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Jacques Marin ...
Le pere
Viviane Bourdonneux ...
La mere
Martin Serre ...
Le gosse
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19 July 1965 (USA)  »

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The Chicken  »

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LE POULET {Short} (Claude Berri, 1962) **1/2
26 February 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This quaint 15-minute French effort won the 1965 Oscar for Best Live- Action Short and was equally recognized at the Venice Film Festival; I opted to keep the original title as opposed to the English moniker THE CHICKEN in view of the fact that I watched it without the benefit of subtitles.

That said, there is very little dialogue involved and, in any case, it proved quite easy to follow – with a plot dealing with a man acquiring a cock to fatten for an eventual dinner, which his son wishes to keep as a pet instead. The child even devises the ruse of its laying numerous eggs, which his parents initially concede as a mistaken in having been given a hen…until the next day's dawning, at which it instinctively starts to crow! By now, however, the boy's innocent tantrums have warmed the hearts of Mum and Dad (played by familiar rotund character actor Jacques Marin), so they decide to let the animal live after all.

Director Berri (whose debut this was) later graduated to features, eventually becoming one of the leading figures of his native cinema with such classy period pieces as JEAN DE FLORETTE and MANON DE SOURCES (both 1986) and GERMINAL (1993).


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