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The Eagle Has Two Heads

The Eagle Has Two Heads

A Feature film by Jean Cocteau

Produced by Les Films Ariane, Sirius

Release in France : 22/09/1948

  • Contents

Actors (24)

Production and distribution (4)

Executive Producers :

Les Films Ariane, Sirius

Film exports/foreign sales :

TF1 International

Associate producer :

Les Films Vog

French distribution :

Sirius Films

TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

TV broadcasts: details by country


Political intrigue and psychological drama run parallel. The queen is in seclusion, veiling her face for the ten years since her husband's assassination, longing to join him in death. Stanislas, a poet whose pen name is Azrael, is a suicidal anarchist, his imagination haunted into hate by longing for this queen who's drawn apart. He enters her private quarters intent on killing her then himself, but they fall in love, in part because he looks like the king. Stanislas wants her to regain political power by appearing to the public, and she tries to convince him to find hope and escape. All the while, the queen's enemies plot to keep the lovers together but to thwart their plans.

Source : IMDb


Production :
Cocteau's play was produced in Paris in 1946 and 1947, and his decision to make a prompt adaptation for the cinema allowed him to retain the principal actors who had enjoyed personal successes with their roles, especially Edwige Feuillère and Jean Marais. Cocteau declared his intention of following the three-act structure of the play closely, citing his admiration of the methods of Ernst Lubitsch, but he opened out some of the scenes into a wider variety of locations. Filming began in October 1947 at the Château de Vizille, and further shots were filmed at the Studio d'Épinay on the outskirts of Paris.

Christian Bérard supervised the art direction, and the sumptuous sets and costumes (executed by Georges Wakhévitch and Marcel Escoffier respectively) evoked a royal palace in an imaginary kingdom of 19th century middle-Europe. Georges Auric expanded the music which he had written for the stage production into a full score for the film.

Reception :
The film was released in Paris in September 1948. Its reception among French critics was mixed. It was appreciated for the sumptuous quality of its spectacle and for the elevated performances of its actors. Others however felt that its artificiality belonged to another age and another medium, and that Cocteau had not sufficiently emancipated his film from its theatrical origins.

When the film was shown in New York in 1948 and in London in 1949, the reviewers of both The New York Times and The Times shared a similar perplexity about the film's meaning and purpose.The film has in general not enjoyed the same attention as the others which Cocteau directed in the 1940s.

Source : Wikipedia

Photos (16)

Full credits (16)

Assistant Director :

Hervé Bromberger

Author of original work :

Jean Cocteau

Screenwriter :

Jean Cocteau

Director of Photography :

Christian Matras

Camera Operator :

Alain Douarinou

Editor :

Raymond Leboursier

Music Composer :

Georges Auric

Artistic Director :

Christian Bérard

Adapter/dialogue writer :

Jean Cocteau

Producers :

Alexandre Mnouchkine, Georges Dancigers, Francis Cosne, Lucien Masson

Voice :

Jean Cocteau

Sound Recordist :

René Longuet

Production Manager :

Maurice Hartwig

Production Designer :

Georges Wakhevitch

Costume designer :

Marcel Escoffier

Still Photographer :

Raymond Voinquel

Technical details

Feature film

Genres :


Sub-genre :

Drama, Historical

Themes :

Love, Fate, History

Production language :


Original French-language productions :


Nationality :

100% French

Production year :


French release :


Runtime :

1 h 36 min

Current status :


Visa number :


Visa issue date :


Approval :


Production formats :


Color type :

Black & White

Aspect ratio :


Audio format :


Posters (3)


Festival Selections (2)

Vues d'Afrique Montréal Film Festival - 2008

Vues d'Afrique Montréal Film Festival (Canada, 2008)


International Feature-length Documentary Competition

Venice International Film Festival  - 1948

Venice International Film Festival (Italy, 1948)


Official Competition