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Juliette, or Key of Dreams (1951)

Juliette ou La clef des songes (original title)
Michel has stolen from his employer, Mr Bellanger, for the love of Juliette. He is now in jail. One night, while sleeping in his cell, he wakes up all of a sudden, the gates open and he ... See full summary »



(play), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michel Grandier
Jean-Roger Caussimon ...
Le châtelain & Monsieur Bellanger (as J.R. Caussimon)
René Génin ...
Le père Lajeunesse & le greffier
Roland Lesaffre ...
Le légionnaire
Gabrielle Fontan ...
La patronne de la confiserie
Arthur Devère ...
Le marchand de souvenirs (as Arthur Devere)
Louise Fouquet ...
La compagne du légionnaire
Martial Rèbe ...
L'employé (as Martial Rebbe)
Marion Delbo ...
L'accorte ménagère
Fernand René ...
Le facteur
Marcelle Arnold ...
La femme acariâtre
Max Dejean ...
Le policier
Gustave Gallet ...
Le notaire
Jean Besnard ...


Michel has stolen from his employer, Mr Bellanger, for the love of Juliette. He is now in jail. One night, while sleeping in his cell, he wakes up all of a sudden, the gates open and he finds himself in a strange village where all the inhabitants have lost their memory. There, meets Juliette again who seems to agree to marry a powerful man, who might well be Bluebeard... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on play | See All (1) »







Release Date:

18 May 1951 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Julia albo klucz do snów  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was started in October 1941 with Jean Marais and Micheline Presle as "La clé des songes" but because of the war, the production shut down a few weeks later only to be resumed ten years later with a different cast. See more »


Juliette: I'm scared
La garde-champêtre: Of what?
Juliette: Oh, not only of him! Of boys... Their manners ares so blunt... And they are so bossy
La garde-champêtre: It's up to you not to obey them.
See more »


Referenced in My Wonderful Yellow Car (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

Visually beautiful but a bit cold.
26 June 2004 | by See all my reviews

Second effort in Carné 's second career,this movie is all the same superior to the mediocre "la Marie du port" released the precedent year. At first sight,"Juliette" appears as a continuation of the ambitious (and highly successful)1936-1946 period.The scenes in jail use almost the same thud in the soundtrack as in "le jour se lève" ;it is a return to the fantastic which Carné broached in "les visiteurs du soir" .And the dreams of faraway islands ("Quai des brumes" ) in the sun have been replaced by pure dreams to escape the harsh reality.... ...which shows a strong influence of Henry Hathaway's "Peter Ibbetson" (1935).Both are technically and visually splendid but lack true emotion.In spite of Gerard Philippe 's intense performance,it does not always work,but when it odes ,it rises the film above Carné's post "portes de la nuit" production:the village where the inhabitants have no more memories,and of course do not know how they lost them.So they try to appropriate the others' ones,here the hero Michel's.Michel is in search of Juliette (Suzanne Cloutier,who was Welles's Desdemona in "Othello"),but for these guys the girl may be their daughter or wife ,a grave or the name of a boat.There are other strong scenes in the forest where dancers are waltzing while a fortune-teller tells ... only the past.

On the other hand ,all that concerns the "prince " and the hints at Perrault's fairytale "the blue beard" are less successful:Carné probably loved Cocteau's "la Belle et la Bete" (1946) and the poet's influence can be felt in Trauner's film set.And Carné and his playwright borrow from Fritz Lang too:the last forbidden door was already used two years before in "secret beyond the door" .

That makes a big difference with,say,"les enfants du paradis":nothing predated what would become the beloved film of the French cinema.During his heyday,Carne did influence the others ,(for instance ,"les visiteurs du soir"paved a reliable way for Delannoy-Cocteau's "l'eternel retour")in 1950 he was influenced by them.

The movie has a strange structure which recalls another Lang (again!) work,"the woman in the window" (1944):reality (10 min),then a long dream,and return to reality for the last fifteen minutes where we meet again two characters of the dream.One should note that in the dream,the events that lead Michel to jail are told to the audience ,but the connection reality/fantasizing is not very obvious and when it is ,it often verges on childish symbolism.

Should appeal to offbeat works buffs,and of course to Carné's fans.But might bore the others.

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