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

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  15 November 1946 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 13,738 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 109 critic

The theatrical life of a beautiful courtesan and the four men who love her.



(scenario and dialogue)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »



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


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 <>

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Plot Keywords:

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


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

15 November 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Children of Paradise  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The name of the female lead, Garance, is the French word for the flowering plant known as madder in English, from which comes the scarlet pigment. See more »


In the outdoor market scene, the amount of food laid out on the tables varies from shot to shot. The reason is that the extras were famished from years of wartime food rationing, and stole food whenever they were not closely watched. See more »


Frederick: I'm dying of silence, like others die of hunger and thirst.
See more »


Featured in Brows Held High: Beauty and the Beast: Part 2 (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

The Paramount Best Movie Ever Produced as a 'Gesamtkunstwerk'
19 February 2004 | by (Stockholm, Sweden) – See all my reviews

1995 was the centennial of the invention of movies. In Stockholm the event was celebrated, inter alia, by showing 'Les enfants du paradis' free of charge on the French National Day. It was presented as the best French movie ever made. Perhaps it was felt not to be polite toward other countries to talk of the best movie made in any countries. But many (not all) experts agree that it is indeed so. And so do I. I saw the film for the first time in 1954, and have never changed my mind about its paramount position. But whatever you may think in this respect, one of the most prominent features is that the movie is a 'GESAMTKUNSTWERK'. This word was invented by Richard Wagner to indicate a work in which music, text, and visual arts fuse or amalgamate into a unity. Concerning the movie at hand, the word is of course taken in a different sense. The movie contains all kinds of cinematic categories: mass scenes perhaps with 10'000 extras, chamber play with close-up photos of emotional faces, deep and genuine love, superficial sex, friendship, comic pantomime, tragic pantomime, comic theatre (that is, both the theatre scene and the public on the screen), tragic theatre, murder, hand-to-hand-fighting, pocket-picking, etc. And everything put together into one single film. Even more, whenever a section is comic, it rests so completely in the comic mood that the spectator cannot imagine that the entire movie was not comic from the first beginning, and will not remain so to the last end. Whenever it is tragic, it rests equally completely in the tragic mood, as if it had never been anything else than tragic and would never leave the tragic mood. Despite this heterogeneity, the movie does not split up in disparate fragments, but forms a genuine whole. The writer was the really great poet Jacques Prévert, and it tells much about his unusual competence that, on the one hand, each scene is superb when seen in isolation and, on the other hand, each scene does not therefore fit less perfectly in the film as a whole. - - - To some people it may be interesting to know that four of the roles are real historical persons: the actor Frederick Lemaître, the pantomimic performer Baptiste Debureau, the mediocre gangster Jean-François Lacenaire, and the latter's assistant Avril. Lacenaire was executed in 1836. His memoirs, which were written while he awaited execution, are published in English translation.

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WWII allegory faded away chuck-526
Why don't women like it? brucedgo
It didn't even make IMDb's top 250! lildark
Can´t stand this plot sllgrecco
It's got a poor average ratings because of the 'ones' brucedgo
Something I don't get... sunsetboulevard16
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