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.
Tim Horrigan <email@example.com>
A souffle of a movie!
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Did You Know?
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
In the opening sequence, Laurent and his friend walk the streets collecting money for charity. Laurent's friend's socks are pushed down, but when they decide to "try somewhere else," the shot of the two walking away shows the socks pulled up. In the next shot, they're down again. See more
Did you see "The Barefoot Contessa"?
Of course, Ava Gardner was fabulous.
Referenced in Spanking the Monkey