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Les Enfants du paradis PG rating

Marcel Carné's masterpiece of French cinema portrays the theatrical milieu of Paris' 'Boulevard du Crime'.

Drama 1945 190 mins

Director: Marcel Carné



Charting the fortunes of various actors, aristocrats, aficionados and villains frequenting Paris's theatrical district – many wooing the devil-may-care Garance (Arletty) – the rich, wonderfully engrossing tale of professional and personal rivalries, murky intrigue and unrequited passion explores, to brilliantly witty effect, the crucial role played by different kinds of performance in all aspects of everyday life… but most especially in matters of the heart. Inspired by real events and colourful characters like the mime Baptiste Debureau (Jean-Louis Barrault), the star Frédérick Lemaître (Pierre Brasseur) and the would-be playwright Pierre-François Lacenaire (Marcel Herrand), the film is not merely a masterclass in great acting but a breathtaking achievement on every front, from the superb cinematography and sets (courtesy of the great Trauner) to Carné's deft elaboration of the sheer genius of Jacques Prévert's script. All are enhanced in this glittering new digital restoration.

Ranked joint 136th in the 2022 Sight and Sound Great Films of All Time poll