- 1.37:1 ASPECT RATIO
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 26 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: February 26, 2013
- Originally Released: 1946
- Label: Olive Films
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.37
Performers, Cast and Crew:
USA Today - 08/04/1989
"...Paulette Goddard has the sauciness her title role requires....This is a sneak-up-on-you sleeper..."
Set at the turn of the century, DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID stars Paulette Goddard as Celestine, a chambermaid who has left Paris to take a position at a mansion in the provinces. Intending to hook an affluent husband, she casts about for an appropriate choice. Her employer Captain Lanlaire (Reginald Owen), is under the thumb of his autocratic wife (Judith Anderson). Yet the eccentric Captain Mauger (Burgess Meredith) and the Lanlaire's attractive son Georges (Hurd Hatfield) remain interesting possibilities.
Jean Renoir's fascination with the theme of the anarchic melting of class boundaries is reduced to simple greed in this film, which he compared to his earlier NANA. Starring Paulette Goddard as the chambermaid Celestine, the film follows her from turn of the century Paris to her new position in the provincial household of the wealthy Lanlaire family. Resolved to use her considerable beauty to land a wealthy husband and move up in class, she sizes up potential candidates. Captain Mauger (Burgess Meredith), the Lanlaire's neighbor is amusing, but a bit too old and eccentric to fit the bill. Georges (Hurd Hatfield), the Lanlaires passive, tubercular son, seems to have possibilities, but he's somewhat suspicious of Celestine and seems concerned that excess passion could kill him. She finally realizes that Joseph (Francis Lederer), the valet, has fallen in love with her and, regarding this as her best option, she consents to marry him and help him to establish a business. But the impatient valet makes off with the Lanlaire silver, an act which leads to unhappy consequences. Described by critic Andre Bazin as a "burlesque tragedy," it features a marvelously over-the-top performance by Burgess Meredith.
- Burgess Meredith was married to Paulette Goddard during production.