A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of the top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.
In 1944, upper class boy Julien Quentin and his brother François travel to Catholic boarding school in the countryside after vacations. Julien is a leader and good student and when the new student Jean Bonnet arrives in the school, they have friction in their relationship. However, Julien learns to respect Jean and discovers that he is Jewish and the priests are hiding him from the Nazis. They become best friends and Julien keeps the secret. When the priest Jean discovers that the servant Joseph is stealing supplies from the school to sell in the black market, he fires the youth. Sooner the Gestapo arrives at school to investigate the students and the priests that run and work in the boarding school.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Before he was a director, Quentin Tarantino worked in a video store. He called this movie "the reservoir film" because he couldn't pronounce the title. See more »
Jean Bonnet is demonstrated to have surprisingly impressive pianist skills; However, when his hands are highlighted, his left hand is pressing the wrong keys, while the right one isn't moving at all and therefore it's clear that the music was added after the scene was shot. See more »
In this spellbinding film, Louis Malle is able to evoke the fear and sadness some children suffer while away from home at a boarding school, the loneliness. Yet he doesn't dwell on sentimentality but only skims it, instead peppering the scenes with the bravura and faux assertiveness of adolescents. Malle and the actors adroitly juggle circumstances and emotions. Ultimately, they capture a terrifying time in history through the eyes and uncertainty of boys who aren't as grown-up as they'd like to think.
The two main characters, Julien Quentin and Jean Bonnet, are beautifully portrayed by two very capable and talented young actors. The supporting cast is equally impressive. The film is directed with a touch of genius, and holds its own when compared to another motion picture masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.
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