7.7/10
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Murmur of the Heart (1971)

Le souffle au coeur (original title)
As France is nearing the end of the first Indochina War, an open-minded teenage boy finds himself torn between a rebellious urge to discover love, and the ever-present, almost dominating affection of his beloved mother.

Director:

Louis Malle

Writer:

Louis Malle
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lea Massari ... Clara Chevalier
Benoît Ferreux ... Laurent Chevalier
Daniel Gélin ... Charles Chevalier
Michael Lonsdale ... Father Henri
Ave Ninchi ... Augusta
Gila von Weitershausen ... Freda (the prostitute)
Fabien Ferreux Fabien Ferreux ... Thomas
Marc Winocourt Marc Winocourt ... Marc
Micheline Bona Micheline Bona ... Aunt Claudine
Henri Poirier ... Uncle Leonce
Liliane Sorval Liliane Sorval ... Fernande
Corinne Kersten Corinne Kersten ... Daphne
Eric Walter Eric Walter ... Laurent's friend
François Werner François Werner ... Hubert
René Bouloc ... Man at Bastille Day party
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Storyline

This is a jolly coming-of-age story about a 14-year-old boy named Laurent Chevalier who is growing up in bourgeois surroundings in Dijon, France. This is France in the mid-1950s rather than America in the 1990s. Thus, Laurent is unharmed by events which would irreparably shatter the self-esteem of a modern American adolescent: he gets drunk, he smokes, he has sex, he is smothered by his mother, he is ignored by his father, a priest makes a pass at him, he gets rheumatoid fever, etc. There's enough scandalous behavior in this film to make 100 made-for-TV movies, and yet this is a very happy and oddly innocent tale. Written by Tim Horrigan <horrigan@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A young mother seduces her son.....and it's beautiful! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

After leaving Daphne, Laurent's belt changes three times. See more »

Quotes

Clara Chevalier: Do you enjoy hotels?
Laurent Chevalier: I haven't stayed in them enough.
Clara Chevalier: I adore hotels. I feel free, as if I were starting a new life. Even if it's only a feeling, it's very nice.
See more »

Connections

References The Barefoot Contessa (1954) See more »

User Reviews

 
Essentially light but ultimately rather heavy
31 March 2019 | by christopher-underwoodSee all my reviews

Essentially light but ultimately rather heavy domestic drama involving an overly motherly mother and a child pushed this way and that by her and his two older brothers. The early scenes in the rich folks household, I assume, are intended to be amusing but looked at today the bullying of servants looks pretty shameful especially with the ongoing background news of French involvement in 'Indo China'. On the other hand the film skips along very nicely and although not a lot happens at first, the film is very well shot and we are always aware that something is going to happen. We also have a good idea what that something might be as mother and child continue their social intimacies. The sexy mum is played by Lea Massari who was the girl who went missing in L'Avventura ten years before and she performs well here, as does the young lad, who seems to be able to do no wrong, played by Benoit Ferreux. Never quite as light and fluffy as one might imagine the denouement, nevertheless, must have stunned audiences back in the day.


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Details

Official Sites:

Arte boutique [France]

Country:

France | Italy | West Germany

Language:

French | Italian

Release Date:

17 October 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Murmur of the Heart See more »

Filming Locations:

Dijon, Côte-d'Or, France See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,160,784

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,160,784
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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