Los Angeles Times - 01/16/1992
"...One of the few films that has the durability and emotional texture of a great 19th-Century novel. As a piece of romantic/dramatic cinema, its peers are few, its superiors quite simply nonexistent..."
USA Today - 01/25/2002
"...It's paradise to see the film's famed Boulevard of Crime -- 1840s Paris as street carnival -- rendered with revived sparkle after its negative's 57-year workout..."
Total Film - 12/01/2000
"...One of the glories of cinema....The film celebrates freedom of spirit with passion..."
Sight and Sound - 11/01/2000
"...The film is both epic in scope and intimate in focus....The lead actors are superb..."
Total Film - 12/01/2011 5 stars out of 5 -- "The multi-layered screenplay, stunning sets and a terrific ensemble are just some of the enduring pleasures of a truly collaborative masterpiece."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Poetic realism reaches sublime heights with Children of Paradise, the ineffably witty tale of a woman loved by four different men. Deftly entwining theater, literature, music, and design, director Marcel Carne and screenwriter Jacques Prevert resurrect the tumultuous world of 19th-century Paris, teeming with hucksters and aristocrats, thieves and courtesans, pimps and seers. The Criterion Collection is proud to present this milestone of cinema in a new high-definition film transfer made from the restored negative.
Filmed during the German occupation, this French milestone centers around the theatrical life of a beautiful courtesan and the four men who love her. Voted the "Best French Film in History" by the French Film Academy in 1990. Academy Award Nominations: Best Original Screenplay.
A romantic epic loosely based on the life of Baptiste Debureau, a 19th century mime idolized for his portrayal of the wistful, white-face clown Pierrot. The film won critical acclaim for its faithful recreation of Parisian street theater, as well as for Jean-Louis Barrault's brilliant performance as Debureau. Above all, it is a love story, focusing on Debureau's passion for the beautiful Garance -- a passion for which he would risk everything... including his own marriage.
The film was shot during World War II, in occupied France; because both the composer Joseph Kosma and the art director Alexandre Trauner were Jewish, they could not work openly on the film. Kosma used the pseudonym Georges Mouqué in the credits for pantomime music.
Additional credits: Leon Barsacq and Raymond Gabutti (set decorators); Antoine Mayo (costume design); Societé des Concerts du Conservatoire (music performers); Robert Teisseire (sound editor); and Jacques Carrère (sound recordist).
The Home Vision Cinema VHS version is unabridged and fully restored, digitally remastered with newly translated subtitles.
The Voyager/Criterion laserdisc (CC1249L) includes: Audio commentary by film scholar Brian Stonehill An interview with director Marcel Carné The original film treatment and production photographs A study of French painting's influence on the film