38 user 84 critic

The Childhood of a Leader (2015)

2:00 | Trailer
A chronicle of the childhood of a post-World War I leader.


Brady Corbet


Mona Fastvold (screenplay), Brady Corbet (screenplay)
6 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bérénice Bejo ... The Mother
Liam Cunningham ... The Father
Stacy Martin ... The Teacher
Yolande Moreau ... Mona
Jacques Boudet ... The Priest
Robert Pattinson ... Charles / The Leader
Tom Sweet ... Prescott, the Boy
Sophie Lane Curtis ... Laura (as Sophie Curtis)
Rebecca Dayan ... Edith
Michael Epp ... Economist
Kata Petõ Kata Petõ ... Housemaid
Mark C. Phelan Mark C. Phelan ... Mr. Advisor (as Mark Phelan)
Jeremy Wheeler ... Mr. Deputy
Andrew Osterreicher Andrew Osterreicher ... Mr. Secretary
Scott Alexander Young Scott Alexander Young ... Counselor (as Scott A Young)


This chilling fable about the rise of fascism in the 20th Century tells the story of a young American boy living in France in 1918 whose father is working for the US government on the creation of the Treaty of Versailles. What he witnesses helps to mould his beliefs - and we witness the birth of a terrifying ego. Loosely inspired by the early childhood experiences of many of the great dictators of the 20th Century and infused with the same sense of dread as The Others and The Omen, The Childhood of a Leader is an ominous portrait of emerging evil. Written by Protagonist Pictures

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Witness the birth of a terrifying ego




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Did You Know?


The final scene of the film was shot on the first day. See more »


In his first scene, the boy's father regrets that his son is "acting out." This pop-psychology expression would not exist until at least fifty years later. See more »


Charles: The tragedy is not only that Pontius Pilate betrayed his self but that hundreds in the crowd before him did betray their selves. And that's what I wrote was the tragedy of war. Not that one man has the courage to be evil but that so many have not the courage to be good.
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I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
Written by Harry Carroll and Joseph McCarthy
Performed by Harry Fox
See more »

User Reviews

Confused but couldn't stop thinking about it
1 September 2016 | by darren-153-890810See all my reviews

This is a brilliantly brave attempt to make a challenging and striking piece of art.

On that level it works. The opening credits and first 10 minutes are intense. The Scott Walker soundtrack really pulls you in and immediately makes you think this is no ordinary film. And for that I loved it.

The acting is absolutely superb. Not at any stage do you think they are actors. The boy, the mum and the tutor are the stand outs.

The cinematography is superb, particularly near the end with the camera circling a dome, beautifully simple.

The overall look and feel reminded me of The Duke Of Burgundy (One of my fav films of recent)

There's not a lot of love in this family, thats for sure. The film is rather dull and slow though. I did find myself snnozebusting.

The ending made no sense either. It wasn't until I chatted to the guys in the cinema that we sort of worked it out.

I really respect the director for making a film like this. Im looking forward to his next film. Lets just hope more interesting stuff happens.

If you liked the Witch, you'll love this.

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Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]


USA | Canada | UK | France | Hungary | Belgium


English | French | German

Release Date:

22 July 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Childhood of a Leader See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary See more »


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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