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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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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. See more »
User Reviews:
"Astonish us" 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)
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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
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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:
The opening credits were drawn by Jean Cocteau himself.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:

FAQ

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
"Astonish us", 6 August 2006
Author: Gary170459 from Derby, UK

Although this is definitely Jean Cocteau up to his old cinematic tricks, Orphee is beyond criticism as it's Art that has stood the test of time. And updated Classical Art at that. Keep your guard up and you won't get it. But drop your guard and it's still an astonishing film, an allegorical atmospheric magical poetic potboiler, and a film I've seen over 10 times over the decades without failing to admire its self-possession and panache.

Orphee is a self-obsessed cult poet, who gets immersed in writing down and publishing the cryptic word gems the Princess of Death's talking car tells him. "The bird sings with its fingers" is especially ridiculously impressive, but of course, all of this was a reference to Resistance methods during the War of disguising their intentions from the Nazis. Allegorical to ... what? During this period his wife Eurydice is murdered by the Princess, who fancies Orphee while Heurtebise her Underworld chauffeur fancies Eurydice. Hem. This is not only a four dimensional, but a multi-dimensional tour de force, travelling back and forth through the worlds of life and death. The intellectual complexities involved can be enormous, you can lose the plot by thinking too deeply about one line of dialogue, or why "Orpheus's Death" is coming through the mirror at night to look at Eurydice. On the other hand, you might view it all as totally ridiculous and pretentious and laugh out loud at some of the scenes - but that only makes you a realist and not a poet. Auric's dreamy music helps a lot, although Passport to Pimlico keeps coming to mind!

Cocteau revisited Orphee later on near the end of his life, but The Testament of Orphee unfortunately really was pretentious even if startlingly different for 1960 - to quote: "his life had decayed, rotten with success". But this is the Real Secret of Secrets - Orphee is an utterly unique treasure, conceived and executed by an irreplaceable talent - and his second best effort too, after Belle et la Bete! Worth the weight of its nitrate stock in gold.

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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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