Les Parents Terribles (The Storm Within) (1948)



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Movie Info

Also known as The Storm Within, Les Parents Terribles was adapted by director Jean Cocteau from his own stage play. Yvonne de Bray plays a manipulative, possessive mother, married to weakling Marcel Andre. At present, Yvonne is violently opposed to the impending marriage between her son Jean Marais to Josette Day. It gets more complicated than that: Day is Andre's mistress, who in turn is coveted by de Bray's sister Gabrielle Dorzat. These stunning revelations loosen the hold that De Bray has on her household. Her power gone, she seeks solace in self-destruction. Utilizing several of the original stage production's cast members, Les Parents Terrible was one of Cocteau's personal favorites (that's his voice as off-screen narrator); the property was ineffectively remade in England as Intimate Relations (1953). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Josette Day
as Madeleine
Yvonne de Bray
as Yvonne-Sophie
Jean Cocteau
as Narrator

Critic Reviews for Les Parents Terribles (The Storm Within)

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (4)

Cocteau's fluid mastery of the material brings aesthetic sanity to the psychological conflicts.

Jul 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Cocteau's dramatic model, as ever, never strays too far from Greek tragedy and resolves appropriately.

May 24, 2018 | Full Review…

A formally inventive showcase for old-school melodrama.

May 23, 2018 | Full Review…

A film that, while stagebound, is alive at every moment to the possibilities of the screen.

May 22, 2018 | Full Review…

A cautionary tale of what happens when familial love and romantic love cross paths, Les Parents Terribles deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Cocteau's other, more widely-seen masterpieces.

Nov 10, 2018 | Full Review…

By today's standards, the potential salaciousness of Les Parents Terribles may seem rather diminished, but it retains a unique energy thanks to its portrait of hopelessly enmeshed post-WWII bourgeois family ties.

Oct 16, 2018 | Full Review…

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