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

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, War  |  8 December 1952 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 8,163 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 spite of her starring as an early child, Brigitte Fossey has stated later she would never recommend this film to a very young audience. See more »


The poor parents are killed by a Focke-Wulf 190. This kind of plane didn't exist at the moment of the "battle of France" in May and June 1940. See more »


Referenced in AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Jane Fonda (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Better late than never...
9 August 2003 | by (Kansas City, Missouri, USA) – See all my reviews

I don't know why I never managed to see "Les Jeux interdits" until tonight, an August evening in 2003, more than a half-century after the film's release. I'd heard about it ever since I started studying French in college in 1958.

The amount of comedy in the film surprised and pleased me. I'd always had the impression the film was morbid and creepy. I didn't find it so; poignant, occasionally disturbing, even heart-wrenching, but not morbid at all. The acting by the two children playing Michel and Paulette is the most amazing pair of performances I've ever seen. I learned from postings here that the film was made under far less than optimal conditions, but the flaws that do show up in the film, chief among them the abrupt and unsatisfactory ending, are so negligible in contrast to the overwhelming emotional and acting values throughout, that I rated this film a ten, the first time I've reached for the highest number.

I cannot imagine anything finer than this film, whose images will probably haunt me for the rest of my life.

66 of 74 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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