7.8/10
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38 user 46 critic

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.

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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:
... Clara Chevalier
... Laurent Chevalier
... Charles Chevalier
... Father Henri
Ave Ninchi ... Augusta
... Freda (the prostitute)
Fabien Ferreux ... Thomas
Marc Winocourt ... Marc
Micheline Bona ... Aunt Claudine
Henri Poirier ... Uncle Leonce
Liliane Sorval ... Fernande
Corinne Kersten ... Daphne
Eric Walter
François Werner ... Hubert
... 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:

Who Would Have Thought a Film About Incest Could Be So Warm, So Fresh and So Funny? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Arte boutique [France]

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 October 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Murmur of the Heart  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,160,784
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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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

Early in the movie, Clara states that she saw The Barefoot Contessa in Paris. During this early part of the movie, the French are fighting the war in Indochina. The final battle of that war, Dien Bien Phu, occurred on May 7, 1954, 4 1/2 months before The Barefoot Contessa was released. In addition, Bastille Day is celebrated on July 14th, also before the movie was released. See more »

Quotes

Marc: That's her. She tells fantastic stories about the days of real brothels. She should write a book. She's been in the business 35 years. You know what she told me? "One look at a client and I know what his vice is."
Laurent Chevalier: Do I have a vice?
Marc: Sure. You just don't know what it is yet.
See more »

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User Reviews

A Masterpiece.
11 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

'Murmur of the Heart' is an experience that sneaks up on you like the combined years of one's youth. The subject matter is what the repressed might reductively characterize as simple incest. That is NOT what this film is about. It is about the elastic moment of adolescence. The strange, ugly, and beautiful contradictions of familial intimacy. A boy deperate to taste the pleasures of being a man - while stuck in an awkward inbetween physical, and pyschic geography. This is one of the strongest films in all of French cinema.


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