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Orpheus (1950)
"Orphée" (original title)

8.0
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Orphee is a poet who becomes obsessed with Death (the Princess). They fall in love. Orphee's wife, Eurydice, is killed by the Princess' henchmen and Orphee goes after her into the ... See full summary »

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Title: Orpheus (1950)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
François Périer ...
María Casares ...
The Princess - Death
Marie Déa ...
Henri Crémieux ...
L'éditeur
Juliette Gréco ...
Aglaonice
Roger Blin ...
The Poet
Edouard Dermithe ...
Paul Amiot ...
Judge
René Worms ...
Judge
Raymond Faure
Pierre Bertin ...
Le commissaire
Jacques Varennes ...
Judge
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
André Carnège ...
Judge
Claude Mauriac
Edit

Storyline

Orphee is a poet who becomes obsessed with Death (the Princess). They fall in love. Orphee's wife, Eurydice, is killed by the Princess' henchmen and Orphee goes after her into the Underworld. Although they have become dangerously entangled, the Princess sends Orphee back out of the Underworld, to carry on his life with Eurydice. Written by <P.M.Laws@education.leeds.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

poet | underworld | radio | mirror | death | See more »

Genres:

Fantasy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 November 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Orpheus  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the underworld scenes were shot in the blitzed ruins of the St. Cyr military academy. See more »

Quotes

Heurtebise: I am letting you into the secret of all secrets, mirrors are gates through which death comes and goes. Moreover if you see your whole life in a mirror you will see death at work as you see bees behind the glass in a hive.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

One Way to Celebrate a Lay-Off!!!

There's nothing better than a dark involved movie about death to bring you out of your blues. Having been laid off today from a high-tech, high-paying job, I find that this is a far better escape from my blues than getting skunk-drunk. Now I'll be able to afford the time to see such movies...this was at the Brattle Theater, an arts movie house in Cambridge that regularly shows movies written when brains were necessary to write a script that would be made into a movie. Of course, I saw it way back when but the mark of a good movie is that you see a different movie every time you see it, because YOU change and your interpretation therefore changes. The surreal scenes in the Underground evoke many other images, and, because of their wierdness, cannot be forgotten. It raises questions about the 'finality' of death, and the relative unimportance of so much in life (including jobs/employment). The love of the two protagonists for one another is especially intriguing, since Cocteau at first gives you the impression that Orpheus is a narcissistic writer only in love with himself.

The fierce command for Orpheus NOT to look at Eurydice reminds you of Lot's wife, as she turned into the pillar of salt. Of course, I still wonder why that part was in here.....maybe just to make us wonder about disobedience.

The mob throwing rocks at the house was indicative of mob mentality everywhere and anytime.

The motorcyclists, angels of death, remind you of "The Wild One" as they perform their ghastly tasks in the small French town. As the other dead people make their sacrifices for one another, with no mention of religion, you almost have a re-awakened faith in the power of love. Which is what religion is all about anyhow,-- not in the ghost stories we are told to help make the fear of death/nothingness more pallatable.

Cocteau was a genius, and his movies are unique. Invest in them while you can, and re-visit them from time to time when you need a reminder of how precious love and life are.


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