The Wild Child ()

L'enfant sauvage (original title)
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In a French forest in 1798, a child is found who cannot walk, speak, read or write. A doctor becomes interested in the child and patiently attempts to civilize him.


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Complete, Cast awaiting verification

Jean-Pierre Cargol ...
Victor, l'enfant sauvage
Le Dr Jean Itard
Françoise Seigner ...
Madame Guerin
Professor Philippe Pinel
Annie Miller ...
Madame Lemeri
Monsieur Lemeri
Paul Villé ...
Nathan Miller ...
Baby Lemeri
Mathieu Schiffman ...
Jean Gruault ...
Visitor at Institute
Robert Cambourakis ...
Gitt Magrini ...
Jean-François Stévenin ...
Laura Truffaut ...
Girl at farm
Eva Truffaut ...
Girl at farm
Boy at farm
Frédérique Dolbert ...
Girl at farm
Eric Dolbert ...
Boy at farm
Tounet Cargol ...
Boy at farm
Dominique Levert ...
Child at farm
Misse Theaudiere
Jean Mandaroux ...
Itard's Doctor
René Levert ...
Police Official
Pierre Fabre ...
Orderly at Institute

Directed by

François Truffaut

Written by

François Truffaut ... (scenario, adaptation and dialogue) &
Jean Gruault ... (scenario, adaptation and dialogue)
Jean Itard ... (based upon the memoir and report "Victor de l'Aveyron")

Cinematography by

Néstor Almendros ... (as Nestor Almendros)

Film Editing by

Agnès Guillemot

Editorial Department

Yann Dedet ... assistant editor

Set Decoration by

Jean Mandaroux

Costume Design by

Gitt Magrini

Makeup Department

Nicole Félix ... makeup artist

Production Management

Armand Barbault ... production assistant
Marcel Berbert ... production manager
Claude Miller ... unit manager (as Claude Miler)
Roland Thénot ... unit manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Suzanne Schiffman ... assistant director

Art Department

Jean-Claude Dolbert ... property master

Sound Department

René Levert ... sound
Alex Pront ... sound mixer

Camera and Electrical Department

Philippe Théaudière ... assistant camera
Pierre Zucca ... still photographer (uncredited)

Music Department

Antoine Duhamel ... conductor
André Saint-Clivier ... musician: mandolin
Michel Sanvoisin ... musician: Flautino
Antonio Vivaldi ... music by

Script and Continuity Department

Christine Pellé ... script girl


Jean-Pierre Léaud ... dedicatee

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

1798. In a forest, some countrymen catch a wild child who can not walk, speak, read nor write. Doctor Itard is interested by the child, and starts to educate him. Everybody thinks he will fail, but with a lot of love and patience, he manages to obtain results and the child continues with normal development. This is based on true story. Written by Yepok

Plot Keywords
Taglines At last an adult film to which you can take your children. See more »
Parents Guide Add content advisory for parents »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • The Wild Child (United States)
  • The Wild Child (World-wide, English title)
  • The Wild Child (United Kingdom)
  • The Wild Boy (United Kingdom)
  • El pequeño salvaje (Spain)
  • See more »
  • 83 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Did You Know?

Trivia Truffaut remained true to Dr. Itard's written accounts in most respects. A few variations are: (1) Victor was not stark naked when first captured; he had the shreds of a shirt around his neck. (2) Victor's hair would have been much longer, because he was indifferent to hygiene or how he looked. (3) Jean Itard was merely a young medical student, while the film suggests that he was on an equal basis with Pinel. (4) Madame Guerin became almost a mother to Victor, always attending to him, whereas the film suggests that she merely helped to train him and to clean up after him. (5) Itard would rub Victor's back to relax and comfort him, but then had to worry about sexual responses. Victor also often wet his bed, but Itard never punished him; he decided to allow Victor to learn whether he preferred to lie in a wet bed or to get up to relieve himself. These problems are not shown. (6) In the scene in which Victor throws a tantrum about learning the alphabet, his and Dr. Itard's responses were different than are shown in the film. Real-life Victor bit his bedsheets and began to throw hot coals around the house before falling to the ground and writhing/screaming/kicking; and Itard (Truffaut) did not merely put him into the closet for a few moments. Itard admits [in translation] that he actually "violently threw open the window of his room, which was on the fifth floor overlooking some boulders directly below ... and grabbing him forcibly by the hips, I held him out of the window, his head facing directly down toward the bottom of the chasm. After some seconds, I drew him in again. He was pale, covered with a cold sweat ... I made him gather up all the [alphabet] cards and replace them all. This was done very slowly ... but at least without impatience." Viewers may thank Truffaut for choosing the lesser of two evil punishments! (7) Finally, Dr. Itard took care of Victor for 5 years; in 1806, Victor moved into Madame Guerin's house and stayed there for the rest of his life, with the French Government paying for his care. It is believed that he died there, without ever marrying. See more »
Goofs Automobile traffic can be heard on the soundtrack during some of the scenes which take place in the Revolutionary France-era Institute for the Deaf. See more »
Movie Connections Edited into Une vague nouvelle (1999). See more »
Soundtracks Concerto for Piccolo and Strings in C Major RV 443 See more »
Quotes [last lines]
Le Dr Jean Itard: I'm glad that you came home. Do you understand? This is your home. You're no longer a wild boy, even if you're not yet a man. Victor, you're an extraordinary young man with great expectations. Later, we'll resume our lessons.
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