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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 3,937 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

Excellent movie about the extraordinary life of an ordinary man.
18 October 1998 | by (Montréal, Québec) – See all my reviews

Take a deep breath... and dive... The movie is about to take you in a journey trough an extraordinary life... Not very overwhelming, one might say... but the story of "Toto le héros" is an unpredictable tale about a man who always thought he was nobody, and found at the very end of his life, that he was, in fact, a hero...

The very simple storyline is a sketch, for director Jaco Van Dormael, to elaborate a complex visual narration. Since we follow the main character, Toto, throughout his whole life, the movie is full of "time games". Van Dormael uses flash-back and leap in time to get away from a simple linearity. The aproach to dreams is very similar to Terry Gilliam's that we've seen in "Brazil" and "12 Monkeys".

"Toto le héros" is a touching film that will please the movie critics as well as the common viewers.

It is a chef-d'oeuvre...

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Will we ever see a new movie by director Van Dormael? ? Nijn1978
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