Bluebeard | Modern Interpretations

The story of Bluebeard and its themes have appeared in literature and other forms of art. This page provides a small discussion of some of the better known treatments by authors and other artists.

Modern Interpretations

The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood

Atwood, Margaret. The Robber Bride. New York: Nan A. Talese, 1993. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

NOVEL: "This is the wise, unsettling, drastic story of three women whose lives share a common wound: Zenia, a woman they first met as university students in the sixties. Zenia is smart and beautiful, by turns manipulative, vulnerable – and irresistible. She has entered into their separate lives to ensnare their sympathy, betray their trust, and exploit their weaknesses. Now Zenia, thought dead, has suddenly reappeared. In this richly layered narrative, Atwood skilfully evokes the decades of the past as she retraces three women’s lives, until we are back in the present – where it’s yet to be discovered whether Zenia’s “pure, free-wheeling malevolence” can still wreak havoc. The Robber Bride reports from the farthest reaches of the sex wars and is one of Margaret Atwood’s most intricate and subversive novels yet."

Thief of Souls by Ann Benson

Benson, Anne. Thief of Souls. New York: Delacorte, 2002. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

NOVEL: A suspenseful novel incorporating the stories of Gilles de Rais and Bluebeard.

Ironskin by Tina ConnollyCopperhead by Tina Connolly

Connolly, Tina. Ironskin. New York: Tor Books, 2012. Buy the book in ebookhardcover, or paperback.

Connolly, Tina. Copperhead. New York: Tor Books, 2013. Buy the book in ebook or hardcover.

NOVEL: The first two books in a trilogy, this series draws inspiration from Jane Eyre, Beauty and the Beast, and Bluebeard. The third book takes place 15 years later and will be released in 2014.

Description for Ironskin: Jane Eliot wears an iron mask. It's the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin.

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a “delicate situation”—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn't expect to fall for the girl's father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her scars and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey.

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things are true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of a new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

Description for Copperhead: Set in an alternate version of early 1900s England, Copperhead is the sequel to Tina Connolly's stunning historical fantasy debut. Helen Huntingdon is beautiful—so beautiful she has to wear an iron mask. Six months ago her sister Jane uncovered a fey plot to take over the city. Too late for Helen, who opted for fey beauty in her face—and now has to cover her face with iron so she won’t be taken over, her personality erased by the bodiless fey. Not that Helen would mind that some days. Stuck in a marriage with the wealthy and controlling Alistair, she lives at the edges of her life, secretly helping Jane remove the dangerous fey beauty from the wealthy society women who paid for it. But when the chancy procedure turns deadly, Jane goes missing—and is implicated in a murder. Meanwhile, Alistair’s influential clique Copperhead—whose emblem is the poisonous copperhead hydra—is out to restore humans to their “rightful” place, even to the point of destroying the dwarvven who have always been allies. Helen is determined to find her missing sister, as well as continue the good fight against the fey. But when that pits her against her own husband—and when she meets an enigmatic young revolutionary—she’s pushed to discover how far she’ll bend society’s rules to do what’s right. It may be more than her beauty at stake. It may be her honor...and her heart.


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. 1847. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

NOVEL: With a secret wife locked up in the attic, Mr. Rochester is a version of Bluebeard although he can only be accused of trying to murder Jane Eyre's virtue, not her physical person, when he tries to enter into a bigamous marriage with her. This is a classic novel with obvious Bluebeard themes.

Seven Wives of Bluebeard by Anatole France

France, Anatole. Seven Wives of Bluebeard. 1903. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

NOVELLA: An English translation by D. B. Stewart from 1920 is available for reading on SurLaLune at Seven Wives of Bluebeard. Anatole France won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1921. A highly respected author, he was a leading figure in the French literary scene during his life.

Also available in:
France, Anatole. "The Seven Wives of Bluebeard (from authentic documents)." The Seven Wives of Bluebeard and Other Marvellous Tales. D. B. Stewart, translator. James Lewis May and Bernard Miall, editors. London: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1920. (New York: John Lane Company, 1920).

Another fairy tale themed work by France is available on SurLaLune at The Story of the Duchess of Cicogne and of Monsieur de Boulingrin.

Bluebeard by Max Frisch

Frisch, Max. Bluebeard. Geoffrey Skelton, translator. New York: Harcourt, 1983. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

Fitcher's Brides by Gregory Frost

Frost, Gregory. Fitcher's Brides. New York: Tor, 2002. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

NOVEL: From the publisher: 1843 is the "last year of the world," according the Elias Fitcher, a charismatic preacher in the Finger Lakes district of New York State. He's established a utopian community on an estate outside the town of Jekyll's Glen, where the faithful wait, work, and pray for the world to end. 

Vernelia, Amy, and Katherine Charter are the three young townswomen whose father falls under the Reverend Fitcher's hypnotic sway. In their old house, where ghostly voices whisper from the walls, the girls are ruled by their stepmother, who is ruled in turn by the fiery preacher. Determined to spend Eternity as a married man, Fitcher casts his eye on Vernelia, and before much longer the two are wed. But living on the man's estate, separated from her family, Vern soon learns the extent of her husband's dark side. It's rumored that he's been married before, though what became of those wives she does not know. Perhaps the secret lies in the locked room at the very top of the house-the single room that the Reverend Fitcher has forbidden to her.

Inspired by the classic fairy tales "Bluebeard" and "Fitcher's Bird," this dark fantasy is set in New York State's "Burned-Over District," at its time of historic religious ferment. All three Charter sisters will play their part in the story of Fitcher's Utopia: a story of faith gone wrong, and evil countered by one brave, true soul.

Bluebeard's Castle by Gene Kemp

Kemp, Gene. Bluebeard's Castle. New York: Faber Children's Books, 2000. Buy the book in paperback.

NOVEL: From the publisher: "A sinister film director and tycoon sets up the theme park to end all theme parks, with incredible attractions that stretch the boundaries of reality to the limit. But when his new, very young teenage bride brings her family to visit, they soon discover the truth that lurks behind the scenes."

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

Nickerson, Jane. Strands of Bronze and Gold. New York: Razorbill, 2013. Buy the book in ebookhardcover, or paperback.

NOVEL: The Bluebeard fairy tale retold. . . .

When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.

Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.

Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale.

Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut

Montgomery, L. M. The Blue Castle Buy the book in paperback.

NOVEL: Better known as the author of Anne of Green Gables,Montgomery wrote this story later in her career. Her fascination with the Bluebeard fairy tale is shown by her allusions to it in many of her works, this novel openly deals with the theme in a light-hearted way. There is a forbidden room, but it does not contain dead bodies.

Robber Bridegroom by Eudora Welty

Welty, Eudora. The Robber Bridegroom. San Diego: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1942. Buy the book in paperback.

NOVEL: From the Publisher: Legendary figures of Mississippi's colorful past--keel-boatman Mike Fink and the dread Harp brothers--along with characters from Eudora Welty's own delightful imagination people this rollicking fantasy set along the Natchez Trace. Berry-stained bandit Jamie Lockhart steals pioneer wilderness planter Clement Musgrove's beautiful daughter, Rosamond, away from a home dominated by his ugly, evil second wife, Salome. These and other characters are gathered together in a tale at once acid and gentle, wise and lighthearted, woven as much from the rough homespun of American history as the gossamer thread of fairy stories.

Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood

Atwood, Margaret. Bluebeard's Egg. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1986. Buy the book in ebookhardcover orpaperback.

SHORT STORY: Atwood explores the Bluebeard themes in her well-written short story.

The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block

Block, Francesca Lia. "Bones." The Rose and the Beast. New York: Harper Collins, 2000. Buy the book in hardback or paperback.

Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Carter, Angela. "The Bloody Chamber." The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories. Penguin USA, 1993. Buy the book in paperback.

SHORT STORY: A collection of short stories with fairy tale themes, the title story in this collection is a dark and sensual version of the Bluebeard tale. Masterfully written, the story gives the wife a mother who rescues her daughter by shooting Bluebeard as well as a handicapped lover to marry later. This is the story that made me notice Bluebeard and include the tale on this site.


Rubly Slippers, Golden Tears

Gaiman, Neil. "The White Road." Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, eds. New York: Avon, 1996. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.


My Swan Sister:  Fairy Tales Retold

Hoffman, Nina Kiriki. "Chambers of the Heart." My Swan Sister: Fairy Tales Retold. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, eds. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003. Buy the book in hardback
 or paperback.


Hopkinson, Nalo. "The Glass Bottle Trick." Skin Folk. New York: Warner Aspect, 2001. Buy the book in paperback.


Jackson, Shirley. "The Honeymoon of Mrs. Smith, Version I." Just an Ordinary Day. Laurence Jackson Hyman and Sarah Hyman Stewart, eds. New York: Bantam, 1996. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback. 


Jackson, Shirley. "The Honeymoon of Mrs. Smith, Version I." Just an Ordinary Day. Laurence Jackson Hyman and Sarah Hyman Stewart, eds. New York: Bantam, 1996. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback. 


Silver Birch, Blood Moon

Long, Karawynn. "The Shell Box." Silver Birch, Blood Moon. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, eds. New York: Avon, 1999. Buy the book in paperback.


Oates, Joyce Carol. "Blue-bearded Lover." Caught in a Story: Contemporary Fairytales and Fables. Christine Park and Caroline Heaton, eds. London: Vintage, 1992. Buy the book in paperback.


Thackeray, William Makepeace. "Bluebeard's Ghost." 1843.

SHORT STORY: You can read this story at Bluebeard's Ghost by William Makepeace Thackeray.

Spells of Enchantment: The Wondrous Fairy Tales of Western Culture

Warner, Sylvia Townsend. "Bluebeard's Daughter." The Cat’s Cradle Book. New York: Viking, 1940.

Also available in: 

I. Zipes, Jack, editor. Spells of Enchantment: The Wondrous Fairy Tales of Western Culture. New York: Viking, 1991. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

II. Lurie, Alison, editor. The Oxford Book of Modern Fairy Tales. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback. 


Wiggin, Kate Douglas. Bluebeard: A Musical Fantasy. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1914.

SATIRE / SHORT WORK: You can read this story at Bluebeard: A Musical Fantasy by Kate Douglas Wiggin.

A spoof on Wagnerian opera and music critics, the text of a spurious lecture on the "lost" Wagner opera, Bluebeard. Wiggin seizes upon the form of the performance lecture as one which has traditionally reached "large audiences, mostly of ladies, through whom in course of time a certain amount of information percolated and reached the husbands - the somewhat circuitous, but only possible method by which aesthetic knowledge can be conveyed to the American male."

Angelou, Maya. "The Detached." Poems. New York: Bantam Books / Random House, 1986.
 Buy the book in

Atwood, Margaret"The Robber Bridegroom." The Poets' Grimm: 20th Century Poems from Grimm Fairy Tales.Jeanne Marie Beaumont and Claudia Carlson, editors. Ashland, OR: Story Line Press, 2003. p. 132. Buy the book in paperback.

Bibbins, Mark. "Bluebeard." The World in Us: Lesbian and Gay Poetry of the Next Wave. Elena Georgiou and Michael Lassell, editors. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000.

Carryl, Guy Wetmore. "How the Helpmate of Blue-Beard Made Free with a Door." Grimm Tales Made Gay. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1902.

Read the poem on this site at How the Helpmate of Blue-Beard Made Free with a Door.

Colman, George, the Younger. "Bluebeard." Broad Grins, My Nightgown and Slippers and other Humorous Works Prose and Poetical of George Colman the Younger. George B. Buckstone, editor. London: John Camden Hotten, 1872.

Read the poem on this site at Bluebeard.

Cooke, Rose Terry "Blue-Beard's Closet." Poems. 1861.

Read the poem on this site at Blue-Beard's Closet.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. "Untitled [Bluebeard]." Ralph Waldo Emerson: Collected Poems and Translations. Harold Bloom and Paul Kane, editors. New York: The Library of America, 1994.

Read the poem on this site at Untitled [Bluebeard].

Story Hour by Sara Henderson Hay

Hay, Sara Henderson. "Syndicated Column."Story Hour. Fayetteville, AS: University of Arkansas Press, 1998. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

Dreaming Frankenstein and Collected Poems by Liz Lochhead

Lochhead, Liz. "Blueshirt." Dreaming Frankenstein and Collected Poems. London: Polygon Books, 1984. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

This poem originally appeared in:

Lochhead, Liz. The Grimm Sisters. London: Next Editions (In Association with Faber & Faber), 1981.

Millay, Edna St. Vincent. "Bluebeard." Renascence and Other Poems. 1917.

Read the poem on this site at Bluebeard.

Nemerov, Howard. "Seven Macabre Songs: Bluebeard’s Wife." The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.

Plath, Sylvia. "Bluebeard." The Collected Poems. Ted Hughes, editor. New York: HarperCollins, 1981.

Return to Magic by Clive Sansom

Sansom, Clive. "The Forbidden Room." Return to Magic. London: Leslie Frewin, 1969. Buy the book in hardcover.

Transformations by Anne Sexton

Sexton, Anne. "The Gold Key."Transformations. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1979. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

Story Hour by Sara Henderson Hay

Strauss, Gwen. "Bluebeard." Trail of Stones. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

Tate, Allen"The Robber Bridegroom." The Poets' Grimm: 20th Century Poems from Grimm Fairy Tales. Jeanne Marie Beaumont and Claudia Carlson, editors. Ashland, OR: Story Line Press, 2003. p. 52. Buy the book in paperback.

I have listed primarily classical compositions of music using the themes of this fairy tale in either ballet, opera or some other musical style. I have also provided links to popular recordings of the music when available at The advantage to these links is that you can listen to samples of the music at no charge.


Bluebeard's Castle by BartokBluebeard's Castle by BartokBluebeard's Castle Vocal Score by Bela Bartok


Bela Bartok, libretto by Bela Balasz. Duke Bluebeard's Castle (1911)

In this opera, the horrific elements of the Bluebeard story are minimized when Bluebeard is portrayed as a discontented, searching philosopher. Bartok was a Hungarian composer, pianist and collector of folk songs. The influence of folk music is strong in his Bluebeard opera (Murphy 1996.)

Title: Bluebeard's Castle
Conductor: Pierre Boulez
Performers: Jessye Norman, László Polgár, et al.
Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Title: Duke Bluebeard's Castle
Conductor: István Kertész
Performers: Walter Berry, Christa Ludwig
Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra

Title: Bluebeard's Castle
Conductor: István Kertész
Performers: Siegmund Nimsgern, Tatiana Troyanos
Orchestra: B. B. C. Symphony Orchestra

Bluebeard by Offenbach

Jacques Offenbach. Barbe-Bleu (1866)

An operetta, this version of Bluebeard is a very loosely based rendition of the story. It is more of a "rollicking burlesque" than a serious portrayal of the story. Offenbach was a German-born French composer of operettas whose many works often parodied classical subject matter (Murphy 1996).

Title: Bluebeard
Conductor: Jean Doussard
Performers: Christiane Gayraud, Henri Legay
Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Wiggin, Kate Douglas. Bluebeard: A Musical Fantasy. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1914.

SATIRE / SHORT WORK: You can read this story at Bluebeard: A Musical Fantasy by Kate Douglas Wiggin.

A spoof on Wagnerian opera and music critics, the text of a spurious lecture on the "lost" Wagner opera, Bluebeard. Wiggin seizes upon the form of the performance lecture as one which has traditionally reached "large audiences, mostly of ladies, through whom in course of time a certain amount of information percolated and reached the husbands - the somewhat circuitous, but only possible method by which aesthetic knowledge can be conveyed to the American male."

To learn more about these films, please visit the
Internet Movie Database.


Barbe-bleue (1901). Georges Méliès, director. France.

Georges Méliès 
Jeanne d'Alcy 
Bleuette Bernon 

Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1923). Sam Wood, director.

Gloria Swanson .... Mona deBriac 
Huntley Gordon .... John Brandon 
Charles Greene .... Robert 
Lianne Salvor .... Lucienne

SILENT FILM: Based on stage play by Charlton Andrews. Later remade in 1938.

Bluebeard's Eighth Wife

Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938). Ernst Lubitsch, director. Buy the book on VHS.

Claudette Colbert .... Nicole de Loiselle 
Gary Cooper .... Michael Brandon 
Edward Everett Horton .... Marquis de Loiselle 
David Niven .... Albert De Regnier

This film plays comedically with the Bluebeard theme. Cooper is a spoiled millionaire who's been married seven times and wants to make Colbert his next wife. Based on stage play by Charlton Andrews.

Bluebeard starring John CarradineBluebeard starring John Carradine

Bluebeard (1944). Edgar G. Ulmer, director. Buy the book on VHS or DVD.

John Carradine .... Gaston Morrell 
Jean Parker .... Lucille 
Nils Asther .... Insp. Lefevre

This movie stars John Carradine as a tormented painter with the uncontrollable urge to strangle his models. The film is low-budget, but effective.

Phantom of the Plains (1945). Lesley Selander, director.

Bill Elliott .... Red Ryder (as Wild Bill Elliott) 
Robert Blake .... Little Beaver (as Bobby Blake) 
Alice Fleming .... The Duchess, Red's Aunt 
Ian Keith .... Talbot Champneys/Fancy Charley

"Red Ryder (Bill Elliott as Wild Bill Elliott) and Little Beaver (Bobby Blake) return to Blue Springs and learn that the Duchess (Alice Fleming), Red's aunt, is going to sell her stagecoach line and marry a snooty Englishman Talbot Champneys (Ian Keith), who is really Fancy Charlie, who has the nasty habit of marrying rich women and then killing them for their fortune. The concerned Red thinks everything is okay until he sees Champneys mistreating Red's horse, Thunder, and he then decides to investigate Champneys because, as he tells Little Beaver, no true Englishman would mistreat a horse. Realizing that he doesn't have much time with Red snooping around, the western Bluebeard persuades the Duchess to return to England with him, meet him at the railroad station to be married and, oh yes, bring her money with her." (

Hiss and Yell (1946). Jules White, director.

Barbara Jo Allen .... Vera, (as Vera Vague) 
Barton Yarborough .... Bluebeard the Great

"Vera thinks she's witnessed a man decapitating his wife. Actually, she's only seen magician Bluebeard the Great rehearsing his act. Still convinced that the magician is a killer, Vera goes through all sorts of comic agony when she is forced to share the same train compartment with Bluebeard (who doesn't help matters when he offers her a sandwich consisting of "scrambled brains and tongue")." (

Love From a Stranger (1947). Richard Whorf, director. UK Title: A Stranger Walked In.

John Hodiak .... Manuel Cortez 
Sylvia Sidney .... Cecily Harrington 
Ann Richards .... Mavia 
John Howard .... Nigel Lawrence

"Cecily Harrington (Sylvia Sidney), struggling along on a small allowance, wins a fortune in a lottery. She decides to travel rather than marrying her fiance Nigel Lawrence (John Howard.) A stranger, Manuel Cortez (John Hodiak), comes to rent her flat and she falls in love with him, and they are married. For their honeymoon, they go to an isolated English college where she, unlike the audience, doesn't realize she has married a fortune-hunting Bluebeard with a few murdered wives in his past. The question is will she be able to repent in leisure her decision to marry in haste." (

Bluebeard starring John Carradine

Monsieur Verdoux (1947). Charles Chaplin, director. Buy the book on VHS or DVD.

Charles Chaplin .... Henri 
Mady Correll .... Mona Verdoux 
Allison Roddan .... Peter Verdoux 
Martha Raye .... Annabella Bonheur

"On one level, "Monsieur Verdoux" is the story of a fired French bank clerk who goes into business for himself marrying and murdering women for their money. On another level, the film is an indictment of war, in which, according to Verdoux, mass murder is legalized, celebrated and paraded. "Killing is the enterprise by which your system prospers," Verdoux says. "As a mass killer, I am an amateur by comparison." This evaluation was particularly apt in the case of the wife, played by the irrepressible Martha Raye. As Annabella, Raye is one spouse who simply refuses to be murdered, comically evading the deadly traps that Verdoux sets for her. A complete change of pace for Chaplin, "Monsieur Verdoux" was a critical and box office failure upon its release in 1947 as the public was not ready for a cynical antihero from the man who brought the world The Little Tramp. However, its re-release in 1964 set box office records as a new audience attuned to the pleasures of black comedy by "Dr. Strangelove" gave the film the reception it richly deserved."

Secret Beyond the Door

The Secret Beyond the Door (1948). Fritz Lang, director. Buy the book on VHS.

Joan Bennett .... Celia Lamphere 
Michael Redgrave .... Mark Lamphere 
Anne Revere .... Caroline Lamphere 
Barbara O'Neil .... Miss Robey

"In this Freudian version of the Bluebeard tale, a young, trust-funded New Yorker goes to Mexico on vacation before marrying an old friend whom she considers a safe choice for a husband. However, there she finds her dream man -- a handsome, mysterious stranger who spots her in a crowd. In a matter of days they marry, honeymoon and move to his mansion, to which he has added a wing full of rooms where famous murders took place. She discovers many secrets about the house and her husband, but what she really wants to know is what is in the room her husband always keeps locked." (

Bye, Bye Bluebeard (1949). Arthur Davis, director. Buy the book on VHS.

ANIMATION SHORT: "Bluebeard the killer is at large, and in Porky Pig's home, a crafty mouse disguises himself as Bluebeard to scare Porky into providing him with a generous serving of food. Just as Porky realizes the mouse is too tiny to be Bluebeard, the real Bluebeard appears and ties Porky onto a rocket, intending to blast the pig into orbit! But when Bluebeard is distracted by Porky's food and decides to help himself to it, he his challenged by the mouse, who leads him on a chase." (

Bluebeard's Ten Honeymoons (1960). W. Lee Wilder, director.

George Sanders .... Landru 
Corinne Calvet .... Odette 
Jean Kent .... Mme. Guillin 
Patricia Roc .... Mme. Dueaux

The Man With The Do-It-Yourself Murder Kit!

Landru (1962). Claude Chabrol, director. USA Title: Bluebeard (1963). Buy the book on VHS.

Charles Denner .... Henri-Desire Landru 
Stéphane Audran .... Fernande Segret 
Danielle Darrieux .... Berthe Heon 
Michèle Morgan .... Celestine Buisson 
Hildegard Knef .... Madame Ixe 
Françoise Lugagne .... Madame Landru

A French film which has been dubbed into English, this film is actually a biography of Henri-Desire Landru who seduced and murdered eleven women. He was later beheaded for his crimes.

"France, WWI. Landru, the father of four Children, contacts Parisian women through newspapers, seduces and eventually kills them in order to feed his little family." (

Bluebeard starring Richard Burton

Bluebeard (1972). Edward Dmytryk, director. Buy the book on VHS or DVD.

Richard Burton .... Baron von Sepper 
Raquel Welch .... Magdalena

Richard Burton stars in this remake of the story in which Bluebeard kills his wives once again. The film is considered quite bad.

"Richard Burton, starring as Baron von Sepper, an Austrian aristocrat noted for his blue-toned beard, and his appetite for beautiful wives. His latest spouse, an American beauty named Anne, discovers a vault in his castle that's filled with the frozen bodies of several beautiful women. When confronted with this slight oddity, Bluebeard explains to Anne that he found an easier alternative to divorce when he grew bored with his previous wives. In order to avoid being Bluebeard's next frozen bride, Anne must find a way to outwit her murderous hubby." (

Bluebeard's Castle (1992). Sir Georg Solti, director (conductor). Buy the book on VHS.

This is a film version of Bartok's opera in performance starring Sylvia Sass and Kolos Kovats with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Piano

The Piano (1993). Jane Campion, director. Buy the book on DVD.

From Amazon: "It is the mid-nineteenth century. Ada is a mute who has a young daughter, Flora. In an arranged marriage she leaves her native Scotland accompanied by her daughter and her beloved piano. Life in the rugged forests of New Zealand's South Island is not all she may have imagined and nor is her relationship with her new husband Stewart. She suffers torment and loss when Stewart sells her piano to a neighbour, George. Ada learns from George that she may earn back her piano by giving him piano lessons, but only with certain other conditions attached. At first Ada despises George but slowly their relationship is transformed and this propels them into a dire situation."


Andrews, CharltonBluebeard's Eighth Wife.

PLAY: Comedy.

Angus, J. Keith. "Blue Beard." Children's Theatricals: Being a Series of Popular Fairy Tales Adapted For Representation in the Drawing Room. London: George Routlege and Sons, 1879 [1878].


Ludlam, CharlesBluebeardNew York: Samuel French.


''A loving paean and a lunatic parody.''—N.Y. Times

''A drawing room grotesque right out of Bela Lugosi with Noel Coward thrown in for good measure.''—Wall Street Journal

''Contemporary high comedy.''—Village Voice

Maeterlinck, Maurice. Ariane et Barbe-bleu. 1901.

Maeterlinck received the Nobel Prize in literature n 1911. His early dramas portray the inner conflict of the main characters, such as Bluebeard in Ariane et Barbe-bleu.

Uhry, AlfredThe Robber BridegroomMusic by Robert Waldman. Book and lyrics by Alfred Uhry. Adapted from the novella by Eudora Welty. London: Josef Weinberger.

MUSICAL: Adapted from the novella by Eudora Welty. A folk legend from Mississippi involving the romantic Robin Hood-like figure Jamie, who saves Clemment Musgrove (the richest planter in the country), from the Harp gang and pursues and wins his daughter, the 'moon-sizzling' Rosamund. A rollicking, riotous romp from America's early history. Songs include "Once Upon The Natchez Trace," "Two Heads" and "Steal With Style."

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