Skip to main content
Classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection.
Directed by Joseph Strick • 1963 • United States
Starring Shelley Winters, Peter Falk, Lee Grant
A powerhouse cast brings Jean Genet’s incendiary political stage play to the screen. In an unnamed city, Madame Irma (Shelley Winters) runs a brothel where customers explore their sexual fantasies through role-playing. When her police-chief lover (Peter Falk) arrives, she learns that a violent revolution is brewing outside and many of the country’s leaders have been killed in the uprising. Soon, the brothel’s customers and employees are forced to take to the city streets in costume and impersonate the slain leaders in order to help restore sanity.