Blu-ray, DVD Release: Diary of a Chambermaid (1946)

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 26, 2013
Price: DVD $24.95, Blu-ray $29.95
Olive Films

Diary of a Chambermaid (1946) movie scene

Paulette Goddard (r.) is Celestine in Diary of a Chambermaid.

Legendary director Jean Renoir’s (The Rules of the Game) 1946 drama-romance film of Octave Mirbeau’s 1900 novel Diary of a Chambermaid was adapted for the screen by one of its co-stars, Burgess Meredith of Rocky fame. We imagine that Rocky himself would utter an enthusiastic “Yo!” if he heard the Renoir classic was finally making its official DVD and Blu-ray debut!

Paulette Goddard (Modern Times) plays the title character, a sexy and saucy servant named Celestine, whose forthrightness has a curious effect on a wealthy Parisian household. Determined to elevate her lot in life, Celestine uses her unsubtle charms to beguile the master of the household. Meredith is on board as Captain Mauger, the bizarre and shell-shocked neighbor, while Judith Anderson (Rebecca) appears as the mistress of the household.

The unrated film also stars Irene Ryan, Francis Lederer and Reginald Owen.

Luis Buñuel (Belle de Jour) remade Diary of a Chambermaid in 1964 with Jeanne Moreau in the lead and a decidedly different tone in its approach, but Renoir’s original take is the first one you should be watching!

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.