pointless , no purpose ,depth or story ! Waste of time.

thespira 2 April 2021

I started watching as the story of Madame Claude is quite famous. I dropped the show after 30mn. Too much sex and no story line. Actors are not even good.

It's a hard pass... don't loose your time.

itsjaycube 2 April 2021

Had to stop watching half way cause its so boring. I rather watch cartoon than watch this.

xjacquix-59210 6 April 2021

I very rarely give up on films but after 30-40 minutes I couldn't even get the point of the movie, it bored me and nothing made any sense.

dierregi 8 April 2021

If you watch this movie you're probably aware of the overdose of sleazy you'll be experiencing. While I could accept the sex scenes that go with the territory, I wasn't prepared to deal with the disjoint, pedestrian editing.

Madame Claude is the occasional voice over, but her narrative is unreliable. For instance, she mentions she started her "career" as a prostitute (not much of a surprise) and we're shown a scene in the past where she defended a colleague from a customer's beating. You might assume Madame is against violence, but immediately after, one of her "girls" is subject to brutal beating and Madame comment is just "Wash and have a good sleep to forget about it".

Then she proclaims she doesn't have the time for a "love story" and immediately after she's hooking up with a sleazy guy. The lack of consistency is not the only problem, the editing goes from past to present with no logic; the character of Madame's daughter is introduced for no reason and then abandoned; the sex scenes are way too frequent, so that the movie is more a soft porn that doesn't need a plot than a legitimate film.

soprano-69707 3 April 2021

It looks tecnically well done and this is great; but this movie is superficial, empty, almost vulgar and a waste of time..Whats the point of this story?

rwkenyon-09484 5 April 2021

I watched Madame Claude by Sylvie Verheyde on Netflix, which just premiered a couple of days ago. It's the second French biopic about "Madame Claude," née Fernande Grudet, who operated the most illustrious brothel in Paris for fifteen years in the 1960's and 1970's--the first, also titled Madame Claude, by Just Jaekin, dates from 1977 and starred Francoise Fabian. I wasn't sure I would like the new version, since a few of the reviews panned it, but I decided to start watching it to see if I liked it. I watched it all. I saw it VOSTF--speaking French with French subtitles.

The best thing about this film is that it is directed by a woman, Sylvie Verheyde. This is important, although little discussed by the mostly male critics and commentators, but I doubt that any male director could have enjoyed the intimacy with the almost entirely female cast. There is only one principal male character, the voyou--gangster--Jo Attia, played by veteran actor Roschdy Zem, who occupies a minor role. Most of the film ostensibly takes place in Madame Claude's maisons closes at 18, rue de Marignan, near the Champs-Elysées, and 32, rue de Boulainvilliers, a discrete location in the 16th.

A crucial aspect of the film is mostly ignored by the American audience or even by French people who did not live in Paris in the 1960's and 1970's, as I did. A Yugoslav, Stevan Markovic, whose name is mispronounced by some of the characters, a Corsican, François Marcantoni, President George Pompidou, his wife, Claude, and the actor Alain Delon were all involved in a bombshell scandal that erupted in 1968 and is evoked a background to the film to suggest Madame Claude's connections with la pègre, the French underworld. According to the Wikipedia, the affair began when one of Delon's bodyguards, Markovic, was found dead. Both Delon and his longtime friend Marcantoni were questioned by the police. Marcantoni was originally charged with the murder, but after further questioning by the police, he was released. Markovic's murder is still unsolved.

Most of the sexy scenes are near the beginning of the film. There are a few violent moments, but most of the film revolves around the entrepreneurial Madame Claude's business and the "Claudettes" she recruited for her wealthy and powerful clients. The end is worth the wait.

There are several good articles online, some with cheesecake photos, about Madame Claude. Several books, including her 1994 autobiography, Madam, describe her life. She died in Nice in 2015 at the age of 92, keeping many of her secrets to her grave.

French actress Karole Rocher is excellent in the title role and will probably garner a Cesar, the French equivalent of an Oscar, for her starring role as Madame Claude.

The young Garance Marillier, born in 1998, is excellent as Sidonie, the daughter of a diplomat. The enigmatic Sidonie puffs or pretends to puff a Virginia Slims most of the time. (I checked: the iconic cigarettes premiered in 1968, the time of the film.) Sidonie becomes Madame Claude's favorite Claudette and her confidante.

Because of some confusion in the script, I'd rate the film a B overall. It's worth watching, but not destined to become a classic. Netflix rates it "steamy" and "cerebral." Right, it probably is both.

Movie Scene

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