Marcel Carné

Children of Paradise

Children of Paradise

Poetic realism reached sublime heights with Children of Paradise, widely considered one of the greatest French films of all time. This nimble depiction of nineteenth-century Paris’s theatrical demimonde, filmed during World War II, follows a mysterious woman (Arletty) loved by four different men (all based on historical figures): an actor, a criminal, a count, and, most poignantly, a mime (Jean-Louis Barrault, in a longing-suffused performance for the ages). With sensitivity and dramatic élan, director Marcel Carné and screenwriter Jacques Prévert resurrect a world teeming with hucksters and aristocrats, thieves and courtesans, pimps and seers. And thanks to a major new restoration, this iconic classic looks and sounds richer and more detailed than ever.

Film Info

  • Marcel Carné
  • France
  • 1945
  • 190 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.37:1
  • French
  • Spine #141

Special Features

  • Pathé’s 2011 restoration of the film, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentaries by film scholars Brian Stonehill and Charles Affron
  • Video introduction by director Terry Gilliam
  • Restoration demonstration
  • U.S. trailer
  • Once Upon a Time: “Children of Paradise,” a 2009 documentary on the making of the film
  • New visual essay on the design of Children of Paradise by film writer Paul Ryan
  • The Birth of “Children of Paradise,” a 1967 Rob Houwer Film documentary featuring interviews with director Marcel Carné; actors Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, and Pierre Brasseur; production designer Alexandre Trauner; and others
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Dudley Andrew and excerpts from a 1990 interview with Carné

Cover based on an original set design painting by Alexandre Trauner

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • Pathé’s 2011 restoration of the film, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentaries by film scholars Brian Stonehill and Charles Affron
  • Video introduction by director Terry Gilliam
  • Restoration demonstration
  • U.S. trailer
  • Once Upon a Time: “Children of Paradise,” a 2009 documentary on the making of the film
  • New visual essay on the design of Children of Paradise by film writer Paul Ryan
  • The Birth of “Children of Paradise,” a 1967 Rob Houwer Film documentary featuring interviews with director Marcel Carné; actors Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, and Pierre Brasseur; production designer Alexandre Trauner; and others
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Dudley Andrew and excerpts from a 1990 interview with Carné

Cover based on an original set design painting by Alexandre Trauner

Children of Paradise
Cast
Arletty
Garance
Jean-Louis Barrault
Baptiste Deburau
Pierre Brasseur
Frédérick Lemaître
Pierre Renoir
Lacenaire
Marcel Herrand
Jéricho
María Casares
Nathalie
Louis Salou
Count Edouard de Montray
Credits
Director
Marcel Carné
Screenplay
Jacques Prévert
Producer
Raymond Borderie
Music
Joseph Kosma
Music
Maurice Thiriet
Editing
Henri Rust
Editing
Madeleine Bonin
Costumes
Antoine Mayo
Production design
Alexandre Trauner
Cinematography
Roger Hubert

From The Current

The Romance of Children of Paradise
The Romance of Children of Paradise

Marcel Carné’s theatrical spectacle set in early nineteenth-century Paris is an operatic work about passion and artifice.

By Dudley Andrew

A Touch of Paradise in Miami

Repertory Picks

A Touch of Paradise in Miami

Filled with passion and intrigue, one of the great epic romances of French cinema plays this Sunday at the Miami Beach Cinematheque.

All the Screen’s a Stage
All the Screen’s a Stage
The intersection of cinema and the performing arts has been a source of inspiration for many of the world’s greatest auteurs. Over on the Criterion Channel, we’re raising the curtain on our latest series, All the Screen’s a Stage, which gathers…
Criterion’s Fans Show Their Dedication
Criterion’s Fans Show Their Dedication

This week marks the first occasion of the Criterion Blogathon, a massive movie lovefest organized by the film blog Criterion Blues.

Marcel Carné on Children of Paradise: Forty-Five Years Later
Marcel Carné on Children of Paradise: Forty-Five Years Later
The following is excerpted from a 1990 audio interview that originally appeared on the Criterion Collection’s laserdisc edition of Children of Paradise. It was conducted by the late Brian Stonehill, who was a communications and media studies profes…
Ricky Jay’s Top 10