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In this adaptation of Émile Zola's novel &NFi;L'Assommoir&NFi_; that won a BAFTA Award for Best Film, Maria Schell plays the title character, a crippled laundress who's been abandoned, along with her two sons, by her lover. Eventually, she marries blue-collar worker Henri Coupeau (François Périer, who won a BAFTA for Best Actor) and realizes her dream of running her own laundry. But the scourge of Coupeau's alcoholism threatens to ruin everything.