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Wild Fruit (1954)

Les fruits sauvages (original title)
Lyon, 1953. Maria Manzana is the oldest of a family with five children and the only one who has a job. Maria's mother is deceased and her father is regularly drunk and violent. One evening ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Nadine Basile ...
Estella Blain ...
Maria Manzana
Jean-Pierre Bonnefous ...
José Manzana (as Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux)
Georges Chamarat ...
Evelyne Ker ...
Christine Manzana
Marianne Lecène ...
Palmyre Levasseur
Jacques Moulières ...
Norbert Pierlot ...
Le berger
Michel Reynald ...
Michel Manzana
Albert Rémy ...
Talina Sauser ...
Marco Villa ...


Lyon, 1953. Maria Manzana is the oldest of a family with five children and the only one who has a job. Maria's mother is deceased and her father is regularly drunk and violent. One evening when he wants to beat his daughter Christine, Mary helps her sister and accidentally she kills her father. At Maria's advice the family would prefer to flee. Anna, the girlfriend of Mary's brother Michael, accompanies them. Michael doesn't want to leave her behind. A friendly trucker brings Mary and her company to the south. The group then walks on deserted roads to a village, that was abandoned more than 25 years ago due to lack of water. Written by Robert

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Release Date:

29 January 1954 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Wild Fruit  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Young France of the fifties.
29 December 2010 | by See all my reviews

They say "les Fruits Sauvages" is a dated movie.Well the same could be said of the overpraised overrated "les 400 Coups" If the first fifteen minutes were obviously inspired by GW Pabst's "DIE Freundlose Gasse"-the alcoholic father trying to "sell" his daughter to a shopkeeper who covets her-,the rest predates another movie of the eighties "Hors La Loi" which retains a small cult in France and even abroad .

"Les Fruits Sauvages" depicts two worlds :Maria's tragical one and the others' providential world .Maria's fate is sealed almost as soon the movie begins .After she accidentally killed her father,she will be with the group of fugitives but not really part of the fugitives.She knows her way is not the straight and narrow:she refuses Hans 's love and she sleeps with the lecherous shepherd.

Like the three heroes of the contemporary "rebel without a cause" ,the small group of youngsters takes refuge in a place where nobody can find them :a deserted old village .One should note that the Nouvelle Vague had not (happily) happened and however "Fruits Sauvages" was almost entirely filmed on location ,and the heroes are young people (another permanent feature of the N.W.):but these heroes come from much poorer families ,nothing to do with Truffaut's Antoine Doinel whose mother was graduated .

In their village they try to re-create a world without grown-ups and they have to cope on their own for food and water ,which is a problem in these deserted areas of Haute-Provence .Two of them are in love and they celebrate their wedding:the "priest" is a twelve-year-old who repeats the macho lines of the Holy Writ: "Man is head of the family as Jesus is head of the Church".

For the fugitives bar one ,these are almost holidays (they have probably never been on holiday before ),games ,in a pastoral world which is providential: isn't there a "miracle" in the old church where the brat sees a saint moving (it does not matter if it is caused by a squirrel)?The boyish look of Hans (Roger Dumas) shows he is not yet a man ...

...and thus incapable to understand and love Maria (Estella Blain) who knows that she won't escape from a terrible fate .Her beautiful strained face tells the whole story,a smile never lights it up.Estella Blain's performance recalls extremely overlooked André Clement's great roles but she was not as gifted as her.

Estella Blain was born Micheline Estellat (hence her first name) and married Gerard Blain,another cursed actor -and director (hence her surname) ;they got divorced a few years later.Estella Blain's career went downhill after the fifties :in the sixties ,her most famous role was a supporting part (Madame De Montespan) in "Angelique Et Le Roi" (1966).Alone and disappointed by the failure of her career she shot herself to death in 1982:she was completely forgotten.At the time "Les Fruits Sauvages", this lovely little movie of the fifties ,was largely forgotten too and nobody compared her tragical death in the movie and in real life.

Like this?try these....

"Les Loups Dans La Bergerie" ,same director,Hervé Bromberger(1959)

"Hors La Loi" Robin Davis (1984

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