Les Enfants terribles (The Strange Ones)
Les Enfants terribles (The Strange Ones) (1950)

Adapted by Jean Cocteau from his own novel and directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, Les Enfants Terribles is set in motion when a sensitive youth, Paul (Edouard Dermit), is injured by a snowball flung by school bully Dargelos (Renée Cosima, an… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1950
DVD Release Date: July 24, 2007
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Critic Score: 78% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

Jean Cocteau has written the pic and delivers the commentary, which creates a gripping, dream-like attraction.

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Douglas Pratt

One must admire the talents of Melville and Cocteau while watching the film, but the strongest emotions are arch and the biggest plot turns are silly.

Jon Fortgang

A fascinating collaboration between two of French cinema's great talents which, in its strange atmosphere, poetic dialogue and creepy tone, has lost none of its ability to shock or compel.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Perhaps Melville is the only one who could have directed Cocteau's book of childish mind games so lucidly.

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Fernando F. Croce

The tension is between heightened whimsy and its vérité settings, or, more specifically, between Jean Cocteau's writing (an adaptation of his 1929 novel) and Jean-Pierre Melville's direction.

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Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star

French cinema legends Jean-Pierre Melville and Jean Cocteau collaborated to cast a hypnotic spell.

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James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

Unfortunately, the film's more poetic visual tendencies are frequently undermined by the unnecessary narration written and performed by Cocteau himself, which informs us of emotions and psychological states that are mostly evident on-screen.

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TV Guide

The film also unmistakably bears Cocteau's stamp, and he even directed one scene (at the beach) when Melville fell ill.

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Dan Callahan
Slant Magazine

Les Enfants Terribles is very much a fantasy, an accumulation of suggestive, slightly obscure visual details, offset somewhat by Cocteau's too-literary, over-explicit narration.

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Flixster Audience Score: 71% Flixster User Reviews
Stefanie C
I'm lost...
Eric Broome
Jean-Pierre Melville may have directed "Les Enfants Terribles," but the film has little to do with the later crime pictures that form his main legacy.… More
danny d
far from being one of melvilles better films, the film suffers from intolerable characters and a dull and pointless story through 3/4 of the film. thankfully… More
Walter M.
"Les Enfants Terribles" starts with boys with being boys, but maybe too much as Paul(Edouard Dermithe) is injured by an errant throw in a snowball… More