Jean Cocteau

Orpheus

Orpheus

Jean Cocteau’s update of the Orpheus myth depicts a famous poet (Jean Marais), scorned by the Left Bank youth, and his love for both his wife, Eurydice (Marie Déa), and a mysterious princess (Maria Casarès). Seeking inspiration, the poet follows the princess from the world of the living to the land of the dead, through Cocteau’s famous mirrored portal. Orpheus’s peerless visual poetry and dreamlike storytelling represent the legendary Cocteau at the height of his powers.

Film Info

  • Jean Cocteau
  • France
  • 1950
  • 95 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • French
  • Spine #68

Special Features

  • New, restored digital transfer (box set edition); new digital restoration (two-DVD and Blu-ray editions), with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring French-film scholar James S. Williams (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • Jean Cocteau: Autobiography of an Unknown (1984), a feature-length documentary (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • Jean Cocteau and His Tricks (2008), a video interview with assistant director Claude Pinoteau (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • 40 Minutes with Jean Cocteau (1957), an interview with the director (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • In Search of Jazz (1956), an interview with Cocteau on the use of jazz in the film (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • La villa Santo-Sospir (1951), a 16 mm color film by Cocteau (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • Gallery of images by French-film portrait photographer Roger Corbeau (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • Raw newsreel footage from 1950 of the Saint-Cyr military academy ruins, a location used in the film (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • Theatrical trailer (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • PLUS: A new essay by author Mark Polizzotti and an essay on La villa Santo-Sospir by Williams (two-DVD and Blu-ray); and an excerpted article by Cocteau on the film (box set, two-DVD, and Blu-ray)

New cover by Fred Davis (two-DVD and Blu-ray editions); new cover by Gordon Reynolds (box set edition)

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

The Orphic Trilogy

The Orphic Trilogy

DVD Box Set

3 Discs

Ships Aug 8, 2018

$58.96

Out Of Print

Special Features

  • New, restored digital transfer (box set edition); new digital restoration (two-DVD and Blu-ray editions), with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring French-film scholar James S. Williams (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • Jean Cocteau: Autobiography of an Unknown (1984), a feature-length documentary (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • Jean Cocteau and His Tricks (2008), a video interview with assistant director Claude Pinoteau (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • 40 Minutes with Jean Cocteau (1957), an interview with the director (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • In Search of Jazz (1956), an interview with Cocteau on the use of jazz in the film (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • La villa Santo-Sospir (1951), a 16 mm color film by Cocteau (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • Gallery of images by French-film portrait photographer Roger Corbeau (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • Raw newsreel footage from 1950 of the Saint-Cyr military academy ruins, a location used in the film (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • Theatrical trailer (two-DVD and Blu-ray only)
  • PLUS: A new essay by author Mark Polizzotti and an essay on La villa Santo-Sospir by Williams (two-DVD and Blu-ray); and an excerpted article by Cocteau on the film (box set, two-DVD, and Blu-ray)

New cover by Fred Davis (two-DVD and Blu-ray editions); new cover by Gordon Reynolds (box set edition)

Orpheus
Cast
Jean Marais
Orpheus
François Périer
Heurtebise
María Casares
The princess
Marie Déa
Eurydice
Henri Crémieux
The man
Juliette Gréco
Aglaonice
Roger Blin
Writer
Edouard Dermithe
Cégeste
Pierre Bertin
The inspector
Jacques Varennes
First judge
Jean-Pierre Melville
Hotel manager
Credits
Director
Jean Cocteau
Written and directed by
Jean Cocteau
Producer
André Paulvé
Production manager
Émile Darbon
Editing
Jacqueline Sadoul
Sound
Calvet
Makeup
A. Marcus
Costumes
Marcel Escoffier
Sets
Jean d'Eaubonne
Cinematography
Nicolas Hayer
Music
Georges Auric

From The Current

Three Reasons: Orpheus
Three Reasons: Orpheus

aption for the video could go here and be however long it needed to be, within reason, of course.

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Orpheus: Through a Glass, Amorously
Orpheus: Through a Glass, Amorously

“It is much less a film than it is myself,” Jean Cocteau wrote to a friend at the time he was making Orpheus (1950), “a kind of projection of the things that are important to me.” As with many of Cocteau’s programmatic statements, this one …

By Mark Polizzotti

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Orpheus

By Jean Cocteau

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Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais’s Creative Marriage
Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais’s Creative Marriage

Reflecting on Jean Marais’s performance as the hero in Orpheus, Jean Cocteau once said that the actor “illuminates the film for me with his soul.” At the heart of the visionary auteur’s extravagantly designed fantasy worlds, Marais served as …

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Explore

Jean Cocteau

Writer, Director

“When I make a film, it is a sleep in which I am dreaming,” Jean Cocteau once wrote. That evocation of his cinema as an ethereal, unconscious alternate reality was no mere philosophical statement; the approach can be felt in the mood, texture, and structure of his movies. A true artist of the cinematic form, Cocteau, in just a handful of films—some of which he directed, some of which he wrote, but to all of which he contributed his unique vision and craft—created an unparalleled dream world. He was also a poet, novelist, playwright, and painter, and all of those disciplines are reflected in his films—from the prewar, avant-garde, surrealist The Blood of a Poet to the fairy-tale masterpiece Beauty and the Beast to the Jean-Pierre Melville collaboration Les enfants terribles and the contemporary takes on classical mythology Orpheus and Testament of Orpheus. Each of these works is a visually innovative exploration of art, sex, love, and death—mementos of one of cinema’s most richly creative minds.