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The City of Lost Children (1995)
"La cité des enfants perdus" (original title)

R  |   |  Fantasy, Sci-Fi  |  15 December 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 53,674 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 235 user | 72 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

A scientist in a surrealist society kidnaps children to steal their dreams, hoping that they slow his aging process.

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2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Emilfork ...
Judith Vittet ...
Geneviève Brunet ...
Odile Mallet ...
Mireille Mossé ...
Serge Merlin ...
Joseph Lucien ...
Mapi Galán ...
Briac Barthélémy ...
Pierre-Quentin Faesch ...


Krank (Daniel Emilfork), who cannot dream, kidnaps young children to steal their dreams. One (Ron Perlman), a former whale hunter who is as strong as a horse, sets forth to search for Denree, his little brother who was kidnapped by Krank's men. Helped by young Miette (Judith Vittet), he soon arrives in La Cite des Enfants Perdus (The City of Lost Children). Written by Marie-Andree Poisson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

children | dream | aging | girl | rescue | See All (72) »


Where happily ever after is just a dream. See more »


Fantasy | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing and grotesque images of violence and menace | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

15 December 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The City of Lost Children  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)


$1,513,028 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although it appears to be a Chinese tattoo studio, the tattoo artist and his wife argue in Vietnamese. See more »


The words from The Original that Miette remembers in flashback (after she receives Uncle Irvin's dream message) differ slightly from what The Original actually said, although the point of the message is still the same. See more »


[after Mlle. Bismuth has been harpooned]
Clone: Does it hurt?
Mlle. Bismuth: Yes, I'm allergic to steel.
See more »


Referenced in The Lost Empire (2001) See more »


'Deux guitares"
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

It's so bizarre that it's beautiful; it's so illogical that it's funny; it's so dark that it's so sweet.
17 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

It's so bizarre that it's beautiful; it's so illogical that it's funny; it's so dark that it's so sweet. That's The City of the Lost Children. The plot it's that the evil -and weird- Krank (Daniel Emilfork) kidnap children to stole their dreams due to the lack of his ability of dream. Or at least he did it, until it came One (Ron Perlman), in the search of his adoptive little brother, aided by Miette (Judith Vittet), a street smart orphan child.

In technical aspects it's a master piece. The decoration give a baroque sensation of always being in small places, yet it's a full city populated of bizarre characters as the story itself.

The acting it's great. I'm quiet impressed for the flawless french that Ron Perlman show us, he's just simply astounding. I cannot say less of Judith Vittet, that being a child in that time she was a tremendous actress. The two have a good chemistry as a girl mature as an adult and a grow up man with the innocence of a kid.

I can't say that this is a movie that everyone would like, because it's not. It have a little of nonsense that might be not of the like of all the public. And all the dark atmosphere might be a little suffocating. So, take the risk and watch it, and then decide: you love it, or you hate it.

43 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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