Orphée (Orpheus) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Orphée (Orpheus) Reviews

Page 1 of 11
Super Reviewer
May 6, 2016
Jean Cocteau's 1949 film "Orpheus" is the second in "The Orphic Trilogy" and stars the director's muse Jean Marais. A modern adaptation of the Greek strory of Orpheus and Eurydice that is full of trick photography. Orpheus is played by Jean Marais, a man so infatuated with his own poetry and success he never notices his wife is pregnant. He falls in love with a Princess who turns out to be death who takes his wife Eurydice to the underworld. Orpheus follows her and recovers her but can no longer look at her. Great film, even if the last twenty minutes are a little slow.
January 30, 2016
Cocteau's films exist in their own cinematic universe. His adaptation of the Orpheus myth, like his adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast", is full of some of the simplest, but amazing special effects. Unlike the fairy tale imagery of "Beauty and the Beast", "Orpheus" is full of dark, fetishistic imagery. It's a beautiful film that resembles no one else's work.
November 21, 2015
Finally got to see this French Surrealist masterpiece from Jean Cocteau after having wanted to watch it for over a decade. It's a beautiful film with great practical effects and gorgeous cinematography. It stars Jean Marais who was also in Cocteau's version of "Beauty and the Beast". this is a MUST for all cinema lovers!
October 13, 2015
It's a rather interesting take on Orpheus. It was not at all what I expected, but gave some real heart and a poetic dream-like feel in a modern retelling of a very old story.
½ September 21, 2015
If you have to chose between Orpheus or The Blood of a Poet then you should choose Orpheus. The two are very similar in story about Orpheus has more of a standard narrative tone and was produced twenty years later after Cocteau has more experience in the craft. Functionally they are similar, but structurally you know more of what to expect.
September 21, 2015
Seeing "Orpheus" today is like glimpsing a cinematic realm that has passed completely from the scene. - Ebert
August 4, 2015
Pure cinematic magic. A must see
½ July 3, 2015
Very good in that arty French way.
½ May 18, 2015
#2 in Cocteau's Orpheus trilogy
½ March 16, 2015
A extremely well told story with top notch visuals, great pacing and great characters. Its a total classic movie still holds up fantastically today.
I'll be definitely buy the Criterion Blu ray and you should too
January 22, 2015
Totally mesmerizing.
½ January 5, 2015
B-rate sci-fi converted to classical arthouse cinema. Neat-o!
December 19, 2014
If ever a film could me called `magical', `hypnotic' and `compelling', then surely that film is ORPHEUS; magical because it is such an incredible feat of the imagination; hypnotic because it is a relentless assault upon all the senses, the intellect and the emotions, and compelling because it is a profound attempt to at least illustrate, (it is not so arrogant as to presume to solve!), the mystery of life, our awareness of death and human consciousness endlessly seeking some sort of certainty to comfort ourselves with. Layered with various ambiguous possibilities, and full of symbols which will resonate in a variety of ways according to each individual viewer, each viewing of the film draws you deeper into its mystery again and again, and each time teaches you more and more. Perhaps it could only have been made when it was, (in the aftermath of WW2), and where it was, (in a country that had decided to do a deal with Death and then lived to regret it). Perhaps because Jean Cocteau was so talented in so many fields, people seldom seem to note what an utterly brilliant film director he was, and his work in this respect with ORPHEUS, stands comparison with anybody's. The film is also so complete, and unravels so perfectly and in such a masterly way; not one superfluous scene; superb acting all round, atmospheric photography, and a superbly utilised and sublime score by Georges Auric. I simply cannot imagine a film like this being made now, (perhaps LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD was the last gasp of this type of didactic artistic consciousness), and this depresses me greatly, because it shows that `progress' is not an automatic, upwardly rising arc, but a curve that can go backwards as well as forwards. Anyone who has even the slightest affection for cinema should watch this film, and marvel, surrender, and learn from it. Without doubt in my book, one of the ten greatest movies ever made.I feel privileged to have seen this film.
½ December 13, 2014
A fascinating amount of special effects, especially for its time.
However, even though the classic story of Orpheus is easily recognizable, there are certain points in the film that render it confusing (possibly due to its "modern" interpretation).
October 25, 2014
Was quite apprehensive in seeing this,.. I mean Cocteau is always such a wild card. Never expected this! Crazy film about a poet who witnesses a murder, and gets whisked away by a mysterious woman. He then gets returned a day later to his country house, a changed man. Oh, the driver of the vehicle comes with him too. Oh, it's impossible to explain. Just enjoy the wild ride.
October 1, 2014
Jean Cocteau at his absolute best!
Super Reviewer
½ September 10, 2014
Like 'Last Year at Marienbad,' a look at the hypnotic, but ultimately destructive, dance a man can fall into with his undeveloped, feminine 'anima.' A classic of French film, and a great adaptation of the mythic tale.
½ June 10, 2014
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

(1950) Orpheus
(In French with English subtitles)
ART HOUSE FANTASY

Written and directed by poet, novelist, painter, playwright, set designer, and actor by the name of Jean Cocteau who explains to viewers what to expect beforehand, which is telling a current story by using a mythical setting. After an unexpected scuffle happen at a cafe parlor, infamous poet Orphée gets asked from a radiant looking lady calling herself the "Princess" (María Casares) to join her for a ride, to serve as a witness from an apparent hit and run of another poet. It is soon revealed that it was only a tactic, so that she can spend time with him even though Orphée is already married. The movie becomes even more strange after it was soon reveled that the lady called Princess is really "Death", except that Orphée becomes infatuated by her, creating a complicated situation. Strange, unusual and imaginative that can appeal to anybody who has an open mind.

3 out of 4 stars
June 9, 2014
Director Jean Cocteau infuses this artistic parable with his peculiar brand of brilliance.
½ June 2, 2014
Cocteau's update of the Orpheus myth to post war Paris. In it he casts the titular character as a truculent poet, death as a femme fatale, the underworld as a bombed out ruin and Eurydice as an annoying wet blanket.

Amazing special effects that have been much imitated (mirrors turning into water, for example) it's a slight film in terms of plot but visually as rich as they come.
Page 1 of 11