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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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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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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

 
a fabulous short about the double-edged sword of youth and innocence
5 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Les Mistons displays Francois Truffaut's special gifts as a filmmaker in a nice shot of 18 minutes in Les Mistons, as he works with children, and a love story with the young. While the story is simple- five kids who've barely had their voices crack follow a young woman, Bernadette, who becomes their envy when she's dating Gerard- the execution is quite intelligent and involving. Before the 400 Blows and Breathless knocked around the streets of Paris for locations, Les Mistons shows their characters all over the place, in the woods, in the streets, on bridges, and even inside a rustic looking stadium of shorts (I loved these scenes, with their high angles and timing). And the children have a very, very realistic feeling to them, as this is indeed what kids their age do, if they have no technology or attention span. There's even a small kind of Cocteau quality to some of their scenes, like when they are play-firing guns at each other, or hatching their 'vicious' games against the love-birds.

It also helps a good deal that the actress playing Bernadette is incredibly pretty, practically without trying, though it's not to say that Truffaut doesn't get some quixotic shots of her playing tennis or riding her bike. But it is without some doubt that the story will end with some tragedy, or at least some revelation of this double-sided way about youth, both for the invigorated like the kids or for the seemingly life-long blissful partners of Bernadette and Gerard. It contains the light quality of all of Truffaut's films, and while there isn't enough time to really get to know these kids or Bernadette (though for the latter it's better to have the mysterious, almost no-dialog quality about her), it works wonderfully- one of my favorite short films.


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