IMDb > Murmur of the Heart (1971)
Le souffle au coeur
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Murmur of the Heart (1971) More at IMDbPro »Le souffle au coeur (original title)

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Murmur of the Heart -- Louis Malle’s critically acclaimed Murmur of the Heart gracefully combines elements of comedy, drama, and autobiography in a candid portrait of a precocious adolescent boy’s sexual maturation.

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   4,836 votes »
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Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Louis Malle (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Murmur of the Heart on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 October 1971 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(11 articles)
User Reviews:
Malle's finest.... See more (33 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Lea Massari ... Clara Chevalier
Benoît Ferreux ... Laurent Chevalier

Daniel Gélin ... Charles Chevalier

Michael Lonsdale ... Father Henri
Ave Ninchi ... Augusta
Gila von Weitershausen ... Freda (the prostitute)
Fabien Ferreux ... Thomas
Marc Winocourt ... Marc
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
Jacqueline Chauvaud ... Helene
Jacques Gheusi ... Hotel receptionist
Yvon Lec ... Father Superior
Jean-Pierre Pessoz ... Soldier
Bernadette Robert
Annie Savarin ... Le cuisinière
Jacques Sereys
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Éric Burnelli ... Maitre d'Hotel (uncredited)
Nicole Carrière ... Mother (uncredited)
Michel Charrel ... Disquaire (uncredited)
Huguette Faget ... Mother (uncredited)
Isabelle Kloucowski ... Madeleine (uncredited)
Lia Wanital ... Mother (uncredited)
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Directed by
Louis Malle 
 
Writing credits
Louis Malle (written by)

Produced by
Vincent Malle .... producer
Claude Nedjar .... producer
 
Cinematography by
Ricardo Aronovich 
 
Film Editing by
Suzanne Baron 
 
Production Design by
Jean-Jacques Caziot 
 
Makeup Department
Jacky Reynal .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Maurice Urbain .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rida Draïs .... assistant director
Fernand Moszkowicz .... assistant director (as Fernand Moscowicz)
Ghislain Uhry .... collaborating director
 
Art Department
Philippe Turlure .... assistant art director
 
Sound Department
Jean-Claude Laureux .... sound
Michel Vionnet .... assistant sound
 
Editorial Department
Catherine Brasier-Snopko .... assistant editor (as Catherine Snopko)
Solange Leprince .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Sidney Bechet .... composer: stock music
Gaston Frèche .... composer: stock music
Charlie Parker .... composer: stock music
Henri Renaud .... composer: stock music
 
Other crew
Élisabeth Rappeneau .... script girl
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le souffle au coeur" - France (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
118 min
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Writer/director Louis Malle based many aspects of the protagonist Laurent's life on his own experiences growing up. This included his love of jazz, curiosity about literature, the "tyranny" of his two older brothers who tried to introduce him to sex, and having a heart murmur. However, Malle grew up in the 1930's and 40's, not the 50's as Laurent does.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: Early in the movie, Clara states that she saw The Barefoot Contessa in Paris. During this early part of the movie, the French are fighting the war in Indochina. The final battle of that war, Dien Bien Phu, occurred on May 7, 1954, 4 1/2 months before The Barefoot Contessa was released. In addition, Bastille Day is celebrated on July 14th, also before the movie was released.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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17 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
Malle's finest...., 9 October 2006
Author: movedout

It's high comedy. It's French bourgeois lifestyle. Louis Malle's delicate style of working with taboo subject matter reached a personal plateau with a dysfunctional household in "Murmur of the Heart", an early reach back into his own garden of memories and familial idiosyncrasies that he has stringently plucked from over the years. He approaches it with an innocent intent, cheeky, but still innocent nonetheless. Through the nostalgic and mean-spirited jibes at the domestic help, clergy and stiff-lipped crust of high society, it commences on a journey of an adolescent male, Laurent Chevalier (Benoit Ferreux) in Dijon, France circa 1954. He longs to break free to that stage of enlightened adulthood that seems just within reach but yet so very far. But within its pith, it's the very antithesis of melodrama. Taking on its inviolable subject matter's horns with both hands, it wrangles it to the ground while giving us something to think about. It's definitely not about exorcising ghosts of the past but to let them regale us with stories of unforgettable youth.

After 35 years, "Murmur of the Heart" still rings truer and closer to home than most contemporary comedies (and even dramas) revolving around the "coming of age" and "sexual awakening" in a young teen. It's also more daring and liberal in its construction of key family members being part of that very natural formation of sexual DNA and identity. They discuss philosophy. They discuss suicide. They discuss "The Story of O". Laurent and his 2 older brothers consort in disrespectfully petty behaviour contrary to what their upbringing holds sacred. Laurent's a top student, an intellectual that sees the world around him as a playground. It's a smalltime superiority complex as he defines his sensitive sensibilities with discernment beyond his years and a haughty disregard for divergent thoughts with a self-important air.

Revolving primarily about Laurent and his mother, Clara ("L' avventura's" Lea Massari), it's a refreshing look at a parental relationship based around adoration and fondness (coming under constant mocking by his brothers) than the contemporaneous and contemptuous notion of disdain and rebelliousness surrounding the authority figures and generational gaps. It underlines the idiom of a mother being her son's first love. In its essence, it encapsulates many complicated mother-child relationships including the emotional Oedipal issues that do crop up. And through that, a lovely parallelism is wrought with its interpretation of a woman who wants to be a girl and a boy who wants to be a man.

Conforming to an almost sitcom style, its self-dependent, autonomous scenes and situations just about start to border on farcical proportions. Its characters place sex and carnality high up on a pedestal, while Malle condescendingly films it as something so pedestrian and run-of-the-mill, not worth the hype and excitement over it anyway. He makes the patient, inevitable buildup to a key sex scene that had caused controversy when it was first released, to seem more natural and accepting than he does the sexual encounters that actually do seem the norm in society.

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This movie is NOT about incest! trivial_matt
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beautiful film LadyHildreth
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Cool jazz song? JetG
about final scene ppeerrssoonnaa
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