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Les Cousins (1959)



Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 167

My Rating

Movie Info

This was the first of several films that would win international awards for French New Wave director Claude Chabrol. His aloof, innovative approach to the simple story says as much as the plot itself in which two cousins symbolize polar opposites. Charles (Gerard Blain ) is the cousin from the provinces with "bourgeois" values. His steadfast determination unfortunately does not help him pass exams or at first, succeed with women. Paul (Jean-Claude Brialy) is the urbane, rather debauched and

Jun 24, 2005

Criterion Collection

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All Critics (14) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (1) | DVD (3)

The director tackles his great theme-the puncturing of bourgeois moralism, albeit at a price-with a joyful, quasi-Nietzschean derision.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Concise progression, fine technical aspects, and the look at innocence destroyed by the profane keeps it absorbing, despite the slightly pretentious treatment at times.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A fine, richly detailed tableau of student life in Paris, and Chabrol's first statement (in his second film) of his sardonic view of life as a matter of the survival of the fittest.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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M. Chabrol has more skill with the camera than he has with the pen, and his picture is more credible to the eye than it is to the skeptical mind. But it is not the less overwhelming.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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This is Chabrol's second film, and its subtle development of character points toward the dense structures of his later films with their reluctance either to condemn or extol without reservation.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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Les Cousins seems to hold contempt for almost every person it characterizes. Although the characterizations are right on, some of the movie relies too much on melodrama and easy plot devices.

November 16, 2011 Full Review Source:

too programmed, too deterministic, and ultimately too cynical

September 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Claude Chabrol's terrific second feature, an intriguing study of the nasty rivalry bewtwen two cousins that captures the decadent life of Paris' bourgeoisie, established him as a major voice of the French New Wave.

June 27, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Um dos filmes seminais da nouvelle vague, aborda com inteligência as diferenças de caráter e de postura diante da vida de dois primos: um inseguro e introspectivo, e outro sedutor e confiante. Boas atuações e direção segura de Chabrol.

July 25, 2003
Cinema em Cena

Chabrol's second directorial feature is a lightly twisted look at the relationship between two cousins.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

French New Wave cinema at its high tide.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Les Cousins

Absorbing. Gerard Blain is subtle, yet mesmerizing.
December 15, 2011

Super Reviewer

Les Cousins is Claude Chabrol's second feature that he wrote at the same time as his first, Le beau Serge, but filmed second as Le beau Serge was the simpler of the two. Les Cousins reverses the roles of Gerard Blain and Jean-Cluade Brialy in drastic ways and really adds a perfect contrast and makes Les Cousins and Le beau Serge companion pieces to one another. A great and complex story that appears very normal and common, hides the complexity of the characters and deals with deeper issues that include loyalty, family, success and the world we live in and our choices in it. A very fascinating and enchanting piece of cinema that really gets underneath your skin! If you are into French film this is a must see!
November 16, 2011
Chris Browning

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Schrei, wenn du kannst (DE)
  • The Cousins (Les Cousins) (UK)
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