Forbidden Games

"Excellent"

Forbidden Games Review


Few scenes in motion picture history are quite as devastating as one at the beginning of Forbidden Games -- not when young Paulette's (Brigitte Fossey) parents are gunned down in the street by a Nazi pilot during a routine strafing run of the French countryside -- but rather a few minutes later. Paulette is riding on a cart to what we assume will be a new life, carrying her puppy in her arms. The old woman she's riding with looks down at the dog and tells her to get rid of it: Can't she tell the dog is dead? The old woman then picks up the pup and tosses it off the cart. As it plummets off of a bridge our hearts sink with it.

This singular scene is heart-crushing and yet it sums up the theme of René Clément's film perfectly: In war, you can't count on even the simplest joys in life. The world is full of horror, and war is hell in worse ways than you could imagine.

Less outright horrible but more damning in the long term is the way in which Paulette shruggingly accepts the fact that everything she has loved has vanished in a moment. She ends up stumbling onto a farm, where she is begrudgingly adopted by the gruff father of a boy, Michel (Georges Poujouly), with whom she becomes fast friends. Their "forbidden game" -- despite the threat of "the ultimate loss of innocenece" in the film's misleading marketing -- is that they steal crosses from the church in order to build a makeshift pet cemetary on the farm. Natually this goes over poorly with the community.

Aside from this makeshift story, not much happens in Forbidden Games, and after the gut punch of the film's beginning the last half of the film is a bit too drastic of a change of pace. Somewhere along the way -- culminating with Michel and Paulette getting busted for stealing crosses -- Clément's story gets a little muddy, and the message fades a bit in power.

Nonetheless, this is powerful filmmaking in more ways than one, a story of innocence lost that you won't soon forget. (The film also won the Best Foreign Film Oscar.)

The film's Criterion restoration is top notch, and the transfer to DVD is gorgeous. An alternate opening and ending are included along with several interviews with Clément and an adult Fossey.

Aka Jeux interdits.



Forbidden Games

Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Monday 8th December 1952

Distributed by: Times Film Corporation

Production compaines: Contact Film

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 9

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: Becky Mullen as Linda, as Shauna, as Shannon Douglas, Ashlie Rhey as Trish, Jeff Griggs as Michael Brandon

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.