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Children of Paradise (1945)
"Les enfants du paradis" (original title)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  15 November 1946 (USA)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 12,482 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 101 critic

This tale centers around the love between Baptiste, a theater mime, and Claire Reine, an actress and otherwise woman-about-town who calls herself Garance. Garance, in turn, is loved by ... See full summary »

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Title: Children of Paradise (1945)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Pierre Renoir ...
María Casares ...
Nathalie (as Maria Casarès)
Gaston Modot ...
Fabien Loris ...
Avril
Marcel Pérès ...
Le directeur des Funambules
Palau ...
Le régisseur des Funambules (as Pierre Palau)
Etienne Decroux ...
Anselme Debureau (as Étienne Decroux)
Jane Marken ...
Mme Hermine (as Jeanne Marken)
Marcelle Monthil ...
Marie
Louis Florencie ...
Le gendarme des 'Adrets'
Habib Benglia ...
L'employé des bains turcs
Rognoni ...
Le directeur du Grand Théâtre
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Storyline

This tale centers around the love between Baptiste, a theater mime, and Claire Reine, an actress and otherwise woman-about-town who calls herself Garance. Garance, in turn, is loved by three other men: Frederick, a pretentious actor; Lacenaire, a conniving thief; and Count Edouard of Montray. The story is further complicated by Nathalie, an actress who is in love with Baptiste. Garance and Baptiste meet when Garance is falsely accused of stealing a man's watch. Garance is forced to enter the protection of Count Edouard when she is innocently implicated in a crime committed by Lacenaire. In the intervening years of separation, both Garance and Baptiste become involved in loveless relationships with the Count and Nathalie, respectively. Baptiste is the father of a son. Returning to Paris, Garance finds that Baptiste has become a famous mime actor. Nathalie sends her child to foil their meeting, but Baptiste and Garance manage one night together. Lacenaire murders Edouard. In the last ... Written by kevin kraynak <kevin@kraynakk.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

count | actress | actor | love | mime | See All (42) »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

15 November 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Children of Paradise  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

18 months in production. See more »

Goofs

The positions of Avril and Lacenaire in the Turkish baths changes between the shot of their entry and the closer shot. See more »

Quotes

Édouard, Count de Montray: You're much too lovely to be truly loved.
Garance: Truth, but only front the neck up, it frustrated them.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The City of Lost Children (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
love story of sublime brilliance and complexity
1 February 2002 | by (san diego, ca) – See all my reviews

*Enfants* is a work of genius. I won't say it's the greatest film of all time, because its scope is very narrow: the mystery of the heart, the wayward course of love, the bittersweet joy and sorrow of lovers. Maybe that isn't so narrow after all, but it doesn't cover quite as wide a spectrum as other great films (seven samurai, casablanca, mahabharata, key largo etc). Nonetheless, this film belongs in that same company, for an unsurpassed portrayal of loves lost and won, and also the passion of art, a form of love expressing itself in public creativity, enriching the lives of many. Love between lovers enriches them alone; art enriches the world.

The woman Garance is loved by 4 men in this film. Two of them, at least, are superb renditions of genius-in-creation: the mime Baptiste, and the actor Frederick. Both are geniuses, but while Baptiste is silent, weak, and sad, Frederick is loud, powerful, irrepressively optimistic, courageous and generous. He is one of the greatest characters ever to grace the screen. He has one flaw: his genius is so pure, he has a blind spot regarding the weaknesses of others. He cannot conceive of an emotion such as jealousy, and so can never play Iago - until Garance, the fallen woman, finally teaches him.

The other character who may be a genius is Lacenaire, but he is a criminal genius. Evil, twisted, burning with hatred, he has only one true and honest anchor in society - his love for Garance. It doesn't save him, but it keeps him from being as bad as he could be.

Without going into the whole plot (it's long and convoluted) the primary paradox relates to intersecting and disconnected paths of love between the characters. Garance is loved by 4 men, but she really only loves Baptiste. So does Nathalie, a sweet and simple girl, who has the courage to do what Baptiste can not: she declares her love, and so they marry and have a child. Baptiste lacks the strength to take Garance when he has the chance, and so no one is happy - except maybe Frederick, he lives as life should be lived, and even the pain of losing Garance turns to gold in the alchemy of his art.

But despite the pain, and the unhappiness, loss and death, the world of *enfants* is beautiful. It's a world where love and art mean more than success or failure, a world where money is irrelevant and the passion for life burns away the curtain between fantasy and reality. It's three hours of *paradis*!

10/10, with a bullet through the heart.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
WWII allegory faded away chuck-526
Why don't women like it? brucedgo
Can´t stand this plot sllgrecco
It's got a poor average ratings because of the 'ones' brucedgo
It didn't even make IMDb's top 250! lildark
i see no one has studied the classics unocat
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