7.6/10
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237 user 74 critic

The City of Lost Children (1995)

La cité des enfants perdus (original title)
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A scientist in a surrealist society kidnaps children to steal their dreams, hoping that they slow his aging process.
3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... One
... Krank
Judith Vittet ... Miette
... Le scaphandrier / Les clones
... Marcello
Geneviève Brunet ... La Pieuvre (as Genevieve Brunet)
Odile Mallet ... La Pieuvre
Mireille Mossé ... Mademoiselle Bismuth
Serge Merlin ... Gabriel Marie (Cyclops Leader)
... Peeler
... Ex-Acrobat
Joseph Lucien ... Denree
Mapi Galán ... Lune (as Mapi Galan)
Briac Barthélémy ... Bottle (as Briac Barthelemy)
Pierre-Quentin Faesch ... Pipo
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Storyline

Set in a dystopian society, someone is kidnapping the children. Krank and his band of clones are using the children to harvest their dreams. Then they kidnap Denree, the brother of One, a fairground strongman. One sets out to find his brother. Written by grantss

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Plot Keywords:

children | dream | aging | girl | rescue | See All (97) »

Taglines:

Some people follow their dreams. Others steal them. See more »

Genres:

Fantasy | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing and grotesque images of violence and menace | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

15 December 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The City of Lost Children  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,513,028
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To achieve the slightly skewed color scheme of the movie, the actors were made up in white face and the color palette corrected until they were flesh-toned. See more »

Goofs

One female character is heard to say "sure" even though her mouth doesn't move. See more »

Quotes

L'oncle Irvin: [Following through with his suggestion that a solution might be found found in an analysis of Krank's "tears"] Once upon a time there was an inventor so gifted that he could create life. A truly remarkable man.
Krank: [Sarcastically] A fairy tale! Tears are welling in my eyes.
L'oncle Irvin: Since he had no wife or children he decided to create them in his laboratory. He started with wife and fas into the most beautiful princess in the world. Alas, a wicked genetic fairy cast a spell on the inventor so much so that ...
[...]
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Connections

References Doctor Who (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Petit Papa Noël
Music by Henri Martinet
Lyrics by Raymond Vincy
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

M. Perlman parle francais aussi!
16 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

"City of Lost Children" is a beautifully-realized if derivative dark fantasy in which a mad scientist named Krank, aided by a half-dozen clones, a midget woman, and a brain in a tank, abducts children to his offshore lab so he can steal their dreams. Seems he's unable to have any of his own. A sideshow strongman, played by a radiantly fit Ron Perlman, goes in search of his little brother, who has been taken by Krank's goons. Perlman, in another of his growing gallery of bizarre roles, is a perfect example of why I like character actors better than big-name stars. And how many languages does he speak, anyway? French here, Spanish (and English, of course) in "Cronos"; polyglot in "The Name of the Rose"; what next?

The strongman, named One, enlists the aid of Miette, a homeless, streetwise girl who, along with her fellow urchins, is part of a ring of thieves employed by a pair of sinister female Siamese twins named the Octopus. (Watch carefully how these evil twins smoke a cigarette. There are more weird characters per square inch in this flick than anywhere else outside a Heironymus Bosch painting.) Miette is played by Judith Villet, whose gonna-be-a-great-beauty looks, her air of intelligence and experience beyond her years, make her a sort of Gallic Natalie Portman.

Anyway, that's the plot: rescue little brother from the mad doctor. The images are the thing: with its rendering of a bleak, low-tech retro-future, "City" looks more like a Terry Gilliam movie than "Twelve Monkeys" does! And it slyly slips in ideas and images from other sources, to good effect: Krank himself is as much of the mad-doctor stereotype as is the character in "The Nightmare Before Christmas"; his outlandish electro-headgear is similar to that used in Disney's "Merlin Jones"; a nightmare on the loose swoops low along the ground through streets and alleys as a trail of green mist, improving on a similar image from "Bram Stoker's Dracula"; there's a confrontation in dreamland a la the "Elm Street" series; and while the idea of a brain in a tank isn't a new one, this is the first benign one I've ever seen. Familiar or not--and I'm thinking also of "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T"--"City of Lost Children" is still engaging, enjoyably weird, fantastic and funny, helped greatly by the fact that One and Miette are so endearing. The pace is a tad slower than it might have been. But this is, after all, a French movie.


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