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Orpheus (1950)
"Orphée" (original title)

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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
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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 All (35) »

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 One Hundred and One Nights (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the truly great masterpieces of cinema
25 January 2000 | by (Sheffield, England) – See all my reviews

If ever a film could me called `magical', `hypnotic' and `compelling', then surely that film is ORPHEUS; magical because it is such an incredible feat of the imagination; hypnotic because it is a relentless assault upon all the senses, the intellect and the emotions, and compelling because it is a profound attempt to at least illustrate, (it is not so arrogant as to presume to solve!), the mystery of life, our awareness of death and human consciousness endlessly seeking some sort of certainty to comfort ourselves with. Layered with various ambiguous possibilities, and full of symbols which will resonate in a variety of ways according to each individual viewer, each viewing of the film draws you deeper into its mystery again and again, and each time teaches you more and more. Perhaps it could only have been made when it was, (in the aftermath of WW2), and where it was, (in a country that had decided to do a deal with Death and then lived to regret it). Perhaps because Jean Cocteau was so talented in so many fields, people seldom seem to note what an utterly brilliant film director he was, and his work in this respect with ORPHEUS, stands comparison with anybody's. The film is also so complete, and unravels so perfectly and in such a masterly way; not one superfluous scene; superb acting all round, atmospheric photography, and a superbly utilised and sublime score by Georges Auric. I simply cannot imagine a film like this being made now, (perhaps LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD was the last gasp of this type of didactic artistic consciousness), and this depresses me greatly, because it shows that `progress' is not an automatic, upwardly rising arc, but a curve that can go backwards as well as forwards. Anyone who has even the slightest affection for cinema should watch this film, and marvel, surrender, and learn from it. Without doubt in my book, one of the ten greatest movies ever made. So much so that I almost feel privileged to have been born into the time frame that could access it.


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