Children of Paradise (Les Enfants du Paradis) (1946) - Rotten Tomatoes

Children of Paradise (Les Enfants du Paradis)1946

Children of Paradise (Les Enfants du Paradis) (1946)



Critic Consensus: Strong performances abound, and Carne's wit and grace are evident in this masterful (if long) French epic.

Children of Paradise (Les Enfants du Paradis) Photos

Movie Info

Even in 1945, Marcel Carnà (C)'s Children of Paradise was regarded as an old-fashioned film. Set in the Parisian theatrical world of the 1840s, Jacques Prà (C)vert's screenplay concerns four men in love with the mysterious Garance (Arletty). Each loves Garance in his own fashion, but only the intentions of sensitive mime-actor Deburau (Jean-Louis Barrault) are entirely honorable; as a result, it is he who suffers most, hurdling one obstacle after another in pursuit of an evidently unattainable goal. In the stylized fashion of 19th-century French drama, many grand passions are spent during the film's totally absorbing 195 minutes. The film was produced under overwhelmingly difficult circumstances during the Nazi occupation of France, and many of the participants/creators were members of the Maquis, so the movie's existence itself is somewhat miraculous. Children of Paradise has gone on to become one of the great romantic classics of international cinema. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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as Garance
Jean-Louis Barrault
as Baptiste Debureau
Pierre Brasseur
as Frederick Lemaitre
Marcel Herrand
as Pierre-Francois Lacenaire
Louis Salou
as Edouard de Monteray
Etienne Decroux
as Anselme Debureau
Jane Marken
as Mme. Hermine
Leon Larive
as Stage Doorman, `Funambules'
Pierre Palov
as Stage Manager, `Funambules'
Marcel Peres
as Director, `Funambules'
Albert Remy
as Scarpia Barrigni
Gaston Modot
as Fil de Sole
Jean Gold
as Second Dandy
Guy Favières
as Debt Collector
Paul Frankeur
as Police Inspector
Lucienne Vigier
as First Pretty Girl
Cynette Quero
as Second Pretty Girl
Gustave Hamilton
as Stage Doorman, `Grand Theatre'
as Director, `Grand Theatre'
Auguste Bovério
as First Author
Paul Demange
as Second Author
Jean Diener
as Third Author
Louis Florencie
as Policeman
Robert Dhéry
as Celestin
Lucien Walter
as Ticket Seller
Jean-Pierre Delmon
as Little Baptiste
Raphaël Patorni
as Another Dandy
Habib Benglia
as Arab Attendant
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Critic Reviews for Children of Paradise (Les Enfants du Paradis)

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (14)

To luxuriate in the film's 3-hour, 10-minute length is to experience this masterpiece as it hasn't been experienced since the day it opened.

May 31, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Shot in 1943 during World War II, Children of Paradise overcame so many seemingly impossible obstacles that today the film seems enchanted.

May 17, 2012 | Rating: 4/4

If you give this movie time to work on you, the elements that seem overly artificial or impossibly distant from our own time fade into insignificance, and you're left with a complicated and wonderful romantic drama that's full of surprises.

March 8, 2012 | Full Review…

Before French cinema reinvented itself with jump cuts and cool bobs, Marcel Carné's 19th-century backstage drama was the epitome of good taste: a sumptuous spread of genteel sparring and epic heartache.

March 6, 2012 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Marcel Carné's towering intimate epic of early 19th-century love and the lives of performers, often heralded as the greatest French film of all time.

March 6, 2012

Poetry with a capital "P," sprinkled with fairy dust.

March 5, 2012

Audience Reviews for Children of Paradise (Les Enfants du Paradis)

It's easy to see why Marcel Carné's "Children of Paradise" is considered by many to be an all-time great of the medium. It's a sprawling, lavish production that was made under extraordinary circumstances (during the Nazi occupation of Franch). But in the year 2011 (and in the humble opinion of this reviewer) the film does feel a tad dated from a narrative standpoint. That said, the film is effortlessly likeable and entertaining, and even at over three hours never drags or feels like a chore. Though it doesn't hold up in the same way that say... "Notorious" or "It's a Wonderful Life" does, it's still an outstanding achievement that should be considered mandatory viewing.

Michael S
Michael S

Super Reviewer


a miracle film made under nazi occupation. a tragic romantic epic of all the mad denizens of the boulevard du crime. wonderful

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

1945 French satire, if you like Moulin Rouge, or La Haine check this one out.

Alexander Wilson
Alexander Wilson

Super Reviewer

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