Orphée (Orpheus) (1950)
Critic Consensus: Heavy with symbolism and deliberately paced, Orpheus may not be for everyone -- but as an example of Jean Cocteau's eccentric genius, it's all but impossible not to recommend.
Orphée (Orpheus) Videos
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as The Princess
as The Writer
as Hotel Manager
as The Man
as The Inspector
as The First Judge
Critic Reviews for Orphée (Orpheus)
Jean Cocteau's scripting and directing give the film its proper key of unworldliness.
Somnambulistic symbolism may be art for art's sake. Maybe not. This writer finds it slightly tiresome.
Its tight cross-lacing of paranoid dreaming and poetic realism grips like a bondage corset.
Cocteau's film technique is as eccentrically sui generis as ever -- his apparent mistakes are often among his most expressive moments.
Seeing Orpheus today is like glimpsing a cinematic realm that has passed completely from the scene.
A poet, novelist, painter, sculptor and opium addict, Cocteau only had time to make a handful of films. Watch Orphée and ponder what might have been.
Audience Reviews for Orphée (Orpheus)
a modern (or at least 50s paris) retelling with beautifully simple effects; almost as magical as la belle et la bete. wonderfully poetic dialogue. gotta love the death bikers :p i read cocteau wanted garbo or dietrich for casares' part. that's fun to imagine.
A modern retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Eurydice dies and Orpheus goes to the underworld to bring her back, with the understanding that he can never look at her. I heard raves about this and was excited about seeing it, especially knowing that director Jean Cocteau had directed the magical, brilliant La Belle et La Bete. But I was profoundly disappointed in this. Yes, the effects were interesting, but La Belle did them SO much better. The underworld, instead of seeming ominous and threatening, just seemed to be a dark street in a bad neighborhood. And finally, I just didn't buy that these characters had a love that transcended death itself. Vastly overrated. But maybe I'm just missing something.
Another stunning work of art by a true artist
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