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

 -  Drama  -  17 October 1971 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 4,987 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 38 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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Title: Murmur of the Heart (1971)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 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:

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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Murphy Brown: Why Do Fools Fall in Love? (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sophisticated naughtiness.
30 March 2006 | by (Tokyo) – See all my reviews

This is one of my all-time favorite films.

Young Laurent Chevalier, his mother & his roguish elder brothers break every taboo known to small-town 1950s Dijon: underage drinking, underage sex, blasphemy, incest, petty theft, adultery, art forgery, whoremongering, drunk driving... What more can you ask? Malle treats their escapades with such lighthearted sympathy & wit you can't help liking them.

Before I first saw Soufflé au Coeur, I read a blurb for it in the monthly listings of my local repertory cinema that ran something like this (I quote from memory): "This film does a lot to restore the French to their former reputation for sophisticated naughtiness." I can't sum it up any better than that.


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