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Madame Claude
The French Woman

France 1977
produced by
Claire Duval (executive) for Orphée Arts
directed by Just Jaeckin
starring Françoise Fabian, Dayle Haddon, Murray Head, Klaus Kinski, Vibeke Knudsen-Bergeron, Maurice Ronet, Robert Webber, Jean Gaven, André Falcon, François Perrot, Marc Michel, Roland Bertin, Ed Bishop, Karl Held, Ylva Setterborg, Marie-Christine Deshayes, Max Amyl, Sophie Barnett, Jack Berard, Valérie Bonnier, Gérard Buhr, Florence Cayrol, Marie-Claude Collin, Evelyne Dress, Radiah Frye, Pascal Greggory, Fernand Guiot, Lyle Joyce, Marcella Klept, Serge Lahssen, Marc Lamole, Lucienne Legrand, Louise Mazzaroli, Philippe Moreau, Henri Poirier, Jean-Pierre Rambal, Claire Richard, Pierre Risch, Gilbert Robin, René Roussel, Nicole Seguin, Li Sellgren, Vandat, Vania Vilers, Nadia Verine, Catherine Zidi
screenplay by André G. Brunelin, based on the novel Allo Oui, les Mémoires de Madame Claude by Jacques Quoirez, music by Serge Gainsbourg

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Madame Claude (Francoise Fabian) runs an agency  for high class prostitutes - all hand-picked by her, which means she also turns girls down who are just too willing, convinces others, like Elizabeth (Dayle Haddon), who aren't initially willing at all - but she always makes sure she doesn't make a girl do something against her will. Elizabeth is a fairly innocent young girl who got so fed up with both her job and her mother that she eventually saw prostitution as a viable alternative - but even working for Madame Claude has left her innocent enough to believe in true romance. Now of course, Madame Claude's organisation is on one hand controversial, but on the other so well-regarded that she counts figureheads of high politics and big business among her customers - which means that those who complain about her the loudest publicly hold a protecting hand over her privately. And then there's photographer David (Murray Head), who has been seeing several of Madame Claude's girls privately, and has taken photos of them with their customers - and he's just what shady businessmen Zakis (Klaus Kinski) and Hugo (Marc Michel) need to sabotage a certain weapons deal. Thing is, the CIA's very interested in that deal, and thus go after David to get the photos from him. Problem is, the photos also show Madame Claude's girls, which is bound to get her into a position she might no longer be able to count on her friends in politics to get her out of ...


Madame Claude is really a child of its time and as such a wonderful time capsule: A mixture of political thriller and erotica, with a sensationalistic torn-from-the-headlines plot but made with enough taste to still hit a chord with contemporary mainstream audiences rather than the exploitation crowd, in a time when the envelope regarding sexual content in movies was still actively pushed - though that said, director Just Jaeckin, coming more from the erotica than the thriller side of the spectrum, has gone quite a bit further in his earlier classics Emmanuelle and The Story of O. And while Jaeckin is a director who favours style over substance and thus fails to give this movie much depth, he knows how to spin a yarn for sure, as this film has plenty to offer in terms of action and sex and hardly a dull moment, all wrapped in tasteful enough imagery to appeal to the crowds - which makes this a wonderful trip down nostalgia lane from toda's point of view when the scarce examples of erotica for the mainstream masses tend to get more and more sterile in approach and execution.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
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and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD