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Attention, the Kids Are Watching (1978)

Attention, les enfants regardent (original title)
In a seaside villa, where under the care of a nanny, a group of children spend most of their days watching violent television shows.

Director:

Serge Leroy
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Cast

Credited cast:
Alain Delon ... L'homme
Sophie Renoir ... Marlène
Richard Constantini Richard Constantini ... Dimitri
Thierry Turchet Thierry Turchet ... Boule
Tiphaine Leroux Tiphaine Leroux ... Laetitia
Adelita Requena Adelita Requena ... Avocados
Henri Vilbert Henri Vilbert ... Le gardien
Françoise Brion ... Melle Millard
Louis Navarre Louis Navarre ... Le père
Danielle Volle Danielle Volle ... La mère
Marco Perrin ... Gendarme
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gabriel Briand Gabriel Briand
François Cadet François Cadet
Arlette Castanier Arlette Castanier
Michel Fortin Michel Fortin
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Storyline

In a seaside villa, where under the care of a nanny, a group of children spend most of their days watching violent television shows.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

12 April 1978 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Careful, the Children Are Watching See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Adel Productions See more »
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?

Connections

References The Track (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Well-made French version of "Our Mother's House"
10 September 2010 | by lor_See all my reviews

Previous reviews of this effective French melodrama oddly say almost nothing about the film's content, perhaps for fear of "spoiling" it for fans or in one case, implying they haven't seen it. Since the film is very difficult to obtain, I will deliver the goods.

The film is credited to a novel by Laird Koenig and a co-writer which googling fails to reveal as ever having been published, but the real source material is one of my favorite films, the largely unsung Jack Clayton opus OUR MOTHER'S HOUSE. This marvelously moody 1967 movie is notable not only for one of Dirk Bogarde's best roles, but also a classic musical score by Georges Delerue.

Director Serge Leroy simplifies the format -basically a tale in the wake of LORD OF THE FLIES of how young children left to their own devices can do the damnedest things, and instead of the heavy religious emphasis of the original we have a straightforward story. These four unsupervised rich brats, led by the precocious Sophie Renoir as the eldest, accidentally kill their Spanish housemaid, and decide to cover it up rather than going to the police. Their absentee parents are off in Ireland on a movie shoot and can't be bothered. A mysterious stranger, played by producer Alain Delon, takes advantage of the situation and lords it over the hapless youngsters until they manage to deliver the coup-de-grace.

Koenig had co-written the script for a once-in-a-lifetime summit meeting of "lone wolf" action stars, Terence Young's disappointing Western RED SUN, which united Delon with Charles Bronson and Toshiro Mifune, all three of them pioneers in a durable genre which has currently been revived in the form of George Clooney as "The American". Delon used him again for this picture, properly translated as CAREFUL, THE CHILDREN ARE WATCHING, and cast himself in a subsidiary role for a change, giving the kids most of the screen time, to good effect. Title is a pun, as it refers not merely to the kids aping adults, but more forcefully the negative effects of them being glued to the TV set, and its non-stop depiction of misleadingly "fun" violence.

Although there are some glaring plot holes requiring massive suspension of disbelief to keep the pot boiling, overall the film is perverse fun as we root for the kids despite their truly terrible antics. The adult world, as particularly personified by Delon's heinous character, is simply the enemy -might as well be orcs or the insects in STARSHIP TROOPERS.

After watching this film and several other of Delon's "forgotten" efforts made after he took charge and starting producing his own pictures I am convinced the time is ripe, within his lifetime, for re-evaluating his entire oeuvre. Delon made many all-time classics in the '50s and '60s, but I refuse to dismiss his very interesting later work, including two superb roles opposite Simone Signoret, and the completely misunderstood (and unfairly ridiculed) self-satire Le Choc.


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