Les Parents Terribles (film) - Background

Background

Cocteau's stage play Les Parents terribles was first produced in Paris in 1938, but its run suffered from a number of disruptions, first from censorship and then the outbreak of war. In 1946 it was revived in a production which brought together several of the actors for whom Cocteau had originally conceived their roles, notably Yvonne de Bray, Gabrielle Dorziat, and Jean Marais. Cocteau said that he wanted to film his play for three reasons. "First, to record the performances of incomparable actors; second, mingle with them myself and look them full in the face instead of seeing them at a distance on the stage. I wanted to put my eye to the keyhole and surprise them with a telescopic lens."

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