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Testament of Orpheus (1960)

Le testament d'Orphée ou ne me demandez pas pourquoi (original title)
Not Rated | | Biography, Fantasy | 18 February 1960 (France)
The Poet looks back over his life and work, recalling his inspirations and obsessions.

Director:

Jean Cocteau

Writer:

Jean Cocteau
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean Cocteau ... Self - the Poet
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Storyline

The poet Jean Cocteau is lost in space-time. He has been in the 18th century and is now turning up at different moments in professor Langevin's life. The professor has invented some bullets, which travel faster than light. With one of them he kills Cocteau, who is resurrected as his old self, but is still caught in the space between fantasy and reality. At a gypsy camp a woman saves a photo out of the fire and restores it. On the photo Cocteau recognizes Cégeste from his film Orphée. He tears the photo into pieces and throws it into the sea. Immediately Cégeste himself jumps out of the water. He brings Cocteau to a rogatory commission led by Heurtebise and The Princess from the film Orphée. Cocteau admits that he has constantly attempted to enter a world which is not his own, a world that is beyond the limits of man, and that disobedience is like a religion for him. The commission imposes on him the sentence of life. In a hall inside some stone ruins the goddess Athena kills Cocteau ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

18 February 1960 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Le testament d'Orphée See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,850
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #69. See more »

Quotes

Jean Cocteau - The Poet: And the flower?
Cégeste: Take it to her. After all, the goddess is a woman and women never object to being offered flowers
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Discovering 'Evil Dead' (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Orphée et Eurydice
Composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck
(1762)
See more »

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User Reviews

Cocteau's transcendent sense of wonder shines brightly.
25 February 1999 | by Alph-2See all my reviews

Jean Cocteau's final filmic flight of fantasy is very special indeed.

Adopting the guise of a poet 'unstuck in time', Cocteau ranges over his life in the world of poetry. It's a phantasmorgorical whirl of imagery, with plenty of humour, pathos and an enormous, transcendent sense of wonder. There's also a trial sequence where the characters from his earlier success 'Orphee' try him for bringing them into existence !

Some of Cocteau famous friends feature in brief cameos. Look out for Picasso and Bardot.

You don't have to be a Cocteau fan to enjoy this movie. All you need is an interest in the nature of creativity and an enjoyment of poetry, symbolic art, and the wonderfully cinematic music of Georges Auric, who scored all Cocteau's major films.


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