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Murmur of the Heart (1971)
"Le souffle au coeur" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama  |  17 October 1971 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 5,822 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 39 critic

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... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Clara Chevalier
Benoît Ferreux ...
Laurent Chevalier
...
Charles Chevalier
...
Father Henri
Ave Ninchi ...
Augusta
Gila von Weitershausen ...
Freda (the prostitute)
Fabien Ferreux ...
Thomas
Marc Winocourt ...
Micheline Bona ...
Aunt Claudine
Henri Poirier ...
Uncle Leonce
Liliane Sorval ...
Fernande
Corinne Kersten ...
Daphne
Eric Walter
François Werner ...
Hubert
René Bouloc ...
Man at Bastille Day party
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Storyline

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 | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

17 October 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Murmur of the Heart  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,200,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the incest aspects of the story were not autobiographical, Louis Malle did in fact end up sharing a hotel room with his mother as a child while on a trip to treat his heart murmur due to "bizarre" circumstances. See more »

Goofs

During the chess match, the boys are sitting on what should be the spectator sides of the board, rather than the player sides. It appears that the chessmen were set up along the files rather than the ranks. (The lower right hand corner squares are black, when they should be white.) See more »

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Featured in Geburtstagskinder der Nouvelle Vague (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a beautiful coming of age story
30 June 2001 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

There have been a million coming of age stories in the history of the world, most of them probably in the film medium. What a pathetic thing to have to endure something as trite as the American film American Pie when something like The 400 Blows exists. Murmur of the Heart will remind most of that classic, and, akin to French films such as Zero for Conduct, The 400 Blows, and Malle's own Au Revoir Les Enfantes, it is excellently acted, both by the adults in the film and the children (here, though, they're teens), and it is infinitely more truthful than most American films of the same genre. Murmur of the Heart falls just short of The 400 Blows, but it is a worthy successor to it. Beware, though. This film's main theme is sexuality, and there are some very disturbing scenes, even thought the mood of the film is quite light-hearted. 9/10


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