- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 46 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Released: July 24, 2007
- Originally Released: 1950
- Label: Criterion
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Dolby Digital Mono - French
- Subtitles - English - Optional
- Additional Release Material:
- Audio Commentary: Gilbert Adair
- Short Film - AROUND JEAN COCTEAU (2003)
- Carole Weisweiller - Producer
- Nicole Stephane - Star
- Jacques Bernard - Star
- Claude Pinoteau - Assistant Director
Performers, Cast and Crew:
USA Today - 03/22/1996
"...A huge influence on the French New Wave directors, especially Francois Truffaut..." -- 3 out of 4 stars
Sight and Sound - 05/01/2000
"...What starts as a study of two disgruntled French adolescents ends with the force of classical tragedy..."
Uncut - 10/01/2004
"[I]n 1949 it must have been quite a shocker."
Cinema giants Jean-Pierre Melville (THE WAGES OF FEAR) and Jean Cocteau (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) collaborated to create LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES, a stunning portrait of surreal perversion and narcissism based on Cocteau's novel of the same name. When teenage Paul, the fragile protagonist, is mysteriously felled by a powerful snowball thrown by his dastardly and handsome idol, Dargelos, he returns home to recooperate under the unwilling care of his irascible sister, Elisabeth. The two share a bedroom in the home of their ailing mother. Within the their bedroom, the siblings have constructed a private universe of erotically charged jokes, elaborate rituals, and coded behavior sealing them off from the rest of the world. When their mother unexpectedly dies Paul and Elisabeth spiral even further into their own world, with Paul's fragile condition keeping him from returning to school. The incestuous undertones and poisonous ambiance are further complicated as Paul and Elisabeth are joined first by Paul's friend Gerard, who is obsessed with Elisabeth, and finally by Agathe, Elisabeth's coworker who is the spitting image of Paul's nemesis Dargelos. As the diabolical Elisabeth becomes unable to hide her dangerous love for Paul, the film heads for its high-pitched climax. Cocteau's tale of sublimation and deception comes to life under Melville's lucid direction.
This beautiful and psychologically intense film emerged from the collaboration of writer/artist Jean Cocteau and director Jean-Pierre Melville.
A brother and sister immerse themselves in their own private room and their own private world. Beyond this space, which they rarely leave, everything seems to them strange and mysterious as a foreign land. But ultimately they cannot ignore either the people or that attitudes the prevail outside.
Family Interaction |
Stage Play |
Theatrical Release |