Children of Paradise
(Les Enfant du Paradis)
With Pierre Brasseur, Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault .
France, 1945, 35mm, black & white, 187 min.
French with English subtitles.
A powerful romantic drama set against the backdrop of the Parisian stage in the mid-nineteenth century, Children of Paradise remains one of the most beloved films of the French cinema. Jacques Prévert’s screenplay fleshes out the demi-monde realm of actors and courtesans, cutthroats and aristocrats with all the naturalistic vitality of Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac. The central action takes place in a small theater on the infamous "Boulevard du crime," where Baptiste Debureau (Barrault), a sensitive mime, falls hopelessly in love with Garance, an actress (Arletty), who is courted by three more successful suitors. From this enchanting love story, Prévert and Carné weave an imaginative web of reality and artifice, using the stage as a metaphor for life.