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Forbidden Games

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Overview

Ren? Cl?ment's powerful tale of two children who make a game out of the death that surrounds them during World War II comes to North American DVD in a fine edition from The Criterion Collection. Forbidden Games (aka Jeux Interdits) has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the broad but subtle palate of gray tones in Robert Juillard's cinematography has been retained in this crystal-clear transfer. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo, with a choice of two ...
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Criterion, 12/06/2005, DVD, Brand New! DVD. Case New. Shrink wrapped! Quality guaranteed! In original artwork/packaging unless otherwise noted.

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Overview

René Clément's powerful tale of two children who make a game out of the death that surrounds them during World War II comes to North American DVD in a fine edition from The Criterion Collection. Forbidden Games (aka Jeux Interdits) has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the broad but subtle palate of gray tones in Robert Juillard's cinematography has been retained in this crystal-clear transfer. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo, with a choice of two sound tracks -- the original French-language version, and a dubbed English track that, as such things go, is well-executed and accurate; optional French-language subtitles are also onboard. Most notable among the bonus features are alternate opening and closing sequences which created a framing device that Clément opted to abandon prior to the film's premiere. The disc also includes three relevant interviews -- René Clément from a 1963 television broadcast, Brigitte Fossey chatting at her home in 2001, and Clément and Fossey together on French television in 1967. Rounding out the package is a beautiful illustrated booklet featuring an essay on the film from critic and educator Peter Matthews. Criterion's presentation of Forbidden Games is appropriately subtle but gracefully executed, much like the film itself, and the bonus materials amplify the picture's qualities without overwhelming the quiet but strong voice of Clément's film; it's a worthy presentation of one of the landmark French films of the 1950s.
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Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer; A collection of new and archival interviews with director Rene Clement and actress Brigitte Fossey; Alternate opening and ending to the film; Original theatrical trailer; Optional English-dubbed soundtrack; New and improved subtitle translation. A new essay by film scholar Peter Matthews.
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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: 12/6/2005
  • UPC: 037429209622
  • Original Release: 1952
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1
  • Language: Français, English
  • Time: 1:25:00
  • Format: DVD

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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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Forbidden Games
1. Opening Credits / June 1940 [9:26]
2. Paulette and Michel [5:01]
3. "She Came From the Road" [3:30]
4. "This is No Time to Die" [2:31]
5. Comforting Paulette [5:22]
6. "May the Good Lord Receive Them" [4:16]
7. The Mill [3:56]
8. A Son Dies [6:35]
9. Young Gouard Returns [7:19]
10. A Funeral...and Accusations [8:17]
11. Sins [9:02]
12. Trouble in the Cemetery [5:16]
13. Michel Goes Missing [5:32]
14. The Police Arrive [7:24]
15. Little Girl Lost [2:27]
16. Color Bars [:00]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Forbidden Games
   Play The Movie
   Chapters
   Interviews
      René Clément
      Brigitte Fossey
      Fossey and Clément
   Alternate Opening And Ending
      Play Opening
      Play Ending
   Trailer
   Audio Options
      French
      English-Dubbed
   Subtitles
      Subtitles: On
      Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews