Children of Paradise

The Children of Paradise

4.8 5
Director: Marcel Carné, Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Brasseur

Cast: Marcel Carné, Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Brasseur


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Criterion presents the first ever DVD presentation of the classic Children of Paradise. The film is presented in 1.33:1 full-frame and is as close to perfection as a DVD can get. The black-and-white colors are all crisp and clean without even a hint of grain or dirt in the image. This is an excellent transfer which should please any fans of the film. The


Criterion presents the first ever DVD presentation of the classic Children of Paradise. The film is presented in 1.33:1 full-frame and is as close to perfection as a DVD can get. The black-and-white colors are all crisp and clean without even a hint of grain or dirt in the image. This is an excellent transfer which should please any fans of the film. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono and is aptly supportive of the film. While the directional effects are nonexistent, overall, this is a very clean, crisp soundtrack that includes no hiss or distortion in the mix. Also included on this disc are optional English subtitles. There are a few well-produced extra features on this disc, starting with a video introduction by filmmaker Terry Gilliam. A commentary track by film scholars Brian Stonehill and Charles Affron allow a rare glimpse into the making of the film. A gallery of behind-the-scenes and production still gallery is included, as is a restoration demonstration showing how Criterion preserved the film. Finally, there is a theatrical trailer for the film, text treatment by writer Jacques Prévert, and some production drawings from the film. All in all, this is an excellent edition of Children of Paradise that should please fans.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Shooting secretly over a two-year period during the German Occupation of France, director Marcel Carné and writer Jacques Prévert produced their grandest masterwork. In the 19th century Paris theater world, life and performance become interchangeable, as the complex romantic entanglements of Arletty's inscrutable Garance with superficial actor Frederick, a wealthy count, and especially Jean-Louis Barrault's sensitive mime Baptiste become fodder for the masses crowding the "Street of Crimes" and the theater's uppermost balcony. Structured as two intricate "acts" complete with curtains rising and falling, the film reveals the creative power of idealized love in Baptiste's exquisite mimes of his fateful passion for Garance, even as the ebb and flow of human behavior thwarts that ideal. Magnificently recreating the period and its tradition of popular entertainment, Les Enfants du Paradis was released to international postwar acclaim for its spectacular beauty and excellent acting, while Prévert's intelligent script was nominated for a screenplay Oscar. Even as Carné fell out of artistic favor after the 1940s, Les Enfants du Paradis's glorious visuals transcended its association with the maligned French "Tradition of Quality," maintaining its legacy as Carné and Prévert's crowning achievement.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
[Dolby Digital Mono]

Special Features

New digital transfer; Commentary by film scholars Brian Stonehill and Charles Affron; Video introduction by director Terry Gilliam; Restoration demonstration; New and improved English subtitle translation; Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition; Jacques Prévert's film treatment; Production designs by Alexandre Trauner; Production stills gallery; Filmographies for Marcel Carné and Jacques Prévert; U.S. theatrical trailer; 26-page booklet, including transcribed excerpts from Brian Stonehill's 1990 interview with Marcel Carné, cast biographies, and an essay by film historian Peter Cowie

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Arletty Garance
Jean-Louis Barrault Baptiste Deburau
Pierre Brasseur Frederick Lemaitre
Marcel Herrand Lacenaire
Albert Remy Scarpia Barigni
Pierre Renoir Jericho
Maria Casarés Nathalie
Fabien Loris Avril
Etienne Decroux Anselme Deburau
Louis Salou Count Edward de Monteray
Jane Marken [Jeanne] Madame Hermine
Pierre Palau Director
Gaston Modot The Blind
Paul Frankeur Inspector of Police
Auguste Boverio First Author
Jean Carmet Actor
Jacques Castelot Georges
Paul Demange Second Author
Robert Dhéry Celestin
Guy Favieres Debt Collector
Jean Lanier Iago
Leon Larive Stage Doorman at "Funambules"
Marcel Pérès Director at "Funambules"

Technical Credits
Marcel Carné Director
Léon Barsacq Art Director
Madeleine Bonin Editor
R. Cabutti Art Director
Marc Fossard Cinematographer
Roger Hubert Cinematographer
Joseph Kosma Score Composer
Mayo Costumes/Costume Designer
George Mouque Score Composer
Fred Orain Producer
Jacques Prévert Screenwriter
Henri Rust Editor
Maurice Thiriet Score Composer
Alexandre Trauner Art Director

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Disc One
1. Opening Titles [3:31]
2. "The Boulevard of Crime" [5:15]
3. Lacenaire & His Guardian Angel [6:27]
4. Baptiste Rescues Garance [6:15]
5. Backstage at Les Funambules [5:24]
6. Chaos Onstage [6:38]
7. Baptiste & Nathalie [3:42]
8. Frédérick Lemaître [2:22]
9. At Madame Hermine's [2:48]
10. Baptiste & the Blind Man [2:49]
11. At the Rouge Gorge [7:37]
12. Baptiste Fights Back [4:28]
13. "Love Is So Simple" [4:47]
14. Baptiste Loses His Nerve [2:55]
15. "Paris Is Small..." [2:08]
16. Onstage at Les Funambules [5:48]
17. Nathalie Speaks [4:44]
18. Hope Remains [2:55]
19. Frédérick & Garance [4:16]
20. The Court de Montray [4:45]
21. A Man Full of Hate [3:46]
22. Criminals at Work [2:30]
23. A Judicial Error [5:17]
24. Color Bars [:20]
1. Introduction
2. Garance/Frédérick
3. Lacenaire/Jéricho
4. Baptiste
5. Backstage World
6. Appetite for Diversion
7. Poetic Realism
8. Frédérick's Passion
9. Shameless Flirting
10. Carné & Prévert
11. Paradox & Hierarchy
12. A Cubist Film
13. Head & Heart
14. Two Kinds of Love
15. From Flowers to Astronomy
16. A Sophisticated Juggling Act
17. Wounds
18. A Circular Dance
19. Love the Whole World Over
20. The Language of Flowers
21. Broken Hearts
22. Misinformation
23. An Object of Art
24. Color Bars
Side #2 -- Disc Two
1. Opening Titles Repeated [3:43]
2. Summary of Part One [1:02]
3. "The Man in White" [4:59]
4. Rehearsing With the Authors [4:10]
5. Opening Night Improvisation [5:21]
6. Frédérick Meets Lacenaire [5:39]
7. Duel [1:55]
8. Garance Has Changed [4:16]
9. Baptiste Performs [4:35]
10. Frédérick Is Jealous [3:03]
11. Backstage Reunion [4:55]
12. "Yes, I'm All Alone" [2:47]
13. A Visit From Lacenaire [7:04]
14. Garance & the Count [4:09]
15. Baptiste Hides From the World [4:24]
16. Frédérick as Othello [2:13]
17. Baptiste & Garance Reunited [4:57]
18. "Jealousy Belongs to All" [5:44]
19. Garance Was Right [1:44]
20. At the Bath [3:47]
21. Nathalie Intervenes [5:31]
22. Lost in the Carnival [2:52]
23. Color Bars [:19]
1. A Film in Two Parts
2. Prévert's Creative Chronology
3. Frédérick's Fame
4. French Romanticism
5. Reversals & Inventions
6. A Real Drama
7. Death Off-Screen
8. Garance's Formality
9. Pierrot & the Rag Man
10. Meeting of Life & Art
11. Robert Le Vigan/Maria Casarès
12. Nathalie's Ploy
13. Power Games & Private Spaces
14. Alienated Lovers
15. Baptiste's Suffering
16. Shakespeare
17. Time Has Stood Still
18. "The Plots Are All the Same"
19. Poetic Realism
20. Exoticism & Murder
21. Lovers Interrupted
22. Final Ironies
23. Color Bars


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The Children of Paradise 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've seen this masterwork several times, the last at a small art-house in San Franciso where the audience was comprised of the very youg -- from late teens to early 20s. I almost walked out, at that point, because I was afraid they wouldn't ''get it.'' Well, they sat there for more than three hours obviously entranced by this magical, wonderful film that for years was considered, by a survey of international critics, as the greatest movie ever
Firannion More than 1 year ago
I first saw this in the early '70s, and it's still my favorite film of all time. There's enough matter in here for 5 or 6 lesser movies. You can ponder the different varieties of love depicted as metaphors for the different styles of theatre and vice versa, or just enjoy it as a gorgeous spectacle with unforgettable characters. Don't die without having seen 'Children of Paradise' at least once.
Runner510 More than 1 year ago
I first saw CHILDREN OF PARADISE many years ago, when I was an impressionable college sophomore, and the story of unrequited love depressed me but cast a spell that has lasted for decades. I've since watched the film several times since then, and it has become a personal favorite. The commentary track on this Criterion disk adds quite a lot to the viewing. It's a long film, but I love every minute of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago