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Enfants Terribles (Les)

France, French, 105 mins

Original Title

Jean Cocteau's Les Enfants Terribles
  • Director: Jean-Pierre Melville; Jean Cocteau
  • Writer: Jean Cocteau
  • Producer: Jean-Pierre Melville

CGiii Comment

A difficult film to get through...simply, because it is so ridiculous.

This has been proclaimed genius, a masterpiece - did none of the proclaimers notice that the acting is bewilderingly pathetic?

The story...an incestuous cacophony of childish chimes...

Melville and Cocteau together - a combination of preposterous and claustrophobic pretension.

Having said that...for the time it was made...remarkable.

The re-make: The Dreamers...a little more accessible and easier on the eyes and ears - but, even in its modernity, it is still a story that needn't have been re-told.


Trailer...

The(ir) Blurb...

In a snowball fight between schoolboys the handsome Dargelos hits the chest of Paul, who drops unconscious to the ground. Paul has a deep affection for Dargelos, and later denies that there was a stone in the snowball that hit him. Back home Paul's sister Elisabeth takes care of him. The teenage siblings live together in one room, where they have developed several private games with a strong erotic undertone. Paul's schoolmate Gérard is secretly enamored of Elisabeth, and often stays with them. When Elisabeth introduces her new friend Agathe to Paul, he recognizes that she resembles Dargelos strongly, and immediately falls in love with her. Elisabeth marries a rich young American Jew, Michael, but he dies in a car accident the day after the wedding. Elisabeth inherits his big apartment with 18 rooms and a gallery, and the four friends move into it. Paul sleeps in the gallery, where he builds a replica of the siblings' old room. Both Paul and Agathe are secretly enamored of the other.

Cast & Characters

Nicole Stephane as Elisabeth;
Edouard Dermithe as Paul;
Renee Cosima as Dargelos / Agathe;
Jacques Bernard as Gerard;
Melvyn Martin as Michael;
Maria Cyliakus as The Mother;
Jean-Marie Robain as Headmaster;
Maurice Revel as Doctor;
Rachel Devirys;
Adeline Aucoc as Mariette;
Emile Mathys as Vice Principal;
Roger Gaillard as Gerard's Uncle;
Jean Cocteau as Narrator;
Helene Remy

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