Madeline movie poster
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Madeline movie poster

Madeline - Movie Synopsis & Plot

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Since Ludwig Bemelmans first wrote and illustrated "Madeline" in 1939, the classic children's books featuring the courageous redheaded heroine have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. Now the film version, shot entirely on location in Paris, brings these stories to vivid life with a stellar cast comprising acclaimed actors Frances McDormand and Nigel Hawthorne and an adorable assembly of enchanting young talent.

The indomitable Madeline (newcomer Hatty Jones) and her 11 friends live at a school run by Miss Clavel (Frances McDormand) in an old house in Paris. The smallest of all the girls, Madeline is also the most adventurous. She loses her appendix but gains an awesome scar, falls into the Seine only to be rescued by a dog whom the girls later adopt and name Genevieve, and matches wits with Pepito, the devilish son of the Spanish Ambassador who moves in next door.

After the death of their patron, Lady Covington (Stephane Audran), the future of the school is in jeopardy when Lord Covington (Niger Hawthorne) abruptly decides to sell the old house. When the stuffy Lord Covington begins to show the house to potential buyers, Madeline masterminds a plan, with Pepito's help, to scare them off.

When Pepito's shifty tutor, Leopold, takes him to the circus, Madeline discovers his plot to kidnap Pepito with the aid of bumbling circus performers known as the Idiots Popopov. Following an exciting chase through the woods, hotly pursued by Miss Clavel and the faithful dog Genevieve, Madeline and Pepito make a daring escape. They return home to their friends and family in triumph.

Finally, using her childlike clarity to see into the aching heart of Lord Covington, Madeline makes a touching, last-minute effort to save the school.

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