L' Enfant Sauvage (The Wild Child)
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L' Enfant Sauvage (The Wild Child)
Based on a real-life case study, recorded in Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard's 1806 volume Memoire et Rapport sur Victor de L'Aveyron, The Wild Child is spiritually in line with François Truffaut's other films about the pains of adolescence. Truffaut himself plays Dr. Jean Itard, a doctor working at Paris' Institute for the Deaf and Dumb. Itard takes on the challenge of Victor (Jean-Pierre Cargol), a nonverbal "wild boy" found abandoned in the woods. Realizing that the Institute's rather cruel methods may drive Victor further into himself, Dr. Itard brings the boy to his… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The Wild Child is fascinating not only for its Tarzan-like true-life story, but also for what it says about the process of nurturing and educating children, and the tools we use -- language, discipline, affection -- to do so."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Nearly 40 years after its initial release, Francois Truffaut's The Wild Child (L'Enfant Sauvage) still manages to cast its haunting, poetic spell."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"Makes a heartfelt entry in Truffaut's filmography, yet another story of an unwanted kid."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Truffaut plays Itard, a representative of the Age of Reason who never questions the benefits of civilization...Truffaut the filmmaker is more suspicious of Itard's motives..."
‑ Sarah Boslaugh, Playback:stl
"Probably the director's most ambitious film, The Wild Child spins a modern myth with resonances...and through it all Truffaut examines the many issues at hand with warmth, concern and wisdom."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Nearly four decades after its release, The Wild Child remains startling for its humane clarity, for Nestor Almendros's brilliant black-and-white photography, and for the sense that Truffaut is achieving filmmaking mastery on a very small scale."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Truffaut never upstages the astounding Cargol; both performers underplay in perfect harmony, turning the story into a duet of paternal affection and paradise lost."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"Francois Truffaut was not only a founder of the French New Wave, he was a passionate and keen chronicler of young people, how they grew and evolved and sought purpose in a larger world."
‑ Jason Heck, Kansas City Star
"Offers a reassuring liberal outlook that has the hubris to think that one can cure anyone who is ill with proper education and treatment."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The detail of the boy's journey from wild child to surrogate son of the doctor and his housekeeper is authentic and painstaking."
‑ , Film4
"An enduring film of enchanting and provocative revelation."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"Rather than present a clichéd fall from grace, Truffaut elicits ambivalence by closely tracking the Enlightened scientist's optimism; after the fascination, our inchoate sadness seeps in."
‑ Nicolas Rapold, Village Voice
"A fascinating film, with an astonishing performance by young Cargol."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"often overlooked film will stimulate educators and anyone interested in the learning process"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"Strongly recommended."
‑ Graham Barron, Apollo Guide
More reviews for L' Enfant Sauvage (The Wild Child) on Rotten Tomatoes