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Forbidden Games

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Overview

One of the first films to see the horrors of war through the eyes of children, Forbidden Games was a critical smash, winning prizes from the New York Film Critics, the British Academy, and the Venice Film Festival. Adapted by Francois Boyer, director Rene Clement, and two others from Boyer's novel, the story focuses on Paulette (Brigitte Fossey), a five-year-old refugee from Paris taken in by a peasant family after her parents are killed during a bombardment of a civilian convoy. Michel Dolle (Georges Pujouly), ...
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Overview

One of the first films to see the horrors of war through the eyes of children, Forbidden Games was a critical smash, winning prizes from the New York Film Critics, the British Academy, and the Venice Film Festival. Adapted by Francois Boyer, director Rene Clement, and two others from Boyer's novel, the story focuses on Paulette (Brigitte Fossey), a five-year-old refugee from Paris taken in by a peasant family after her parents are killed during a bombardment of a civilian convoy. Michel Dolle (Georges Pujouly), the family's 11-year-old son, becomes her best friend, and they create a cemetery in which Paulette's dog is interred, along with other animals and insects, some of whom the children kill themselves. The Dolle family is too busy feuding with the Gouards, their neighbors, to notice the absence of the children. Eventually, authorities locate Paulette and insist that she be placed in an orphanage for legal adoption. Unsentimental and yet heartbreaking, Forbidden Games demonstrates the strategies of children who witness war to deal with the constant presence of death. It's also a bitter condemnation of the selfishness of adults who could offer their charges more love and protection.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
It should come as no surprise that filmmaker Rene Clement spent five years in search of financing for this unsparing look at the ravages of war on children. It's not that the violence in the film is so intense; even both of the story's young protagonists, Paulette and Michel Dolle, survive without a scratch. But the portrait Forbidden Games paints of its adult characters is unsparingly disdainful; this is not exactly a tribute to the imperishable spirit of the French people during wartime. Paulette and Michel have their own way of dealing with war, by building a cemetery for animals in an abandoned mill. Michel's parents and older siblings and their neighbors, the Grouards, have their way, too, by sniping at each other and jockeying for position among the community as to who is perceived as the most generous -- or least selfish. The Dolles' decision to take in Paulette is based in part on their fear that if the Grouards do the same, they'll earn another civilian medal. There is more than one set of forbidden games being played here: The secret that Paulette and Michel share runs parallel to an affair between Michel's teenaged sister, Berthe, and the Grouard's son, Francis, a soldier on leave. But even here, the children come off as more noble than their furtively groping adult counterparts. For a story with the potential to drip with easy sentimentality (generous peasant family takes in adorable war orphan), Forbidden Games offers something more bracing: a clear-eyed view of the innocence of children and the myopia of adults amid the ravages of war. Nothing else in Clement's career matched the achievement of this classic.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/6/2000
  • UPC: 037429091432
  • Original Release: 1952
  • Rating:

  • Source: Homevision
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brigitte Fossey Paulette
Georges Poujouly Michel Dolle
Amedee Francis Gouard
Lucien Hubert Dolle, the Father
Suzanne Courtal Madame Dolle
Jacques Marin Georges Dolle
Laurence Badie Berthe Dolle
Louis Herbert
Pierre Merovee Raymond Dolle
André Wasley Gouard, Sr.
Madeleine Barbulee
Denise Peronne Jeanne Gouard
Louis Sainteve Priest
Technical Credits
René Clément Director, Screenwriter
Jean Aurenche Screenwriter
Paul Bertrand Art Director
Pierre Bost Screenwriter
Francois Boyer Screenwriter
Robert Dorfmann Producer
Roger Dwyre Editor
Paul Joly Production Manager
Robert Juillard Cinematographer
Jacques Lebreton Sound/Sound Designer
Narciso Yepes Score Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is one of the best classics i have seen.

    A truly classical movie dealing with the mostly unseen side of WW2 from a child's point of view. The sudden loss of parents in a cruel and upside down turned world that a young girl cannot understand, establishing a new friendship with a farmer's son, and in the last scene the realization that she has lost everything and is really alone in an uncaring world. The acting is excellent and so is the cinematography catching the emotions. I have seen this movie when it was first released and I enjoyed just as much seeing it again. Narcisso Yepes'selection and play of the movies musical theme adds further depth to this excellent film.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews