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The heart of the plot is a love story between mime artiste Baptiste (Jean-Louis Barrault) and streetwalker Garance (the magnificent, sand-paper-voiced Arletty). When Garance is falsely accused of pickpocketing, Baptiste provides a mimed alibi for her to the police (one of the film's most famous set pieces). The rose she later throws him in gratitude sets off a romantic obsession, one of several that structure the film, as do love triangles, duels, and tortured confessions of feeling.
Thematically, Les Enfant du Paradis gnaws over typically French cinematic preoccupations: illusion and reality, the nature of performance, the indomitable spirit of the proletariat and so on, all made the more charged and poignant when you know the film was shot during the Nazi occupation. (One actor, Robert Le Vigan, was reportedly a Nazi collaborator and disappeared during the filming under mysterious circumstances and so had to be replaced by Pierre Renoir.) --Leslie Felperin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Not quite as good as I remembered it, but still very good. Well worth viewing. Excellent production qualities and very good cast.Published 6 months ago by Peter
I first saw this film at the Media Museum, Bradford, several years ago - it was so memorable it was worth the purchase.Published 6 months ago by Liz Pallister
This is what cinema can do.
Such joy to see this magnificent film again after too many years away from its unique, bustling charms. Read more
It was good to see that this masterpiece was available on dvd. A lengthy, historical French film worth taking the time to watch.Published 13 months ago by Bluebell
I am fortunate to have found out about the "Children Of Paradise" film from the online recommendations of Amazon Canada. Read morePublished 16 months ago by marriedutopianstriver
A film you must see. It is a fascinating mixture of fiction and reality with magnificent atmosphere, actors and sceneries.Published 23 months ago by Christer Florman
Having previously seen this film and enjoyed it, I was perplexed by being unable to access the 3rd and 4th episodes. Read morePublished on 5 May 2012 by philomath
Arguably one of the ten gratest films ever made. We urgeltly need a blu ray version of this masterpiece. Read morePublished on 14 Mar 2012 by Hans J. van Oort