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Orphée
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Orpheus (1950) More at IMDbPro »Orphée (original title)

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Overview

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8.0/10   6,130 votes »
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View company contact information for Orpheus on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 November 1950 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Orphee is a poet who becomes obsessed with Death (the Princess). They fall in love. Orphee's wife, Eurydice... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Dazzling and inventive but flawed. See more (44 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Jean Marais ... Orphée
François Périer ... Heurtebise
María Casares ... The Princess - Death
Marie Déa ... Eurydice
Henri Crémieux ... L'éditeur
Juliette Gréco ... Aglaonice
Roger Blin ... The Poet
Edouard Dermithe ... Jacques Cégeste
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
Philippe Bordier ... Young Man at Café des Poètes (uncredited)
Claude Borelli ... Une bacchante (uncredited)
Jean-Louis Brau ... Un jeune homme à la terrasse du flore (uncredited)

Jean Cocteau ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Renée Cosima ... Une bacchante (uncredited)
Jacques Doniol-Valcroze ... Young Man at Café des Poètes (uncredited)
René Lacourt ... Postman (uncredited)
Julien Maffre ... Un agent de police (uncredited)
Jean-Pierre Melville ... Le directeur de l'hôtel (uncredited)
Jean-Pierre Mocky ... Le chef de bande (uncredited)
Henri San Juan ... Young Man at Café des Poètes (uncredited)
Victor Tabournot ... Young Man at Café des Poètes (uncredited)

Directed by
Jean Cocteau 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jean Cocteau 

Produced by
André Paulvé .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Georges Auric 
 
Cinematography by
Nicolas Hayer 
 
Film Editing by
Jacqueline Sadoul  (as J. Sadoul)
 
Production Design by
Jean d'Eaubonne  (as D'Eaubonne)
 
Set Decoration by
Albert Volper  (as A. Volper)
 
Costume Design by
Marcel Escoffier 
 
Makeup Department
Alexandre Marcus .... makeup artist (as A. Marcus)
 
Production Management
Émile Darbon .... production manager
Jean-Marie Loutrel .... unit manager (as J. Loutrel)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Claude Pinoteau .... assistant director (as C. Pinoteau)
 
Art Department
Alfred Marpaux .... assistant production designer (as Marpeaux)
 
Sound Department
Pierre-Louis Calvet .... sound (as Calvet)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Roger Corbeau .... still photographer (as R. Corbeau)
Noël Martin .... camera operator (as N. Martin)
 
Editorial Department
Hélène Basté .... assistant film editor (as H. Baste)
 
Music Department
Jacques Métehen .... conductor (as Jacques Météhen)
 
Other crew
Sylvette Baudrot .... script assistant
Claude Pinoteau .... technical advisor
Claude Vériat .... script supervisor (as C. Vériat)
 
Thanks
Christian Bérard .... film dedicated to
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Orphée" - France (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
95 min | France:112 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
For the scene in which Orphee passes his hand through a glass pane, Cocteau used a vat of mercury to create the effect.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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Broken Embraces (2009)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Dazzling and inventive but flawed., 10 July 2013
Author: Sergeant_Tibblash from Suffolk, England

From its explosive opening where a brawl occurs at a café for poets that's "the nerve-centre of the world" to traveling through the afterlife to the very end, Orphée's mania never stops. It's an incredibly gripping and bizarre film which immediately evolves into a bad dream. It's grandest aspect is the visual treat that visionary director Jean Cocteau offers. The camera is fluid and active, whipping between characters and sets, exploring high and low angles. Though the highlight is the special effects, especially for its time even if clearly channeling Méliès, with seamless reversed shots, projections, wires and point of view shots involving mirrors. The narrative flows fluently to give a rich and inventive story, with elements of innovative humour, with double meanings and exaggerations, and tragedy redeemed. With its ambiguity between reality, dream or fantasy world, it could even be argued that there is no reality and it begins right in the fantasy, though the expert use of foreshadowing renders that aspect irrelevant in cinema.

Despite it having a very compacted story, there's not enough emotional or thought-provoking ideas there for me to understand why it's considered a masterpiece, especially due to its consistent tension, rather than an ideal fluctuating tone. The characters, besides the surprising supporting character Heurtebise with a subtle performance from François Périer, there is little chemistry between the actors, who for the majority of the time give melodramatic performances solely for the camera. As it's a story trying to be about love, this only comes across as a sidenote to the spectacle. There is, however, the fascinating idea of how an artist can be so enamoured with inspiration that they neglect their real life and purpose of why they're creating their art. It also does not show any of the deaths, the films other main theme, which dramatically decreases their potential power. There is an incidental scene where the Inspector is talking to people in his office in which it has a brief flashback while a man is talking of what he's talking about - a technique Hiroshima Mon Amour later innovated. With the dazzling and inventive direction, Orphée is a great film, but too often doesn't take itself seriously enough.

8/10

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Orpheus (1950)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
No One Is Going TO Respond To This So Why Do I Bother???? makybe_diva
Robert De Niro!?!?!?! sa56357
Personification of death.... sgreek
SPOILER question about the Princess's motivation at the end pontifikator
Plot mothboy88
cocteu is asurrealist or not? miladice007
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