|Genre: Art House & International, Classics, Drama|
Directed By: David Lowell Rich
Written By: Jean Holloway
In Theaters: 27 April 1966
On Disc/Streaming: 5 Febr. 2008
Runtime: 100 minutes
Lana Turner as Holly Parker
John Forsythe as Clayton Anderson
Ricardo Montalbán as Phil Benton
Burgess Meredith as Dan Sullivan
John van Dreelen as Christian Torben
Virginia Grey as Mimsy
Warren Stevens as Michael Splading
Carl Benton Reid as The Judge
Teddy Quinn as Young Clayton Anderson Jr.
Frank Maxwell as Dr. Evans
Kaaren Verne as Nurse Riborg
Joe De Santis as Carter
Frank Marth as Det. Combs
Bing Russell as Police Sgt. Riley
Teno Pollick as Manuel Lopez
Jeff Burton as Bromley
Jill Jackson as Police Matron
Constance Bennett as Estelle Anderson
Keir Dullea as Clayton Anderson Jr.
“Madame X” is a 1966 American drama film directed by David Lowell Rich and starring Lana Turner.
It is based on the 1908 play “Madame X” by French playwright Alexandre Bisson.
Jean-Louis, the French costume designer, created the dresses for Lana again.
A lower class woman, Holly Parker (Lana Turner), marries into the rich Anderson family.
Her husband’s mother (Constance Bennett) looks down on her and keeps a watchful eye on her activities.
Due to her husband’s frequent and long trips abroad, Holly forms a relationship with a well-known playboy (Ricardo Montalbán).
When her lover accidentally dies, and only her mother-in-law knows she is innocent, the latter blackmails her into disappearing into the night during a planned boat trip, leaving her husband (John Forsythe) and young son (Teddy Quinn) thinking she has died.
She then slowly sinks into depravity all over the world, only to be brought back to America under false assumptions by a “friend” (Burgess Meredith) who plans on blackmailing her family.
When she realizes that the man intends to reveal who she is to her son, she shoots the man to stop him.
The police arrest her and, refusing to reveal her identity, she signs a confession with the letter “X.”
As fate would have it, the court assigns a defense attorney who happens to be her long-lost son (Keir Dullea).
Lana Turner plays Holly Parker.
This was one of Lana’s best performances ever. Also because in this film Lana turns from a beautiful woman in an old utterly deglamourized woman. Since she was usually impeccably coiffed and costumed in her films, Lana’s willingness to make herself unattractive for many scenes in “Madame X” came as quite a shock to some observers.
When “Madame X” was released in the spring of 1966, Lana toured extensively throughout the country on behalf of the film. In many interviews she gave at the time, she told the press she had never worked harder on a characterization. To one reporter she related: “I’m not a method actress, but the only way I can reach that kind of emotion is to call on situations and experiences in my own life. It’s not easy to do, because you lock them away. But it’s the only way to get that same level of intensity.”
And despite some well-publicized on-set discord between Lana and Ross Hunter, the producer of the film, when “Madame X” completed shooting, the actress took out a full-page ad in a Hollywood trade paper thanking Hunter and all 75 members of the cast and crew for helping her get through the difficult role.
You can watch the film here.
Source poster: Benitomovieposter
Lana Turner did a lot of movies. She really loved being a moviestar.
Here are the most important films in which she starred. Just click the links for more info, photos and videos.
20 April 1937: A Star Is Born
9 Oct. 1937: They Won’t Forget
24 Oct. 1937: The Great Garrick
1 Jan. 1938: The Adventures of Marco Polo
22 July 1938: Love Finds Andy Hardy
12 Aug. 1938: Rich Man, Poor Girl
9 Dec. 1938: Dramatic School
28 April 1939: Calling Dr. Kildare
18 Aug. 1939: These Glamour Girls
29 Sept. 1939: Dancing Co-Ed
19 April 1940: Two Girls on Broadway
19 July 1940: We Who Are Young
25 April 1941: Ziegfeld Girl
12 Aug. 1941: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
2 Oct. 1941: Honky Tonk
18 Febr. 1942: Johnny Eager
27 Aug. 1942: Somewhere I’ll Find You
1 April 1943: Slightly Dangerous
19 Aug. 1943: Du Barry Was A Lady
13 Nov. 1943: The Youngest Profession
23 Aug. 1944: Marriage Is a Private Affair
8 March 1945: Keep Your Powder Dry
1 Oct. 1945: Week-End At The Waldorf
2 May 1946: The Postman Always Rings Twice
5 Nov. 1947 : Green Dolphin Street
1 Nov. 1947: Cass Timberlane
29 April 1948: Homecoming
20 Oct. 1948: The Three Musketeers
1 Sept. 1950: A Life Of Her Own
2 March 1951: Mr. Imperium
5 Sept. 1952: The Merry Widow
25 Dec. 1952: The Bad And The Beautiful
25 Aug. 1953: Latin Lovers
1 May 1954: Flame And The Flesh
7 Sept. 1954: Betrayed
13 May 1955: The Prodigal
4 June 1955: Sea Chase
14 Dec. 1955: The Rains Of Ranchipur
12 Jan. 1956: Diane
13 Dec. 1957: Peyton Place
30 Jan. 1958: The Lady Takes A Flyer
2 May 1958: Another Time, Another Place
30 April 1959: Imitation Of Life
23 June 1960: Portrait In Black
19 July 1961: By Love Possessed
2 Nov. 1961: Bachelor In Paradise
25 Dec. 1962: Who’s Got The Action?
24 Febr. 1965: Love Has Many Faces
27 April 1966: Madame X
30 April 1969: The Big Cube
7 Nov. 1974: Persecution
27 Oct. 1976: Bittersweet Love
31 Oct. 1980: Witches Brew
21 May 1982: Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid
Sources: Wikipedia, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Lana’s biography “Lana, the Lady, The Legend, The Truth“, “The Films Of Lana Turner” by Lou Valentino and “Lana Turner, The Memories, The Myths and The Movies” by Cheryl Crane.