France, 1952
Director: René Clément
Producer: Robert Dorfmann
Cast: Brigitte Fossey, Georges Poujouly, Lucien Hubert
Screenwriter: Jean Aurenche, Pierre Bost, René Clément, François Boyer
Based on the novel by François Boyer
Cinematography: Robert Juillard
Music: Narciso Yepes
Genre: Drama
Black & White
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
Language: French with English subtitles
Running Time: 86 minutes

When her parents are killed by an air strike while trying to flee Paris during the German invasion, 5-year-old Paulette (Brigitte Fossey) wanders into the French countryside, where she encounters 11-year-old peasant boy Michel (Georges Poujouly). And as they build a special, secret friendship, the adults play their own games of buffoonish peasant feuds.  A masterpiece of French post-war cinema by director René Clément (Purple Noon), with a haunting hit score played by guitar virtuoso Narciso Yepes, the ultimately beautiful, hilarious and disturbing Forbidden Games won the Golden Lion, the top prize at  the Venice Film Festival. Fossey (“in a performance that rips the heart out” – New York Times) is a star of French films to this day.

Awards and Nominations:
Best Foreign Language Film (Academy Awards, 1952)
Golden Lion (Venice Film Festival, 1952)
Independent Grand Prix (Cannes Film Festival, 1952)
Best Foreign Language Film (New York Film Critics Circle Awards, 1952)
Top Foreign Films (National Board of Review Awards, 1952)
Best Film from Any Source (BAFTA Awards, 1954)
Best Writing, Motion Picture Story nomination (Academy Awards, 1954)

Reviews and Quotes 2

Philip French, The Guardian 

“It does not compromise on two things: the horror of war and the innocence of childhood…It is never a tearjerker: it doesn’t try to create emotions, but to observe them. That’s why it’s so powerful.”
— Roger Ebert    

— James Reid Paris,
The Great French Films

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