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Harry Dean Stanton,
1798. In a forest, some countrymen catch a wild child who can not walk, speak, read nor write. Doctor Itard is interested by the child, and starts to educate him. Everybody thinks he will fail, but with a lot of love and patience, he manages to obtain results and the child continues with normal development. This is based on true story. Written by
Automobile traffic can be heard on the soundtrack during some of the scenes which take place in the Revolutionary France-era Institute for the Deaf. See more »
Le Dr Jean Itard:
Canton of St. Sernin. A boy, 11 or 12 years old, naked and apparently deaf and dumb while searching for acorns and roots to eat was caught in the Caune woods by three hunters as he was about to climb a tree to escape from them. Taken to a nearby hamlet...
[he stops reading and cuts the article from the paper]
Le Dr Jean Itard:
I could examine him and establish the degree of intelligence and the nature of ideas in an adolescent deprived since childhood of all education because he had lived apart from his species.
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If it weren't for several other strong works from Truffaut, this one would be my favorite. And it somes ways it is my favorite. The interaction between Victor and Dr. Itard was splendidly done. It was a joy simply to watch Truffaut on- screen directing the boy's progress, much like he must have done off-screen to get some very human reactions. At no point during this film did I think a scene was overdone or unnatural. It just seemed to flow from one small triumph to the next. My only complaint was that the whole experiment ended abrubtly, and so too did the movie. We are told by Dr. Itard that Victor is a extraordinary boy, but he has much training left to master. There were many points along the way where doubt lingered as to whether the wild child could be fully trained at all until the final scene. There we learn that Victor has a new home.
This movie was based on a true event which took place in the late 1700s. Unfortunately for the audience, the most pressing question of what became of Victor in his adult life is left unanswered. But fans of Francois Truffaut will find him even more engaging than in his role of Claude Lacombe in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". The roles are similar in many ways. If Lacombe could have taken home the child-like aliens to instruct, I'm sure he would have been much like Dr. Itard.
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