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Les Enfants Terribles (1950)
"Les enfants terribles" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  28 July 1952 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,165 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 28 critic

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), 1 more credit »
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Title: Les Enfants Terribles (1950)

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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
Edit

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:

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Release Date:

28 July 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les Enfants Terribles  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The line spoken by Cocteau when Elisabeth is looking at her hands, "All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand...", is from Macbeth Act 5 scene 1, by William Shakespeare. 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

Referenced in Metal Gear Solid (1998) 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

Like Rimbaud's poetry
24 July 2007 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

I saw this twice in a single day. And couldn't stop watching this after. Each time I start watching a Hollywood movie I can't help but surrender back to this surrealist nutjob where nothing is really definable.

Much of the literature I've read on this focus on the unlikely collaboration between Jean Cocteau and Jean-Pierre Melville, with most putting it in context of Cocteau's other films. But I've always thought that Cocteau's Orphée, made during the same period, feels static and leaden amidst the classical style of its 50's direction. Les Enfants Terribles, while retaining a very classical premise, is completely revolutionary, resembling the unruly romanticism of Rimbaud's poetry. Nothing in the film stays the same - everything is constantly shifting; dyamics are constantly changing; even the sets change in subtle ways. Everything is made purposefully ambiguous and ambivalent such that paradoxes and contradictions abound in a single emotion. But ultimately, as all great Melvillian films are, the film is about the futility of humanity in the face of life and death.

I could go on and on about this movie; Melville is truly one of the great poets of cinema.


14 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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