9 user 33 critic

L'Enfance Nue (1968)

L'enfance nue (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 22 January 1969 (France)
An anguished foster child takes to mischief and lies as his foster parents do their best to love and care for him. But it might be too little, too late in this emotionally devastating portrayal of the orphaned child.


Maurice Pialat
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Monique is dying. Around her gather her unfaithful husband, her son, who is like his father, and her daughter-in-law. We observe them playing with life as she dies.

Director: Maurice Pialat
Stars: Nathalie Baye, Hubert Deschamps, Philippe Léotard
À Nos Amours (1983)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An erratic young woman's family desperately tries to prevent her increasingly erotic ways.

Director: Maurice Pialat
Stars: Sandrine Bonnaire, Maurice Pialat, Christophe Odent
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A study of a group of young working class people in a French village, who are embarking upon adult life. The film follows the choices and decisions made for their futures.

Director: Maurice Pialat
Stars: Sabine Haudepin, Philippe Marlaud, Annick Alane
Loulou (1980)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A bored wife leaves her husband for an unemployed, petty criminal.

Director: Maurice Pialat
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Gérard Depardieu, Guy Marchand
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A husband and wife in a loveless marriage struggle to remain ignorant to their failed relationship.

Director: Maurice Pialat
Stars: Marlène Jobert, Jean Yanne, Christine Fabréga
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A priest stuck in a rural congregation and burdened with his overwrought spirituality, finds purpose in a troubled woman accused of murder.

Director: Maurice Pialat
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Sandrine Bonnaire, Maurice Pialat
Van Gogh (1991)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The final sixty-seven days of Van Gogh's life are examined.

Director: Maurice Pialat
Stars: Jacques Dutronc, Alexandra London, Bernard Le Coq
Police (1985)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A moody, jaded police detective, while investigating a drug ring, falls for a mysterious woman and is drawn into a shady and dangerous scheme.

Director: Maurice Pialat
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Sophie Marceau, Richard Anconina
Short | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A social commentary on post-war France's urban developments.

Director: Maurice Pialat
Stars: Jean-Loup Reynold
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A study of minor events in the adolescence of a boy growing up in small towns. Daniel lives with his grandmother and, after one year of high school, has to go to live with his mother in the... See full summary »

Director: Jean Eustache
Stars: Martin Loeb, Jacqueline Dufranne, Jacques Romain
Claire's Knee (1970)
Certificate: GP Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

On lakeside summer holiday, a conflicted older man is dared to have a flirt with two beautiful teenage stepsisters despite his betrothal to a diplomat's daughter and the fact that the girls have boyfriends.

Director: Éric Rohmer
Stars: Jean-Claude Brialy, Aurora Cornu, Béatrice Romand
A Bad Son (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Bruno is released from prison. He looks for a job and tries to start a new life. His first stop is at his father's apartment.

Director: Claude Sautet
Stars: Patrick Dewaere, Brigitte Fossey, Jacques Dufilho


Cast overview:
Michel Terrazon Michel Terrazon ... François
Linda Gutenberg Linda Gutenberg ... Simone (as Linda Gutemberg)
Raoul Billerey Raoul Billerey ... Roby
Pierrette Deplanque Pierrette Deplanque ... Josette
Marie-Louise Thierry Marie-Louise Thierry ... Madame Minguet
René Thierry René Thierry ... Minguet
Henri Puff Henri Puff ... Raoul
Marie Marc Marie Marc ... Meme
Maurice Coussonneau Maurice Coussonneau ... Letillon


A ten-year-old boy feels unwanted when his mother places him in a home for wayward children. He goes to a foster home where a family of workers finds him to be too much for them. When the unruly child discovers the family plans to give up on him, he kills their daughter's cat in retaliation. He is sent to another home where he is cared for by an elderly couple. The boy takes to the wife's elderly mother, who reaches out to the disturbed boy. His deliberate disobedience lessens somewhat in his new environment, but he is arrested after throwing bolts at cars from a bridge. The boy tries to overcome his mother's rejection and struggles to boost his self-image in this childhood drama. Written by Dan Pavlides

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

22 January 1969 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Naked Childhood See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The character Francois was based on a real-life foster child named Didier who lived with René Thierry and Marie-Louise Thierry. See more »


Referenced in Lady Bird (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Pialat's magnificent debut
21 February 2011 | by tomgillespie2002See all my reviews

It is quite extraordinary that 1968's L'Enfance Nue (or Naked Childhood) was the debut feature of a 43 year-old Maurice Pialat. Pialat would go on to direct a small number of highly-admired films after this, up until 1995, but it remains this film that he will be most remembered for. Similar in spirit but not in style to Francois Truffaut's masterpiece The 400 Blows, it follows the exploits of a troublemaking child who channels all of his rejection into ferocious anger that causes havoc with the people around him. Truffaut also has a co-producer credit for the film, although it would be the last time he would work with Pialat.

A young boy, Francois (Michel Terrazon), is placed in a home for bad children when his frequent outbursts and often psychopathic acts become too much for his mother. He is eventually re-homed and put into the care of an elderly couple, who also look after another older child, Raoul. When Francois warms to the elderly lady, his behaviour begins to become less hostile and he becomes familiar with his new surroundings. But a lifetime spent being unwanted has left it's mark on Francois, and he constantly remains unpredictable. Francois kills a cat, throws a knife at his new 'brother', and repeatedly steals from the other children. He is a horrific creation, and every parent's nightmare.

Pialat paints an interesting picture of France at the time. Without sledgehammering it home, he and the film depicts a time where a creeping poverty was lurking among the edges of suburbia. Perhaps this was one of the factors for Francois' parents being physically and mentally unable to keep the child, too distracted with their own situation that they don't have the time to get to the root of the problem. Or perhaps Francois is just a mischievous little bastard, and his inability to settle with one family before pushing them over the edge is his fault. L'Enfance Nue also has a surprisingly reserved depiction of the social services. They are seen simply doing their job, and repeatedly re- housing Francois every time he is rejected by a new foster family. This is where the genius lies in this film. Instead of using the film as a medium to send a social message (a la Ken Loach), Pialat sits back, points his camera, and tells a story. It is both complex and simple, but you would have to make your own mind up about that.

Much like Jean-Pierre Leaud in The 400 Blows, Michel Terrazon is fantastic in the lead role, brimming with menace and an unpredictability. Although the comparisons seem obvious, it would be wholly unfair to carry on comparing this to Truffaut's film, as L'Enfance Nue is a fantastic film in it's own right. Like most of his films, this is considered somewhat autobiographical to Pialat, but how much is unclear. His filmmaking techniques seem similar to the attitudes of the title character - this film is in your face and hard-hitting. You can almost hear the director yelling 'if you don't like it, then f**k you!'. A very, very good film, and I shall be seeking out more Pialat because of it. A remarkable debut.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed