Toto the Hero (1991)
"Toto le héros" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  19 June 1991 (France)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,029 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 11 critic

Thomas and Alfred were born around the same time; a fire in the nursery had nurses scrambling to save the newborns. Because he felt that he deserved Alfred's good fortune at being born into... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 16 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Thomas, as an old man
Jo De Backer ...
Thomas, as an adult
Thomas Godet ...
Thomas, as a child
Gisela Uhlen ...
Evelyne as an old woman
Mireille Perrier ...
Evelyne as young woman
Sandrine Blancke ...
Peter Böhlke ...
Alfred as an old man
Didier Ferney ...
Alfred, as an adult
Hugo Harold-Harrison ...
Alfred, as a child
Fabienne Loriaux ...
Thomas' Mother
Klaus Schindler ...
Thomas' Father
Pascal Duquenne ...
Celestin, as an adult
Karim Moussati ...
Celestin, as a child
Didier De Neck ...
Mr. Kant
Christine Smeysters ...
Mrs. Kant


Thomas and Alfred were born around the same time; a fire in the nursery had nurses scrambling to save the newborns. Because he felt that he deserved Alfred's good fortune at being born into a wealthy family, Thomas conceives the idea that he and Alfred were switched at birth, and he can't help seeing that his unhappiness should be Alfred's, from the loss of his sister to his inability to have a relationship with the woman Evelyne. So, as his life is ending, he formulates a plan of revenge against his bitter enemy, his lifetime adversary, the man who stole his existence. Written by Gary Dickerson <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dream | fire | revenge | birth | neighbor | See All (269) »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and sensuality (nudity) | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

19 June 1991 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Totò the Hero  »

Box Office


$1,228,153 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Many of the railway scenes in the movie were shot on a preserved railway line between Dendermonde and Puurs, Belgium. See more »


Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #10.2 (1997) See more »


Music and Lyrics by Charles Trenet
Performed by Charles Trenet
Societe EMI France
(c) Edition Vianelly
See more »

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User Reviews

The Time it Was Yesterday at the Same Time
1 March 2003 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

Ask me what time it is. Very very very strange and very entertaining bit of European cinema from Wacko Jaco Van Dormael, a former circus clown turned director. This film about fate, love, and childhood fantasies gone awry is very hard to describe. Imagine a kids film directed by Lars Von Trier, add a dash of "Amelie," a scent of "Donnie Darko," a sprinkle of Lynchian strangeness, and a good heaping of Terry Gilliam inspired wackiness, place in a blender, then travel back in time (as this movie came long before and probably inspired "Amelie" and "Donnie Darko") and voilà, you'll have "Toto." Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny (everybody seems to love those dancing tulips), sometimes weird, always captivating, this is a film for people who enjoy non-linear and creative story-telling. Also, that much talked about floating plastic bag stuff from "American Beauty" is taken straight from this film's unforgettable final scenes. Dormael seemed to have so much good stuff going on in this film, it's ashame he's only made one film since this, as any film buff who watches it will no doubt imagine a few more great films being pulled out of Dormael's magician's hat.

34 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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