IMDb > The Terrible Children (1950)
Les enfants terribles
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The Terrible Children (1950) More at IMDbPro »Les enfants terribles (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   2,081 votes »
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Writers:
Jean Cocteau (novel)
Jean Cocteau (adaptation)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Terrible Children on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 July 1952 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
a love story by Jean Cocteau
Plot:
In a snowball fight between schoolboys the handsome Dargelos hits the chest of Paul, who drops unconscious to the ground... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Creative Schizophrenia - Two Great Auteurs Don't Mix! See more (19 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
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

Jean Cocteau ... Narrator (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Annabel Buffet
Karin Lannby ... The Mother
Hélène Rémy

Directed by
Jean-Pierre Melville 
 
Writing credits
Jean Cocteau (novel)

Jean Cocteau (adaptation and dialogue)

Jean-Pierre Melville  uncredited

Produced by
Jean-Pierre Melville .... producer
 
Cinematography by
Henri Decaë 
 
Film Editing by
Monique Bonnot 
 
Production Design by
Emile Mathys 
Jean-Pierre Melville 
 
Costume Design by
Christian Dior (dresses)
 
Makeup Department
Hagop Arakelian .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
J. Boussard .... assistant unit manager
J. Braley .... production manager
Jean-Pierre Melville .... production manager
Philip Schwob .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michel Drach .... trainee assistant director
Jacques Guymont .... second assistant director
Claude Pinoteau .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Jacques Carrère .... sound mixer
Maurice Dagonneau .... boom operator
R. Durand .... sound recordist
Jacques Gallois .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
André Dino .... still photographer
J. Thibaudier .... camera operator
 
Editorial Department
Colette Charbonneau .... assistant editor
Claude Durand .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Paul Bonneau .... musical director
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Les enfants terribles" - France (original title)
"Les Enfants Terribles" - International (English title) (alternative title)
See more »
Runtime:
105 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG | Netherlands:12 (2009) (DVD) | Spain:18 | UK:12 (2000) | UK:X (1976) (re-rating) | UK:X (1952) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:18 (nf)

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:
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (2004) (VG)See more »
Soundtrack:
Concerto in A minor for 4 pianos (BWV 1065)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
39 out of 55 people found the following review useful.
Creative Schizophrenia - Two Great Auteurs Don't Mix!, 8 April 2002
Author: david melville (dwingrove@qmuc.ac.uk) from Edinburgh, Scotland

First, I have to admit that I nearly didn't write this comment at all. I read a rave review of Les Enfants Terribles by an earlier user and agreed with (almost) every word of it. What more was there to add? Then I searched my soul for a day or so, and had to admit that this film REALLY does not work for me - brilliantly directed, skilfully acted, moodily photographed and lyrically scored though it may be.

For all its many splendours, this Melville film of a Cocteau novel suffers from a malady I can only describe as "creative schizophrenia." It is recognisably a work by two highly individual artists, each of whom creates his own distinctive and magical world. No film by Melville could ever be mistaken for anybody else's. The same is true of Cocteau.

How do these two worlds mix together? To put it bluntly, not at all. This is most apparent in the (mis)casting of the androgynous and incestuous brother-sister duo. With his porcelain cheekbones and languid sensuality, Edouard Dhermitte is a classic Cocteau actor. (He was, in fact, Cocteau's lover at the time.) With her politicised Left Bank angst and 'butch' vitality, Nicole Stephane is a classic Melville heroine. (She had starred in his much finer 1947 film Le Silence de la Mer.) These two actors scarcely seem to belong on the same planet, let alone in the same family.

Still more disheartening is the utter lack of allure of Renee Cosima, a pudgy young ingenue who is cast as the brother's two ambisexual love objects - the sadistic schoolboy Dargelos and the lovelorn model Agathe. Lacking even the tiniest flicker of charisma, whether as a man or as a woman, Cosima makes it difficult for us to empathise with the hero's erotic longings, or to care much about the hothouse melodrama that breaks loose as a result.

Try as I might to warm to this film, I cannot help imagining it with a different cast. As the brother and sister, Helmut Berger and Dominique Sanda from The Garden of the Finzi Continis. As the androgynous sexual pirate Agathe/Dargelos, maybe Katharine Hepburn from Sylvia Scarlett or Indrid Thulin from The Magician or (why not?) the immortal Anne Carlisle from Liquid Sky. Most important of all - and I know this smacks of heresy - I would much rather Cocteau had directed it himself. One great auteur should be enough for any film.

David Melville

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Terrible Children (1950)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
What completely ruined this movie for me juliomontoya2000
Is there an uncut version? eddie-267
I prefered Dreamers! barramon-m
The Song that Michael sings in this film...? mackjay2
Brilliant dixon-20
Dermithe too old? tcsung
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