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Murmur of the Heart (1971)

Le souffle au coeur (original title)
In the end of the first Indochina War, an open-minded teenage boy finds himself between the urge to discover love and the ever-present, dominating affection of his mother.

Director:

Louis Malle

Writer:

Louis Malle
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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 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 Henri Poirier ... Uncle Leonce
Liliane Sorval Liliane Sorval ... Fernande
Corinne Kersten Corinne Kersten ... Daphne
Eric Walter Eric Walter
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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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
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the incest aspects of the story were not autobiographical, Louis Malle did in fact end up sharing a hotel room with his mother as a child while on a trip to treat his heart murmur due to "bizarre" circumstances. See more »

Goofs

When Laurent is getting hosed down, he asks which side he should turn to. The attendant says either one because she'll do both. Only his left side gets hosed down. See more »

Quotes

Laurent Chevalier: It's a great record. Charlie Parker solos with a rhythm section. The loony bin made him even better.
Laurent's Red Cross friend: What's the loony bin?
Laurent Chevalier: The madhouse, stupid.
Laurent's Red Cross friend: Is he crazy?
Laurent Chevalier: Nervous breakdown. Lots of jazzmen have them. And no wonder - alcohol, drugs, women.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Geburtstagskinder der Nouvelle Vague (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Magnificently Provocative
26 April 2010 | by thomas-laineSee all my reviews

La Soufflé au Cour really manages to make you question well-established values. Made in 1971 I can really imagine how it deranged the society and made the French film censure think twice before allowing it to be published. As a provocative film there's no doubt it's still timely. Louis Malle breaks taboos with a spontaneity that makes me as a viewer question if I've missed something growing up.

Malle seems to me to be above all a magnificent story-teller. There is no apparent message in La Soufflé au Cour, instead Malle let's the viewer make his own assumptions, based the deceptively realistic happenings and surroundings.

It's an unforgettable film, but watch out. You might be influenced by it.


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