The Wild Child (L'enfant sauvage)
The Wild Child (L'enfant sauvage) (1970)

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… More

Rated: G
Running Time:
Release Date: September 11, 1970
DVD Release Date: July 24, 2001
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer

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.

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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post

Nearly 40 years after its initial release, Francois Truffaut's The Wild Child (L'Enfant Sauvage) still manages to cast its haunting, poetic spell.

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Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

Makes a heartfelt entry in Truffaut's filmography, yet another story of an unwanted kid.

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Ty Burr
Boston Globe

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.

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Nicolas Rapold
Village Voice

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.

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Jason Heck
Kansas City Star

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.

Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times

An enduring film of enchanting and provocative revelation.

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Everybody connected with this unusual, off-beat film made in black-and-white rates kudos.

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Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

A fascinating film, with an astonishing performance by young Cargol.

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Flixster Audience Score: 81% Flixster User Reviews
Jim Hunter
Based on the subject and the director's nationality, I assumed that this film would be some kind of restatement or exploration of Rousseau's… More
Michael Malan
For those unfamiliar with what a "feral child" is, it is a child who from the early years of their life has been denied contact with other humans.… More
Randy Tippy
Truffaut's docu-drama about the discovery of a small boy living completely on his own in the forests of France in the late 18th century. Much more… More
Tom S.
I was disappointed by this film. It's supposed to be one of Truffaut's best works, but it didn't really compare to the Doinel films or any of his… More
Eric Broome
"The Wild Child" is an engaging film, but it's hard to guess why director Francois Truffaut felt compelled to tell this simple story. The premise… More