Les Enfants Terribles View large image

Film Details

Directed by: Jean-Pierre Melville

Produced: 1949

Countries & Regions: France

DVD Details

Certificate: 12

Studio: British Film Institute

Length: 102 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 30 August 2004

Cat No: BFIVD634

Extras:
Languages(s): French
Subtitles: English
Interactive Menu
Screen ratio 1:1.33

Moviemail Details

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Les Enfants Terribles

Cast: Nicole Stephane , Edouard Dhermitte , Renée Cosima , Jacques Bernard , Melvyn Martin

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Elisabeth (Nicole Stéphane) and Paul (Edouard Dhermitte) are a brother and sister who live together in a single room. The siblings are... Read More

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Elisabeth (Nicole Stéphane) and Paul (Edouard Dhermitte) are a brother and sister who live together in a single room. The siblings are unusually close, and develop an unhealthy obsession with each other which takes a tragic turn when outsiders intrude on their closeted existence.

A dramatisation from the Cocteau novel that unfortunately never quite makes it. The original 1929 novel was definitely making a statement and one that would lead the way for future genre books and later films. This film doesn't hold the same sense of urgency, nor drama. Edouard Dhermitte's tarzen-esque physique does not do justice to the sick, fragile boy he tries to portray; nor does his acting. Nicole Stephane as Elizabeth however, does a better job. And her final scenes are as dramatic as one would have hoped for. Sadly though, the last ten minutes of the film, is not an end that justifies the means. There are better films of that time around. French film-noir is usually of a high standard; this however lets the side down. It's worth watching for the photography though. Keep an eye out for Bernardo Bertolucci's 'The Dreamers'. It's a similar premise, but more extreme. And better achieved.

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