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Testament of Orpheus

France, French, 79 mins

Original Title

Le testament d'Orphée, ou ne me demandez pas pourquoi!
  • Director: Jean Cocteau
  • Writer: Jean Cocteau
  • Producer: Jean Thuillier

CGiii Comment

Cocteau's final film.

Almost like a prophecy.

It's Cocteau - neither his best nor his worst.


The(ir) Blurb...

The poet Jean Cocteau is lost in space-time. He has been in the 18th century and is now turning up at different moments in professor Langevin's life. The professor has invented some bullets, which travel faster than light. With one of them he kills Cocteau, who is resurrected as his old self, but is still caught in the space between fantasy and reality. At a gypsy camp a woman saves a photo out of the fire and restores it. On the photo Cocteau recognizes Cégeste from his film Orphée. He tears the photo into pieces and throws it into the sea. Immediately Cégeste himself jumps out of the water. He brings Cocteau to a rogatory commission led by Heurtebise and The Princess from the film Orphée. Cocteau admits that he has constantly attempted to enter a world which is not his own, a world that is beyond the limits of man, and that disobedience is like a religion for him. The commission imposes on him the sentence of life.

Cast & Characters

Jean Cocteau as Himself - the Poet;
Claudine Auger as Minerve;
Charles Aznavour as Le curieux / The Curious Man;
Lucia Bose as Une amie d'Orphee / Orphee's Friend;
Yul Brynner as L'huissier / Court usher;
Maria Casares as La princesse / The Princess;
Francoise Christophe as L'infirmiere / The Nurse;
Michele Comte as La petite fille / Little girl;
Nicole Courcel as La mere maladroite / The Young Mother;
Henri Cremieux as Le professeur / The Professor;
Edouard Dermithe as Cegeste;
Luis Miguel Dominguin as Un ami d'Orphee / Orphee's Friend;
Guy Dute as Le premier homme chien / 1 st Man-Horse;
Daniel Gelin as L'interne / The intern;
Michael Goodliffe as English Narrator

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