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Forbidden Games

Forbidden Games

A Feature film by René Clément

Produced by Silver Films

Release in France : 09/05/1952

  • Contents

Actors (15)

Production and distribution (3)

Executive Producer :

Silver Films

French distribution :

Les Films Corona

Film exports/foreign sales :

StudioCanal Films Limited

Box Office: Total results

Box office: Timeline

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In 1940, the five years old Paulette loses her parents and her dog under a Nazi attack in the country while escaping from Paris. The eleven years old peasant Michel Dolle sees the girl wandering with her dead dog in her hands and brings her to his home. She is welcomed and lodged by his simple family and she becomes a close friend of Michel. They bury her dog and decide to build a cemetery for animals and insects, stealing crosses in the cemetery, bringing problems to Michel's family with their neighbors.

Source : IMDb



The film was widely praised among critics, whose "howling protests" were heard at the 1952 Cannes Film Festival where it was not an "official entry of France"; instead, it was "screened on the fringe of the Competition."

The film was entered into competition at the 1952 Venice Film Festival (VFF); festival organizers at first considered the film ineligible because it had been screened at Cannes; it ended up receiving the Golden Lion, the VFF's highest prize.

Upon its release, it was lambasted some, saying it was a "vicious and unfair picture of the peasantry of France"; in France, 4,910,835 theater tickets were sold. Following its December 1952 release in the United States, Bosley Crowther called it a film with "the irony of a Grand Illusion, the authenticity of a Harvest and the finesse of French films at their best"; according to Crowther, the film is a "brilliant and devastating drama of the tragic frailties of men, clear and uncorrupted by sentimentality or dogmatism in its candid view of life."

At the 25th Academy Awards, Forbidden Games won an out-of-competition Special Award as Best Foreign Language Film.[3] In December 1952, at the 24th National Board of Review Awards it was chosen as one of that year's five top foreign films. At the 1952 New York Film Critics Circle Awards, it won for Best Foreign Language Film.

Im 1954, it was BAFTA's Best Film from any Source; in 1955, at the 27th Academy Awards, François Boyer was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Story; Philip Yordan won, for his work on Broken Lance.

Decades after its release, David Ehrenstein called it "deeply touching" and wrote: "Fossey's is quite simply one of the most uncanny pieces of acting ever attempted by a youngster. Clément’s sensitivity doubtless accounts for much of what we see here, but the rest is clearly Fossey’s own."

Full credits (14)

Assistant directors :

René Albouze, Claude Clément, Pierre Kast, Leonard Keigel

Author of original work :

François Boyer

Screenwriters :

Jean Aurenche, Pierre Bost

Sound Recordist :

Jacques Lebreton

Production managers :

Paul Joly, Georges Testard

Assistant editor :

Françoise Javet

Music Composer :

Narciso Yepes

Dialogue Writers :

Jean Aurenche, Pierre Bost, François Boyer

Producer :

Robert Dorfmann

Director of Photography :

Robert Juillard

Camera operators :

Daniel Diot, Bob Pater

Editor :

Roger Dwyre

Continuity supervisor :

Yvette Vérité

Artistic Director :

Paul Bertrand

Technical details

Feature film

Genres :


Sub-genre :


Themes :

Childhood, War, Death

Production language :


Original French-language productions :


Nationality :

100% French

Production year :


French release :


Runtime :

1 h 30 min

Current status :


Visa number :


Visa issue date :


Approval :


Production formats :


Color type :

Black & White

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Posters (2)



Festival Selections (2)

Academy Awards - 1955

Academy Awards (United States, 1955)


Oscar Nomination in the Best Original Story category : François Boyer

Venice International Film Festival  - 1952

Venice International Film Festival (Italy, 1952)


Official Competition

Awards (2)

Academy Awards - 1953

Academy Awards (United States, 1953)


Academy Honorary Award