Testament of Orpheus (1960)
"Le testament d'Orphée, ou ne me demandez pas pourquoi!" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Biography  |  18 February 1960 (France)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,847 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 18 critic

The Poet looks back over his life and work, recalling his inspirations and obsessions.



0Check in

Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 42 titles
created 26 May 2013
a list of 35 titles
created 20 Sep 2013
a list of 40 titles
created 19 Jan 2014
a list of 42 titles
created 27 May 2014
a list of 42 titles
created 1 month ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Testament of Orpheus (1960)

Testament of Orpheus (1960) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Testament of Orpheus.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young artist draws a face at a canvas on his easel. Suddenly the mouth on the drawing comes into life and starts talking. The artist tries to wipe it away with his hand, but when he looks... See full summary »

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Enrique Rivero, Elizabeth Lee Miller, Pauline Carton
Orpheus (1950)
Fantasy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Orphee is a poet who becomes obsessed with Death (the Princess). They fall in love. Orphee's wife, Eurydice, is killed by the Princess' henchmen and Orphee goes after her into the ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Jean Marais, François Périer, María Casares
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Michel, who's 22, tells his parents he is in love, his mother Yvonne is distraught, believing she will lose his love (which is the center of her life), and his father Georges is ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Yvonne de Bray
Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément
Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In a snowball fight between schoolboys the handsome Dargelos hits the chest of Paul, who drops unconscious to the ground. Paul has a deep affection for Dargelos, and later denies that there... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Nicole Stéphane, Edouard Dermithe, Renée Cosima
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Sophie, a flighty young model, learns that her boyfriend is planning to leave her for another woman. Sophie resolves to either win him back or assassinate her rival. A handsome doctor (who ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Vadim
Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Joséphine James, Mireille Darc
The Female (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
Director: Julien Duvivier
Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Antonio Vilar, Lila Kedrova
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Political intrigue and psychological drama run parallel. The queen is in seclusion, veiling her face for the ten years since her husband's assassination, longing to join him in death. ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Edwige Feuillère, Silvia Monfort, Jean Marais
Coriolan (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Jean Cocteau, Josette Day, Henri Filipacchi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Directors: Jean Cocteau, Hans Richter
Stars: Jean Arp, Paul Bowles, Ceal Bryson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Jean Cocteau
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Short about Mrs. Weisweiller's Villa in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferat, on Côte d'Azur, which was decorated by Jean Cocteau.

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Jean Cocteau, Edouard Dermithe, Francine Weisweiller


Complete credited cast:
Himself - the Poet


The poet Jean Cocteau is lost in space-time. He has been in the 18th century and is now turning up at different moments in professor Langevin's life. The professor has invented some bullets, which travel faster than light. With one of them he kills Cocteau, who is resurrected as his old self, but is still caught in the space between fantasy and reality. At a gypsy camp a woman saves a photo out of the fire and restores it. On the photo Cocteau recognizes Cégeste from his film Orphée. He tears the photo into pieces and throws it into the sea. Immediately Cégeste himself jumps out of the water. He brings Cocteau to a rogatory commission led by Heurtebise and The Princess from the film Orphée. Cocteau admits that he has constantly attempted to enter a world which is not his own, a world that is beyond the limits of man, and that disobedience is like a religion for him. The commission imposes on him the sentence of life. In a hall inside some stone ruins the goddess Athena kills Cocteau ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 February 1960 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Le testament d'Orphée  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Having run out of funds, Cocteau was able to complete the film with the prize money that Francois Truffaut had just won for "Les Quatre Cents Coups" (1959). See more »


Cégeste: It's no use. An artist always paints his own portrait. You'll never paint that flower.
See more »


Follows Orpheus (1950) See more »


Orphée et Eurydice
Composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Symbolic surrealism
7 April 2012 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

I haven't seen any other features from Jean Cocteau, so many of the subtleties and references were lost on me. As such I didn't entirely understand all that occurred. It seems to be the final part in a loose trilogy of films based around the myth of Orpheus. In it, Cocteau himself plays a time-travelling poet, basically himself, who reflects on his life's works. He wanders a fantastical land and encounters various characters from his works of fiction. It's not a plot-driven film at all. It is more of a personal voyage of the director's. It was the last film he made and is clearly intended as a swansong, and a summary of his work.

The film often works best when it is at its most surreal. Many of the effects are extremely simple, yet beautifully executed. For instance the part where Cocteau reconstructs the flower bit by bit is very nice; likewise when Orpheus leaps out of the sea. Towards the end there is even a very striking invasion of the colour red, that can't help but be very memorable imagery. There are moments of the bizarre sprinkled throughout the picture. Like Cocteau himself says it is all cinematic poetry. Most of it was over my head I have to say but it was an interesting watch all the same.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Picasso in Testament of Orpheus weeble0099
The Hellene hanska_4
Discuss Testament of Orpheus (1960) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page