Writer Jean Cocteau and director Jean-Pierre Melville joined forces for this elegant adaptation of Cocteau’s immensely popular, wicked novel about the wholly unholy relationship between a brother and sister. Elisabeth (a remarkable Nicole Stéphane) and Paul (Edouard Dermithe) close themselves off from the world by playing an increasingly intense series of mind games with the people who dare enter their lair—until romance and jealousy intrude. Melville’s operatic camera movements and Cocteau’s perverse, poetic approach to character merge in Les enfants terribles to create one of French cinema’s greatest, and most surprising, meetings of the minds. —The Criterion Collection
Jean-Pierre Melville (born Jean-Pierre Grumbach) was an amateur filmmaker as a teenager who, after the start of World War II, began making his own independent short and feature films. He hit his stride in the ‘50s with his memorable adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s novel, Les Enfants Terribles, and, over the next 20 years, specialized in intelligent and exciting crime films, most notably Bob le Flambeur, Le Doulos (aka The Finger Man), Le Samouraï, Le Cercle Rouge, and Un Flic. Melville also acted in his own Deux Hommes Dans Manhattan, as well as Cocteau’s Orphee, Jean-Luc Godard’s À Bout de Souffle (aka Breathless), and Claude Chabrol’s Landru (aka Bluebeard). He died in 1973.
(From http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=2:102465 )
In only his second directorial outing Melville shows admirable flair despite what must have been the overwhelming prescence of Cocteau who not only adapts his own novel but also narrates. It was Melville's choice to use the classical music of Vivaldi and Bach and it certainly enhances the story of an unhealthy brother/sister relationship in which the domineering sister manipulates her sibling towards a tragic climax.
Title: Les enfants terribles
Director: Jean-Pierre Melville