Jeux Interdits aka Forbidden Games, directed by Rene Clement, based on the novel by Francois Boyer
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
Forbidden Games is a chef d’oeuvre.
It is included by The New York Times on its list of Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made:
The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story and won eight prizes, including an Honorary Academy Award:
- The Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival
- BAFTA for Best Film from any source
The latter prize is even more compelling considering the competition it faced in 1954 from some astonishing films:
- The Bad and The Beautiful, From Here to Eternity, Julius Caesar, Moulin Rouge, Shane and Roman Holiday among others!!
The actress Brigitte Fossey is sensational as the five year old girl who has both parents killed and her puppy.
The family is trying to escape the horrors of war and travel through the countryside when their car breaks down.
Alas, after a short walk, an enemy airplane is flying above and shooting, even if it is obvious that there are only civilians.
This would be treated as a war crime today, when such atrocities still happen- the Russians do not care much who they bomb in Syria and neither does their butcher friend Hassad, the mass murderer who does not refrain from using chemical weapons against his own people.
The five year old Paulette has a small dog that moved its legs curiously in the sand, during the plane attack.
When they make a film now, care is taken so that the animals are not injured or harmed in any way, at least in civilized parts of the world.
Decades ago, there were different standards and horses could well die while filming a western with violent action.
In the case of the little dog, I was wondering if he was not sacrificed for the production and I hope not.
He is dead anyway and he is carried along by Paulette and then fished out of the water after a woman throws the dead body into the river.
It is moving to see the poor girl so affected by the death of her pet, which she finally buries near the house of the family Dolle.
Father Dolle has a daughter Berthe and they accept reluctantly to care for the little orphan girl, in the case of the father, at least in part it is because he would not stand to see his enemy and neighbor Goard win another medal.
The rivalry between the two houses seems similar to the one between Capulet and Montague, especially given the romantic story.
Berthe Dolle is in love with Francis Gouard, but this is anathema in both families who keep insulting each other.
Father Gouard called Berthe a whore and is pushed by his son, while Father Dolle accuses the neighbor of stealing his crosses.
This exchange is at times so preposterous that it becomes funny, for an audience that knows who is responsible in fact.
The little boy of the Dolle family, Michel has a special relationship with the poor girl that stays with his family.
When she wants him to get the big cross from the church, Michel tries to steal it and causes a commotion.
And he is beaten and chased by the father, who was humiliated after accusing Gouard of a crime that he did not commit.
The priest is trying to bring peace between the two families, but hate is more powerful than grief in this case.
A horse that was scared by the aforementioned airplane attack has injured one of the sons of the Dolle family.
And he is ill for some time and then dies, but even at his grave, instead of mediating on death, Father Dolle is more animated by…revulsion for Gouard.
Jeux Interdits is an exceptional drama.