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Les Enfants du Paradis

by Marcel Carné and Jacques Prévert
Translated from the French by Dinah Brooke

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Full script of the 1945 film. A feature film, one of the all-time greatest of the French cinema, starring Jean-Louis Barrault, Arletty, and Pierre Brasseur. Known in English as "Children of Paradise", a better translation of the title would be "Children of the gods," referring to the common folk who sat in the furthest, least expensive balcony seats in the popular theatres of 1840's Paris. A romantic epic, the fictional story includes some characters based on actual people, such as Jean-Gaspard Deburau (played by Barrault), the most famous French mime of the 19th century. The cast also features "the father of modern mime," Etienne Decroux, as Deburau's father. Filmed during the German occupation, this French milestone centers around the theatrical life of a beautiful courtesan and the four men who love her. Voted the "Best French Film in History" by the French Film Academy in 1990. Academy Award Nomination: Best Original Screenplay (Jacques Prévert).

This English translation of the final shooting script includes some material which was either not shot or was edited out of the final version of the film. The book contains interviews with Carné and Prévert that were conducted in 1944 and 1945, respectively, as well as film credits and a cast list.

1988, Faber and Faber Limited
Paperback 218 p., including 26 pages of b&w photos from the film

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This page last updated 01 June 2003