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

G  |   |  Drama  |  11 September 1970 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 5,232 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 38 critic

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

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(scenario, adaptation and dialogue), (scenario, adaptation and dialogue), 1 more credit »
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Cast

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 ...
Remy
Nathan Miller ...
Baby Lemeri
Mathieu Schiffman ...
Mathieu
Jean Gruault ...
Visitor at Institute
Robert Cambourakis ...
Countryman
Gitt Magrini ...
Countrywoman
Jean-François Stévenin ...
Countryman
Laura Truffaut ...
Girl at farm
Eva Truffaut ...
Girl at farm
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

11 September 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wild Child  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$61,373 (USA) (15 January 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Dr. Jean Itard was Chief Physician at the National Institution for Deaf-Mutes, Paris. His work with Victor led to his being honored by the French Academy of Science. But Itard is better known as one of the forefathers of the Montessori method of teaching, and he is remembered for his work with deaf-mute children. See more »

Goofs

The chalkboard goes from wet to dry between shots. See more »

Quotes

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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in François Truffaut: Portraits volés (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Highly recommended



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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