Orpheus (1950) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • A poet in love with Death follows his unhappy wife into the underworld.

  • Orphee is a poet who becomes obsessed with Death (the Princess). They fall in love. Orphee's wife, Eurydice, is killed by the Princess' henchmen and Orphee goes after her into the Underworld. Although they have become dangerously entangled, the Princess sends Orphee back out of the Underworld, to carry on his life with Eurydice.

  • The poet Orphée is popular among the general public but detested by the avant-garde at the Café des Poètes. A young poet is killed by two motorbikes just outside the café. His patroness, called The Princess, brings the body to her car, and asks Orphée to come along as a witness. From the car radio a monotonous voice is reciting meaningless lines, which Orphée conceives as the fresh inspiration he has been looking for to renew his writing. In a deserted house he witnesses how The Princess revives the dead poet and disappears with him into a mirror. The chauffeur Heurtebis takes Orphée back home, where Eurydice is longing to tell him that she is pregnant. Orphée ignores her, and sneaks out to the garage, to listen to the captivating voice in the car radio. When Eurydice leaves the house, the two motorbikes kill her on the road. Heurtebis shows the remorseful Orphée how to follow Eurydice through a mirror. When Orphée finds Eurydice in the other world, a court allows them to return to life under the condition that he never looks at her. Orphée is tormented by conflicting feelings, because he is also in love with The Princess, his personal Death.

  • Orpheus is a well established poet who falls into the clutches of the Princess of Death. She takes him to the underworld but has broken the rules and is punished for what she has done. The princess wants him however and arranges for his wife Eurydice to die so she can have him all to herself. Orpheus has no choice but to descend into the netherworld to rescue her.


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