76 user 60 critic

Forbidden Games (1952)

Jeux interdits (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, War | 8 December 1952 (USA)
2:14 | Trailer
A young French girl orphaned in a Nazi air attack is befriended by the son of a poor farmer, and together they try to come to terms with the realities of death.


René Clément


François Boyer (novel), Jean Aurenche (screen adaptation) | 5 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Georges Poujouly ... Michel Dollé
Brigitte Fossey ... Paulette
Amédée Amédée ... Francis Gouard
Laurence Badie Laurence Badie ... Berthe Dollé
Madeleine Barbulée Madeleine Barbulée ... Une soeur de la Croix-Rouge
Suzanne Courtal Suzanne Courtal ... Madame Dollé - la mère
Lucien Hubert Lucien Hubert ... Joseph Dollé - le père
Jacques Marin ... Georges Dollé
Marcel Mérovée Marcel Mérovée ... Raymond Dollé (as Pierre Merovée)
Violette Monnier Violette Monnier ... Renée Dollé
Denise Péronne Denise Péronne ... Jeanne Gouard (as Denise Perronne)
Fernande Roy Fernande Roy ... L'autre fille Gouard
Louis Saintève Louis Saintève ... Le prêtre
André Wasley ... Gouard - le voisin


A girl of perhaps five or six is orphaned in an air raid while fleeing a French city with her parents early in World War II. She is befriended by a pre-adolescent peasant boy after she wandered away from the other refugees, and is taken in for a few weeks by his family. The children become fast friends, and the film follows their attempt to assimilate the deaths they both face, and the religious rituals surrounding those deaths, through the construction of a cemetery for all sorts of animals. Child-like and adult activity are frequently at cross-purposes, however. Written by Doug Shafer <dsshafer@uncc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


War...and how it affects the lives of our children See more »


Comedy | Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »


Father Dolle drinks the same glass of wine twice, or does not pour the second glass. The level of wine in the bottle does not appear to change. See more »

Crazy Credits

There are two alternate opening credits:The main credit starts with a story book and a female hand opens the book to reveal the credits. The alternate still has the same book but this time we are introduced to the two main characters who are sitting by a lake. In this version, Michel's hand is turning the page and in between the scenes he tells Paulette that he's going to tell a story. See more »

User Reviews

Evocative pastoral tragi-comedy
29 April 2008 | by federovskySee all my reviews

Wonderfully wry, ribald, and ironic look at children, life, and death in the provinces. This must be one of the best examples of poetic realism – much better than any Renoir you'll see – it's alive and humane, comprising a hundred little iconic cinema moments and several major ones.

A little girl, whose parents are killed in an air-raid at the beginning, wanders into a nearby farm clutching her dead dog and is taken in. She becomes attached to the boy at the farm and they start to expand her dog's grave into a little cemetery of dead animals. There's nothing macabre or sinister about this, nor (as the blurbs maintain) is it particularly a statement about the effect of war on children - it's simply the sort of thing kids might do. When they start pinching crosses from the real cemetery though, they are in for it.

The peasant family are a hoot. The father has a hilarious running feud with his neighbour; the daughter is having an illicit affair with the neighbour's son; the elder son succumbs to a tragi-comic demise after an innocuous accident; the second is a good-natured hick; and the youngest boy gets clouted by his father at every turn ("Take that!", says the father as he smacks him across the head – "...and that!" says his sister as she plonks some flowers into his hand). Their every movement is bursting with rough humour and vitality and we are being shown something interesting in every frame. It comes vividly to life, and as an evocation of childhood is up there with Selznick's Tom Sawyer and "Spirit of the Beehive".

Remarkable performances from the two children. There's no sanctimoniousness or even self-awareness to it; Clement got it down and it came out right.

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Release Date:

8 December 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Forbidden Games See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,316, 26 April 2015

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Silver Films See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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