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The Wild Child (1970)
"L'enfant sauvage" (original title)

G  |   |  Drama  |  11 September 1970 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 5,425 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 40 critic

In a French forest in 1798, a child is found who cannot walk, speak, read or write. A doctor becomes interested in the child and patiently attempts to civilize him.



(scenario, adaptation and dialogue), (scenario, adaptation and dialogue), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Pierre Cargol ...
Victor, l'enfant sauvage
Le Dr Jean Itard
Françoise Seigner ...
Madame Guerin
Jean Dasté ...
Professor Philippe Pinel
Annie Miller ...
Madame Lemeri
Monsieur Lemeri
Paul Villé ...
Nathan Miller ...
Baby Lemeri
Mathieu Schiffman ...
Jean Gruault ...
Visitor at Institute
Robert Cambourakis ...
Gitt Magrini ...
Jean-François Stévenin ...
Laura Truffaut ...
Girl at farm
Eva Truffaut ...
Girl at farm


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 Yepok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


At last an adult film to which you can take your children.




G | See all certifications »



Release Date:

11 September 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wild Child  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,680 (USA) (7 November 2008)


$61,373 (USA) (15 January 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Jean-Pierre Cargol. See more »


In the US subtitles, the opening says that this is a true story that happened in 1978. It should have read 1798. See more »


Le Dr Jean Itard: For the present, his emotions appear unaffected. Despite the ill-treatment he endured at the institute, no one ever saw him cry.
See more »


Referenced in The Squid and the Whale (2005) See more »


Concerto for Piccolo and Strings in C Major RV 443
by Antonio Vivaldi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Great Film
10 August 2000 | by See all my reviews

Everything about this movie is great. The acting is done perfectly, particularly Victor. This child has the ability to evoke every primal human emotion without doing anything but making sounds and using facial expressions. Perhaps only a child could be capable of doing this but I doubt any child could do it as well. We feel sympathy for him and want to care for him ourselves at the same time that we are anxious about the deep mystery he forces us to recognize. The scene when he is rocking under the full moon, and the look on his face as the movie ends, are brilliant and frightening. The fact that this actor, to my knowledge, has done nothing since, adds to the effect. Where did he go? Might he have been more in touch with this side of humanity than just as an actor? Just incredible. And Truffault's direction was perfect as well. Filmed in a minimalist style and cleverly utilizing early film techniques, he evokes a time period yet allows no distraction from the actual issues involved in the story. The viewer is forced to pay attention and forced to deal with the issues confronting the doctor and his relationship with the boy. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

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