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71 Ratings

Les parents terribles

Directed by Jean Cocteau
France, 1948


When Michel, 22, tells his parents he’s in love, his mother Yvonne is distraught, believing she will lose his love, and his father Georges is distressed because it is Georges’ mistress whom his son loves.

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Les parents terribles Directed by Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau was many things—novelist, poet, playwright, visual artist, and filmmaker—which is to say that no individual work can illuminate the full scope of his genius. Still, his 1948 film of his 1938 stage play Les Parents Terribles comes pretty close.
September 07, 2018
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The family is wacky like in a Capra movie, which blunts the criticism of the family implicit in the play. While the material is in some ways not dissimilar from something Fassbinder might have done in the 1970s, it struck me as piffling. Going to see it was a strange night out.
July 16, 2018
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The timing couldn’t be better for reviving Cocteau’s least-seen masterpiece, Les Parents terribles: a peerlessly witty, imaginative, and haunting tale of volatile emotions in a chaotic family. . . . What makes the film so exciting is how briskly and persuasively Cocteau takes everything to extremes.
May 25, 2018
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