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Les Enfants Terribles (1950)

Les enfants terribles (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 28 July 1952 (USA)
In a snowball fight between schoolboys the handsome Dargelos hits the chest of Paul, who drops unconscious to the ground. Paul has a deep affection for Dargelos, and later denies that there... See full summary »

Writers:

(novel), (adaptation)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Nicole Stéphane ...
Elisabeth
Edouard Dermithe ...
Paul
Renée Cosima ...
Dargelos / Agathe
Jacques Bernard ...
Gerard
Melvyn Martin ...
Michael
Maria Cyliakus ...
The Mother
Jean-Marie Robain ...
Headmaster
Maurice Revel ...
Doctor
Rachel Devirys
Adeline Aucoc ...
Mariette
Emile Mathys ...
Vice Principal
Roger Gaillard ...
Gerard's Uncle
...
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Annabel Buffet
Karin Lannby ...
The Mother
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Storyline

In a snowball fight between schoolboys the handsome Dargelos hits the chest of Paul, who drops unconscious to the ground. Paul has a deep affection for Dargelos, and later denies that there was a stone in the snowball that hit him. Back home Paul's sister Elisabeth takes care of him. The teenage siblings live together in one room, where they have developed several private games with a strong erotic undertone. Paul's schoolmate Gérard is secretly enamored of Elisabeth, and often stays with them. When Elisabeth introduces her new friend Agathe to Paul, he recognizes that she resembles Dargelos strongly, and immediately falls in love with her. Elisabeth marries a rich young American Jew, Michael, but he dies in a car accident the day after the wedding. Elisabeth inherits his big apartment with 18 rooms and a gallery, and the four friends move into it. Paul sleeps in the gallery, where he builds a replica of the siblings' old room. Both Paul and Agathe are secretly enamored of the other. ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

a love story by Jean Cocteau

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

28 July 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les Enfants Terribles  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jean Cocteau was allowed a day of shooting, when Jean-Pierre Melville wasn't feeling up to the mark. Cocteau was to follow Melville's instructions exactly or do nothing at all. Eight shots in all, which were supposed to be of a summer's day but were done in midwinter in the rain. See more »

Goofs

The amount of blood on Paul's face changes between when he is in the shop and when he is in the taxi. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: A great mystery was made clear: Elisabeth hadn't married him for his money nor his elegance or charm. She married him for his death.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Goodbye to Language (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Were You Smiling At Me
Words and Music by Melvyn Martin
Performed by Melvyn Martin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bizarrely erotic and weird--this is NOT everyone's cup of tea!
5 December 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

As I sit and watch "Les Enfants Terribles", I wonder why it took me so long to see this film. After all, I've reviewed a couple hundred French films AND Jean-Pierre Melville is perhaps my favorite French director and I completely adored several of Jean Cocteau's films. So why did I wait so long---and is it worth the wait? Jean Cocteau wrote this story and narrates. And, according to IMDb, he even directed a tiny bit of the film--though whether these portions were actually used in the film isn't clear.

The Story begins with teenager Paul being injured in a snowball fight. Instead of just getting up and walking it off, it seems that the blow to his chest revealed some underlying congenital defect--and Paul is sent home for bed rest. In fact, the doctor tells his sister, Elisabeth, that he's to stay home--he'll be bedridden because any sort of exertion can kill him. So, Elisabeth takes care of him--and the longer they are together, the closer they become. Yet, weirdly, there also is a very strong love-hate relationship between them--as they bicker nonstop and seem as if they hate each other--yet NEED each other. There's a TONS more to the film than this--including some undercurrents of bisexuality, a weird relationship with another girl and LOTS of incestuous and Freudian stuff as well! But, I don't want to ruin it by revealing too much...but it's weird.

So is this a film that you'll like, probably not. It's not especially enjoyable--nor is it really meant to be. Instead, it's a bizarre experimental film--one of the very first New Wave films that explores incest and bisexuality and icky Freudian stuff! As I said, not what the average viewer will enjoy. But, the plot IS original and the camera-work exceptional. And it is worth seeing...once. An unusual experiment to say the least! And NOT a film to watch if you are depressed or want to see some happy ending!


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