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Enfants Terribles, Les (1950)

Director(s): Jean-Pierre Melville

Theatrical Release: 1950

Cast: Nicole Stephane, Edouard Dermithe, Renee Cosima, Jacques Bernard, Melvyn Martin, Jean Cocteau

Genre(s): Drama, romance, coming-of-age, Criterion Collection, Dean's List

Countries: France

Location in store:

(2 / 2)
Ant Rating
Running Time: 106m.

Adapted by Jean Cocteau from his own novel, Les Enfants Terribles is set in motion when a sensitive youth, played by Edouard Dermit, is injured by a snowball flung by school bully Renee Cosima (an actress in male drag). The bully later reappears in the form of a young girl--played again by Cosima--with whom Dermit becomes infatuated. This arouses the displeasure of Dermit's sister Nicole Stephane, who also harbors a carnal desire for her brother. Nicole arranges to destroy Dermit's romance, forcing Cosima to marry another. The sister gets her comeuppance in a perversely indirect fashion at the hands of the male bully (Cosima again). Les Enfants Terrible was the directorial debut of Jean Cocteau protegee Jean-Pierre Melville; Cocteau himself directed one crucial scene. The film was completed in 1952, but not released in the US until 1975. (


Criterion Collection DVD #398 Special Features:

! New, restored high-definition digital transfer

! Audio commentary by writer, film critic, and journalist Gilbert Adair

! Interviews with producer Carole Weisweiller, actors Nicole St+¬phane and Jacques Bernard, and assistant director Claude Pinoteau

! Around Jean Cocteau (2003), a short video by filmmaker Noel Simsolo discussing Cocteau and Melville's creative relationship

! Theatrical trailer

! Gallery of behind-the-scenes stills