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Murmur of the Heart (1971)

Le souffle au coeur (original title)
In the end of the first Indochina War, an open-minded teenage boy, finds himself between the urge to discover love and the ever-present, dominating affection of his mother.




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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Clara Chevalier
Benoît Ferreux ...
Laurent Chevalier
Charles Chevalier
Father Henri
Ave Ninchi ...
Freda (the prostitute)
Fabien Ferreux ...
Marc Winocourt ...
Micheline Bona ...
Aunt Claudine
Henri Poirier ...
Uncle Leonce
Liliane Sorval ...
Corinne Kersten ...
Eric Walter
François Werner ...
René Bouloc ...
Man at Bastille Day party


This is a jolly coming-of-age story about a 14-year-old boy named Laurent Chevalier who is growing up in bourgeois surroundings in Dijon, France. This is France in the mid-1950s rather than America in the 1990s. Thus, Laurent is unharmed by events which would irreparably shatter the self-esteem of a modern American adolescent: he gets drunk, he smokes, he has sex, he is smothered by his mother, he is ignored by his father, a priest makes a pass at him, he gets rheumatoid fever, etc. There's enough scandalous behavior in this film to make 100 made-for-TV movies, and yet this is a very happy and oddly innocent tale. Written by Tim Horrigan <horrigan@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A young mother seduces her son.....and it's beautiful! See more »


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

17 October 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Murmur of the Heart  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,200,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


After leaving Daphne, Laurent's belt changes three times. See more »


Marc: That's her. She tells fantastic stories about the days of real brothels. She should write a book. She's been in the business 35 years. You know what she told me? "One look at a client and I know what his vice is."
Laurent Chevalier: Do I have a vice?
Marc: Sure. You just don't know what it is yet.
See more »

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User Reviews

A Masterpiece.
11 December 2003 | by (London) – See all my reviews

'Murmur of the Heart' is an experience that sneaks up on you like the combined years of one's youth. The subject matter is what the repressed might reductively characterize as simple incest. That is NOT what this film is about. It is about the elastic moment of adolescence. The strange, ugly, and beautiful contradictions of familial intimacy. A boy deperate to taste the pleasures of being a man - while stuck in an awkward inbetween physical, and pyschic geography. This is one of the strongest films in all of French cinema.

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