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 <email@example.com>
Did You Know?
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
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
You're worse than Thomas and you stink of cigars! You have to choose: cigars or women.
References The Barefoot Contessa