Orphée (Orpheus)
Orphée (Orpheus) (1950)

Cinematic poet Jean Cocteau explored the myth of Orpheus on no fewer than three occasions: Le Sang d'Un Poete (Blood of a Poet, 1930), Orphee (Orpheus, 1949) and Le Testament d'Orphee (1960). This second of his "Orpheus"… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1950
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 96% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Heavy with symbolism and deliberately paced, Orpheus may not be for everyone -- but as an example of Jean Cocteau's eccentric genius, it's all but impossible not to recommend.

Variety Staff

Jean Cocteau's scripting and directing give the film its proper key of unworldliness.

Full review…
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Cocteau's film technique is as eccentrically sui generis as ever -- his apparent mistakes are often among his most expressive moments.

Full review…
Philip French
Observer (UK)

A magical enduring classic, to be seen again and again.

Full review…
Bosley Crowther
New York Times

Somnambulistic symbolism may be art for art's sake. Maybe not. This writer finds it slightly tiresome.

Full review…
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Seeing Orpheus today is like glimpsing a cinematic realm that has passed completely from the scene.

Full review…
Eric Melin

Pretentious? Certainly, but full of the joy of filmmaking and there is a fairly coherent light through all the madness. It may illuminate man's obsessions and idol worship in a cautionary way, but Cocteau is also embracing those very ideas with his film.

Full review…
Raymond Durgnat
Time Out

Its tight cross-lacing of paranoid dreaming and poetic realism grips like a bondage corset.

Full review…
Total Film

A poet, novelist, painter, sculptor and opium addict, Cocteau only had time to make a handful of films. Watch Orphée and ponder what might have been.

Full review…
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

a paragon of magical realism that transports the ancient Greek myth into the then-modern realm of postwar France

Full review…
More reviews for Orphée (Orpheus)

Flixster Audience Score: 89% Flixster User Reviews
Stella Dallas
a modern (or at least 50s paris) retelling with beautifully simple effects; almost as magical as la belle et la bete. wonderfully poetic dialogue. gotta love… More
Ken Stachnik
The special effects are what really standout about this really interesting film. A precursor to David Lynch, Tim Burton, Rex Meyer and Guillermo del Toro.
Cindy I
A modern retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Eurydice dies and Orpheus goes to the underworld to bring her back, with the understanding that he… More
Joseph Boomhower
Jean Cocteau's 1949 film "Orpheus" is the second in "The Orphic Trilogy" and stars the director's muse Jean Marais. A modern… More
Arash Xak
Another stunning work of art by a true artist
Chris Browning
Another poetic and beautifully lensed film from Jean Cocteau on a subject he is very fond of both professionally and personally. This is his take on Orpheus set… More