Forbidden Games (1952)
"Jeux interdits" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, War  |  8 December 1952 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 8,162 users  
Reviews: 66 user | 50 critic

A young French girl orphaned in a Nazi air attack is befriended by the son of a poor farmer, and together they try to come to terms with the realities of death.



(dialogue), (screenplay), 6 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Amédée ...
Laurence Badie ...
Berthe Dolle
Madeleine Barbulée ...
Red Cross Nun (end of film)
Suzanne Courtal ...
Lucien Hubert ...
Dolle, the Father
Jacques Marin ...
Georges Dolle
Violette Monnier ...
Dolle's Youngest Daughter
Denise Péronne ...
Jeanne Gouard (as Denise Perronne)
Fernande Roy ...
Gouard's Other Daughter
Louis Saintève ...
André Wasley ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marcel Mérovée ...
Raymond Dollé (as Pierre Mérovée)


A girl of perhaps five or six is orphaned in an air raid while fleeing a French city with her parents early in World War II. She is befriended by a pre-adolescent peasant boy after she wandered away from the other refugees, and is taken in for a few weeks by his family. The children become fast friends, and the film follows their attempt to assimilate the deaths they both face, and the religious rituals surrounding those deaths, through the construction of a cemetery for all sorts of animals. Child-like and adult activity are frequently at cross-purposes, however. Written by Doug Shafer <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dog | cemetery | death | fleeing | 1940s | See All (220) »


War...and how it affects the lives of our children


Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 December 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Forbidden Games  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,287 (USA) (1 May 2015)


$10,188 (USA) (1 May 2015)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In a television interview ("Vivement Dimanche Prochain", France 2, 17 April 2005) Brigitte Fossey, who played the little Paulette, revealed that the film had originally been shot as a short, and then it was later decided to extend it into a feature film. Unfortunately she had lost her milk teeth and Georges Poujouly (who plays the boy Michel) had had his hair cut to play in Are We All Murderers? (1952). So, in many scenes of the movie Paulette has false teeth and Michel is wearing a wig. See more »


When Michel is teaching Paulette prayers, his father boxes his right ear which Michel starts to rub with his right hand. In the close up, Michel is rubbing his left ear with his left hand, and in the next distant shot he's again rubbing his right ear with his right hand. See more »


Featured in Killer Kid (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

The best
2 January 2004 | by (Mountains of Madness) – See all my reviews

I am incapable of writing reams about films I admire because words do no justice to the magic they conjure.

FORBIDDEN GAMES left me speechless when I first saw it two decades ago.

It is ABOUT two French children, a peasant boy, a Parisian girl, who become close friends as World War 2 ravages Europe.

The film LOOKS at the way warfare effects the innocent and transforms one's view of death.

Director Rene Clement sets the story in a rural village and peoples his story with some of the most authentic characters ever to tred the silver screen. He employs humour, horror and humanism to tell his story and solicits an incredible performance from moppet Brigitte Fossey.

It's a tearjerker, too, it's emotionally delicate, and it's perfectly manipulated drama -- all good drama is.

Its power is its apparent simplicity.

A love letter to cinema that is also one of the greatest and most haunting war movies ever made.

The imagery and the heart-rending music score will remain with you forever.

58 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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