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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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 <email@example.com>
The Mime, The Actor, The Criminal, the Aristocrat, and Their Love
The Children of Paradise is set in pre 1840 Paris, on Boulevard of Crime and is a richly entertaining and intensely romantic evocation of an epoch. It is the story of infatuation, jealousy, deception, grief, murder, and true love lost forever. The film tells of an unattainable beautiful courtesan named Garance (unforgettably played by Arletty who was over 40 and seemed not to care at all if she looked her age) and four men who love her - the famous mime Baptist (Jean-Louis Barrault is matchless), the actor, Frederick LeMaitre, the criminal Pierre-François Lacenaire, and the aristocrat Comte de Montray. She loved one of them and the affair was doomed. The film is so much more than just a romantic story (which is absolutely beautiful and compelling) - it is a love song to the Art of Theater where art imitates life and vice-versa and the hidden symbolism of freedom and despotism (the film was made in Paris during the Nazi Occupation under immensely difficult circumstances).
Jacques Prevert wrote the brilliant and ironic scenario and dialog; Marcel Carne superbly directed the film. It is a 190 minutes long film but I cherished every minute of it.
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