Goodbye, Children (Au Revoir Les Enfants) (1987)

Goodbye, Children (Au Revoir Les Enfants) (1987)



Critic Consensus: Louis Malle's autobiographical tale of a childhood spent in a WWII boarding school is a beautifully realized portrait of friendship and youth.

Goodbye, Children (Au Revoir Les Enfants) Photos

Movie Info

During the Nazi occupation of France, a young Catholic boarding-school student witnesses the courage of his teachers as they defy the anti-Semitic policies of the German forces, and quietly enroll Jewish children in their school using assumed names.
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection


Gaspard Manesse
as Julien Quentin
Francine Racette
as Mme Quentin
Raphael Fejtö
as Jean Bonnet
Stanislas Carre de Malberg
as Francois Quentin
François Berléand
as Father Michel
Peter Fitz
as Muller
Pascal Rivet
as Boulanger
Xavier Legrand
as Babinot
Luc Étienne
as Moreau
Daniel Edinger
as Tinchaut
Marcel Bellot
as Guibourg
Luc ??tienne
as Moreau
Ami Flammer
as Florent
Irène Jacob
as Mlle. Davenne
Jean-Paul Dubarry
as Father Hippolyte
Jacqueline Staup
as Infirmary Nurse
Jacqueline Paris
as Mme. Perrin
Rene Bouloc
as The restaurant operator
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Goodbye, Children (Au Revoir Les Enfants)

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (7)

An ever-shifting balance of power is the film's greatest strength.

Full Review… | January 26, 2015
Time Out
Top Critic

In this frightening and beautiful film, a schoolboy must learn hard lessons early.

Full Review… | August 24, 2010
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 26, 2007
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

The film's quiet integrity finally depends on his avoidance of heroic cliché and stylistic bombast, and on the unindulgent generosity extended towards his characters.

February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It's a work that has the kind of simplicity, ease and density of detail that only a film maker in total command of his craft can bring off, and then only rarely.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

If he'd made his childhood movie earlier in his career -- when he didn't have the sense to be so dispassionate -- it might have packed a meatier punch. Now it's just a deftly aimed poke.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Goodbye, Children (Au Revoir Les Enfants)

Its so simple yet so beautiful. The actors are convincing and bring the melancholy mood to a new level for late 80's cinema. A great french film that deserves more attention!

paul oh
paul oh

Super Reviewer

Inspired by real events, a boarding school in World War II, France sets the stage where friendship is realized and youth is corrupted in Goodbye, Children. Moving and unforgettable.

Jan Marc Macababayao
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer


Oh you French sure know how to drag out a movie..yeesh! This was VERY slow paced, and uneventful, right up until the last 10 min. THEN it finally had some memorable moments. This was well made, and had some wonderful young actors, however. I just wish it had a little more substance.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

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