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A Cage of Nightingales (1945)

La cage aux rossignols (original title)
In France, in 1930, a supervisor of a boarding school for young offenders seeks to awaken the music by forming a choir, despite the skepticism of his boarding school director.


Jean Dréville


Georges Chaperot (story), Noël-Noël (adaptation) | 4 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Noël-Noël ... Clément Mathieu
Micheline Francey Micheline Francey ... Micheline
René Génin ... Le père Maxence
René Blancard ... Monsieur Rachin
Marguerite Ducouret Marguerite Ducouret ... La mère de Micheline
Marcelle Praince ... La présidente
Marthe Mellot Marthe Mellot ... Mère Marie
Michel François Michel François ... Eloi Lequerec
Georges Paulais Georges Paulais ... Monsieur Langlois
André Nicolle André Nicolle ... Monsieur de la Prade
Richard Francoeur Richard Francoeur ... Monsieur de Mazère
Georges Jamin ... Régent (as Jamin)
Henry Prestat Henry Prestat ... (as Prestat)
Jean Morel Jean Morel ... Le nouveau directeur (as Morel)
Henri Coutet Henri Coutet ... (as Coutet)


"La Cage aux rossignols" (A Cage of Nightingales) is the title of an autobiographical book that a young writer try to publish, which would allow him to marry so charming Martine. Under a pseudonym, Clement's book is published in La Dépêche a daily newspaper that publishes novels as serials. Martine can read the novel to her mother (voice-over). Story of this music lover, supervisor of a boarding reserved for young offenders who asks only to discover the joys of music by forming a choir. But Clément does not have only friends. The director of the institution, man petty and narrow-minded, never misses an opportunity to throw a spanner in the works... Written by Sangria K, France

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Music


Did You Know?


Remade as Les Choristes (2004) in which Jean-Baptiste Maunier stood out as a soloist in a well assembled choir of which the soundtrack album is still popular. See more »


Remade as The Chorus (2004) See more »


Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerre
Performed by Les Petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois
See more »

User Reviews

The supervisor does not work wonders,neither does the film.
17 April 2003 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

This movie features a bunch of children locked up in a reform school under a nasty headmaster's thumb;then comes a very nice human supervisor played by Noël-Noël .And presto ,the naughty brats become angels with golden voices who set up a choir ,and the distinguished old ladies who visit the school are on cloud nine ,well,you get the picture.

First thing to bear in mind is that these children were professional singers:all of them were part of "les petits chanteurs à la croix de bois" (the little singers with the wooden cross),so do not be fooled,the supervisor is not in any way responsible for their prowesses. Well the plot is not unlike "going my way" ,except that the main actor is not a singer like Bing Crosby.This mushy weepie ,which seems sometimes unbearable -but not more than,say,"dead poets society"-,is typical Occupation cinema ,the likes of "le voile bleu".It's a return to good old morality:individuality is condemned,everyone must be part of the group,the choir becoming a transparent metaphor .The ending in the church is almost sirkesque.

Remade (or almost) as "les choristes"

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Release Date:

6 September 1945 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A Cage of Nightingales See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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