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Les Mistons (1957)

Les mistons (original title)
Five young boys in pre-puberty are collectively attracted by a beautiful, young woman, Bernadette Jouve. She awakes in them the springs of luminous sensuality. As they are too young to love... See full summary »

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(short story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gérard Blain ...
Gérard
...
Michel François ...
Récitant / Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

Five young boys in pre-puberty are collectively attracted by a beautiful, young woman, Bernadette Jouve. She awakes in them the springs of luminous sensuality. As they are too young to love her, they decide to hate and torment her instead. Wherever Bernadette and her sweetheart Gerard turn up, the five boys are there, disturbing them. They also start drawing arrow-pierced hearts with the names of the two lovers everywhere, but Gerard and Bernadette hardly notice it. The boys' failures make them more aggressive. A day in August Gerard says farewell to Bernadette. He'll be away for three months. When he comes back he hopes the wedding bells will toll for them. When the five boys' vacation is near the end, they resort to a very shabby method. They buy a postcard showing two scantily-dressed lovers sprawled on a bed. On the postcard they write wanton words about Gerard and Bernadette, and undersign it The Brats, before sending it to Bernadette. Some days later they read in the newspaper ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

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Genres:

Short | Comedy

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Details

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6 November 1958 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Kids  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This short is available on the 2003 Umbrella release of "The 400 Blows". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Récitant: [voice over narration] Jouve's sister was unbearably beautiful. She always rode wither skirts flying. Bernadette led us to discover many of our darkly hidden dreams. She awoke in us the springs of luminous sensuality.
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Connections

Featured in The Son of Gascogne (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable if slight
27 February 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A group of boys adore a young lady who cycles around the area in loose skirts. Being too young to love her they decide to hate her and make her break up with her boyfriend. They follow her around and usually wind up watching the couple as they play tennis.

An early short from Truffaut, this is a bittersweet tale that is less structured than experienced. The film is essentially about a group of boys who tease a young woman because they don't know any other way of expressing their lust for her. It is a little heavy on noise and action but it is still good at heart. I would have liked a little bit more in the way of character rather than the slightly pretentious (French!) dialogue that was delivered - it didn't do enough to help me inside the characters or their feelings, but I suppose I had enough to be able to work it out for myself.

The film is visually quite stylish and reasonably well directed; although some of the shots will appear quite clichéd now (girl on bike etc) but it is still effective. If anything the lack of dialogue was made worse by the noisy shouting etc that dominated the film; I would have preferred it to be a bit more controlled as I found the noise grating and made it difficult to concentrate. The cast are mainly young children but the woman in the central role manages to appear alluring and `normal' at the same time.

Overall, this film has meaning and is enjoyable and interesting, but it hurts itself in some regards. It is worth seeing if you have more than a passing interest in Truffaut but it is overlong for it's material, dragging some scenes too long and lacks a stronger narrative.


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