With the passage of time, Garance recognizes that she loves Baptiste as deeply as he does her While the film is sometimes described as dreamy in tone, it would be more appropriately described as dreamy in tone but extremely earthy in content. Instead of giving us a glamorous portrait of life in theatre, it presents 19th Century theatre as it actually was: Everything about the film seems to swirl in a riot of people, costumes, and overlapping relationships, a sort of mad confusion of life lived in a very elemental manner.
And the cast carries the director's vision to perfection. Jean-Louis Barrault is both a brilliant actor and brilliant mime, perfectly capturing the strange innocence his role requires; the famous Arletty offers a divine mixture of exhaustion, sensuality, and self-awareness that makes Garance and her fatal attraction uniquely believable. And these performances do not stand in isolation: With its complex story, vivid performances, and stunning set pieces, the film has a longer running time than one might expect, and some may feel it is slow; I myself, however, did not read it as slow so much as precise.
It takes the time to allow the characters and their various stories to develop fully in the viewer's mind. I must also note that while a knowledge of theatre history isn't required to fall under the spell of this truly fascinating film, those who do have that background will find it particularly appealing. Start your free trial. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet!
Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. Full Cast and Crew. The theatrical life of a beautiful courtesan and the four men who love her. French Movies to Watch. Scorsese Foreign Film List. Share this Rating Title: Children of Paradise 8. Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Nominated for 1 Oscar. Learn more More Like This. La Grande Illusion The Rules of the Game Le Jour Se Leve Jean Gabin, Jacqueline Laurent, Arletty. Port of Shadows A military deserter finds love and trouble and a small dog in a smoky French port city.
Children of Paradise: Les enfants du paradis | Calendar | The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Earrings of Madame De Beauty and the Beast An elderly man and his dog struggle to survive on his government pension in Rome. Sansho the Bailiff Hotel du Nord Edit Cast Cast overview, first billed only: Baptiste Debureau Pierre Brasseur Fil de Soie Fabien Loris Le directeur des Funambules Palau Le gendarme des 'Adrets' Habib Benglia Edit Storyline Strolling indolently around the s vibrant Parisian avenue called the Boulevard du Crime, the graceful and elusive courtesan, Garance, finds herself wrongfully accused of pickpocketing.
Minor delays in the completion of the elaborate exterior set, however, caused filming to begin with some of the indoor scenes. The successful invasion of Sicily by American troops in July and August had so alarmed the Vichy government that it ordered cast, crew, and equipment back to Paris indefinitely.
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His effort proved futile. But this setback was minor compared with what happened several days later. Greven was determined to control the best of French film production. For two months Children of Paradise seemed doomed.
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Shooting resumed in Paris on November 9 and was to last for a year. Because of contract extensions, added insurance costs, and indemnification penalties for unused studios, the politically caused hiatus added at least ten million francs to a production budget that would eventually reach the unprecedented figure of fifty-eight million francs. But much more imposing than the financial toll were the human dramas among cast and crew precipitated by political events. Conspicuously absent from the reassembly of the company in November was Robert Le Vigan.
With the American invasion of Sicily, Le Vigan — who had repeatedly voiced in public his anti-Semitism and his complete support for the Vichy government — fled to Sigmaringen in Germany. He was later sentenced by default for collaboration with the enemy.
« The Birth of Children of Paradise », by Edward Turk (in American Film, 1979)
Fortunately, only one of his scenes had been shot. Without undue difficulty, he was replaced by the distinguished stage and screen actor Pierre Renoir , the brother of Jean Renoir. More directly, it would have affirmed that deceit and evil are not an inevitable part of the order of things, but can be destroyed by the forces of goodness. Had this ending been filmed and had the collaborator Le Vigan remained with the production, Children of Paradise would have acquired with hindsight an allegorical meaning very similar to that often ascribed to Les Visiteurs du soir.
In the latter film the devil Jules Berry attempts to destroy the pure love of Gilles and Anne by metamorphosing them into a joint stone statue. To his distress and anger, the lovers successfully resist complete ruin as their unpetrified hearts continue to beat in unison. Whenever extras were required, a handful of German officials accompanied by uniformed soldiers would appear to make certain that a specified percentage of those hired belonged to union locals known to be pro-Nazi.
Despite the threat of denunciation, the casting office often deceived the Nazis by establishing phony personnel lists. Much less droll, however, was the reality of crew members being hunted down by gestapo agents. As shooting continued in Paris, a hurricane swept across the Riviera and seriously damaged the boulevard du Crime set. It was erected on the lot adjacent to La Victorine studios that had been the site of the gleaming white castle in Les Visiteurs du soir. But because this lot sloped, eight hundred cubic meters of earth had to be dug and redistributed before labor could begin.
Thirty-five tons of scaffolding, three hundred fifty tons of plaster, and five hundred square meters of glass were needed for the nearly fifty theater and building facades.
During a three-month period, an estimated 67, man-hours were devoted to the construction of this boulevard. The eight hundred thousand francs required to repair the autumn hurricane damage brought the total cost to a staggering five million francs. Once again, the request was denied. Most of these scenes had to be sacrificed. But two were deemed essential to the film: The high-angle long shots in this sequence, necessitating more than eighteen hundred costumed extras, were scheduled to be filmed in one day. Assistant director Pierre Blondy had instructions to arrange the extras so that the tallest would always be in the foreground and the smaller ones including many children in the background.
The very first rehearsal, however, revealed that the dancing masquers unconsciously tended to bunch together toward the rear of the frame, leaving too much empty space in the front. This would have been in keeping with his reputation, acquired while shooting Les Visiteurs , as the most extravagant and excessive filmmaker France had ever produced. He gave an order for every wicker basket that could be found at La Victorine studios to be transported immediately to the set.
Children of Paradise
He then had each one placed at a strategic point along the boulevard. Thus was established a veritable obstacle course that, while remaining invisible to the camera, successfully prevented the actors from crowding together. Shooting at Nice ended just days before the Allied invasion of Normandy in June Several more weeks of filming were still left to be done in Paris, and a shortage of available construction workers occasioned some delay.
For as soon as he had learned of the landing of the Allies, his most ardent wish was that Children of Paradise would become the first film to be released in a fully liberated France. The inevitable electric power failures, transportation delays, and hard-to-acquire sound effects all served his purpose admirably. But the serious work of editing, synchronizing, mixing, and final cutting for a film that would run three and a quarter hours required a sizable amount of very legitimate time and effort.
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By mid-January the film was completed. Three duplicate finished negatives were reportedly placed in disguised containers and hidden: On March 9, with France fully liberated, a gala preview took place at the palais de Chaillot in Paris. But they soon realized that the cause of this exodus was not their film. Taxis, private cars, and gasoline reserves were still very scant in newly liberated Paris. Many of the distinguished, elegantly dressed spectators were simply running off to catch the last metro home.
They concurred that even with continuous showings and omission of the customary pre-feature newsreels, there could be no more than three screenings per day, instead of the usual four or five. To compensate for the potential loss of receipts from a film made on a budget of fifty-eight million francs or, at the time, one and a quarter million dollars five times that of the average French production , they advocated a novel scheme. The usual forty-franc price would be doubled to eighty. Gaumont accepted this strategy, though reluctantly. After its release in France, Children of Paradise went on to enjoy international acclaim.
The film was not released in the United States until December , and only after it had been cut, first to minutes, and then to The complete minute version was not shown commercially in American theaters until The two movies also require of their viewers a considerable weakness for romanticism.