Laughter in the Dark


1h 44m 1969

Brief Synopsis

An adaptation of the Nabokov novel about a wealthy married man whose fascination with a young girl backfires at every turn.

Film Details

Also Known As
La chambre obscure
MPAA Rating
NC-17
Genre
Adaptation
Drama
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
New York opening: 11 May 1969
Production Company
Les Films Marceau; Winkast Film Productions, Ltd.; Woodfall Films
Distribution Company
Lopert Pictures
Country
France
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov (New York, 1938; the author's English version of Kamera obskura ; U.S.S.R., 1932).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 44m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)

Synopsis

Sir Edward More, a wealthy art dealer, becomes infatuated with a young cinema usherette, Margot, and tries to initiate a discreet affair. But the young woman telephones him at his home, visits his art gallery when his wife, Elizabeth, is there, and even wires him a declaration of her love. After his wife has left him, taking with her their small daughter, Edward submits to Margot, unaware that she is once more involved sexually with her ex-lover, Hervé Tourace. As part of a plan to bilk Edward of his fortune, Margot tells him that Hervé is a homosexual (and therefore no threat to their love) and then persuades him to hire the younger man as his assistant. Following the sudden death of his daughter, Edward becomes totally dependent upon Margot and yields to her wish that they take a holiday abroad--with Hervé as their chauffeur. Then Edward learns of her secret affair with Hervé. He threatens to shoot Margot but is dissuaded when she promises never to see Hervé again. But in his haste to leave with Margot, Edward crashes his car and is left blinded by the accident. Margot now deceives Edward into believing that Hervé has left the country and persuades Edward that he needs a long rest; then Hervé, his presence unknown to Edward, drives them to a secluded villa. There the lovers not only relieve Edward of his wealth but play sadistic tricks upon him. Then Edward's brother-in-law, Paul, arrives to learn the reason for all the exorbitant bank withdrawals. With the plot exposed, Hervé flees as Edward asks Paul to leave him alone so that he can say goodby to Margot in private. But when Margot returns to the villa, Edward is waiting with a gun; as the terrified girl tries to flee, he accidentally shoots himself dead.

Film Details

Also Known As
La chambre obscure
MPAA Rating
NC-17
Genre
Adaptation
Drama
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
New York opening: 11 May 1969
Production Company
Les Films Marceau; Winkast Film Productions, Ltd.; Woodfall Films
Distribution Company
Lopert Pictures
Country
France
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov (New York, 1938; the author's English version of Kamera obskura ; U.S.S.R., 1932).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 44m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Filmed on location in Majorca and England. Opened in London in August 1969; running time: 104 min. French title: La chambre obscure.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring May 1969

Released in United States 1994

Released in United States Spring May 1969

Released in United States 1994 (Shown in New York City (Walter Reade) as part of program "Laughter in the Dark: Tony Richardson" August 26 - September 13, 1994.)