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L'enfant de Paris (1913)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 17 September 1913 (France)
The young daughter of an army captain missing in action runs away from school and is kidnapped by Parisian lowlifes. When the kidnapper flees to Nice with the child, the kind-hearted employee of one of his accomplices sets off in pursuit.


Léonce Perret


Léonce Perret


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Credited cast:
Léonce Perret ... Léonce
Louis Leubas ... Edmond Le Bachelier
Maurice Lagrenée Maurice Lagrenée ... Le Bosco
Émile Keppens Émile Keppens ... Pierre de Valen
Marc Gérard Marc Gérard ... Le savetier Tiron
Henri Duval Henri Duval ... Jacques de Valen (as Henry Duval)
Marie Dorly Marie Dorly ... La gouvernante
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Suzanne Le Bret Suzanne Le Bret
Jeanne Marie-Laurent Jeanne Marie-Laurent
Adrien Petit Adrien Petit
Suzanne Privat Suzanne Privat


A series of misfortunes befalls young Marie-Laure. Her army captain father goes missing in action, her mother dies of grief, her guardian is called away to war and she is sent to a harsh boarding school. She runs away and is kidnapped by Le Bachelier, a Parisian lowlife. Left to be treated as a slave in the house of a drunken cobbler, she's befriended by Bosco, the cobbler's teenage hunchback employee. Then her father returns unexpectedly, and Le Bachelier extracts a ransom with no intention of setting the girl free. With the police closing in, he flees with Marie-Laure to Nice, but kind-hearted Bosco sets off in pursuit Written by Des de Moor

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Not Rated






Release Date:

17 September 1913 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Barnen från Paris See more »

Filming Locations:

Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

From riches to rags
23 April 2018 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Leonce Perret is virtually forgotten in France where Feuillade's "Vampires" and "Fantômas " have been recently released on DVD in deluxe box sets;and however I do think that his "Mystères Des Roches De Kador " displayed more originality,more ambition and more modernity than the whole far-fetched Irma Vep and co's interminable story : psychonanalysis and a deja vu experience were not that much common in 1912 French cinema.

"L'Enfant De Paris" is pure melodrama ;its screenplay was influenced by the classics of French melodramatic literature from the nineteenth century : "Les Mystères De Paris " ," La Porteuse De Pain" or "Les Deux Orphelines " which DW Griffith transferred to the screen as "orphans of the storm" ;the latter (the novel) did inspire Perret's screenplay too : the drunk brute is an equivalent of La Frochard and Bosco plays more or less the role of her good son.

That said ,and mainly in its first part ,"L 'Enfant De Paris"has stood the test of time triumphantly :the first part is dense ,eventful and features lots of great scenes ,still impressive today:

-Happiness time, the ending of which is masterfully conducted ,when the score segued from the old French folk song " Sous Le Pont D'Avignon" into a military dirge .

-the depiction of the boarding-school , the lugubrious dormitory , the girl deprived of her only friend, her doll, her mates making her their punching bag (the scene of their faces in the classroom is extraordinary)

-the drunkard ,some kind of Hugo's Thénardier who treats the little girl like a slut ,a Cosette who's refused a piece of bread.

-the relationship with hunchback Bosco ,himself in search of love,tenderness and affection.

Things deteriorate a little in the second part during Bosco's investigation:as a critic noticed , Perret has not got a sense of the "meanwhile" ,and the desperate daddy and good housekeeper Marion completely disappear from the screen ;Bosco 's visit of the Carmen villa drags on whereas there was never a dull moment in the first half .One should notice,however, that Perret was one of the first artists to take the cinema out of the studios ,and some scenes were filmed on location in Nice (and even on the Champ De Mars at the beginning) ;and there are great moments such as that of the ladies in their barouche ("I'm no beggar!)or that of the restaurateur who drives the hunchback out of his place .

That this movie should be ignored in its native France is really disgraceful.

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