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Big screen classics

Les Enfants terribles

Jean-Pierre Melville’s sensitive portrayal of two siblings with an intensely jealous relationship.

Image from Les Enfants terribles

France 1950
Dir Jean-Pierre Melville
With Nicole Stéphane, Edouard Dermithe, Renée Cosima
English subtitles
Certificate 12A

Melville’s characteristically sensitive adaptation of Cocteau’s novel about a claustrophobically close, dependent and jealous relationship between a young woman and her teenage brother is rather more grounded in social realities than the author’s own films. As the siblings manipulate and fend off rivals for one another’s affections, the accent is on psychological nuance; Stéphane, especially, gives a delicately judged performance.

Also available on BFI Player.


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