(aka 'Dearest Heart' or 'Dearest Love' or 'Herzflimmern' or 'Murmur of the Heart')

Directed by Louis Malle
France 1971

 

  Louis Malle’s critically acclaimed Murmur of the Heart gracefully combines elements of comedy, drama, and autobiography in a candid portrait of a precocious adolescent boy’s sexual maturation. Both shocking and deeply poignant, this is one of the finest coming-of-age films ever made.

***

This is a jolly coming-of-age story about a 15-year-old boy named Laurent Chevalier who is growing up in bourgeois surroundings in Dijon, France. This is France in the mid-1950s rather than America in the 1990s. Thus, Laurent is unharmed by events which would irreparably shatter the self-esteem of a modern American adolescent: he gets drunk, he smokes, he has sex (including incestuous sex), he is smothered by his mother, he is ignored by his father, a priest makes a pass at him, he gets rheumatoid fever, etc. There's enough scandalous behavior in this film to make 100 made-for-TV movies, and yet this is a very happy and oddly innocent tale.

***

A delicately observed study of Laurent (Ferreux), a teenage boy anxious to lose his virginity but somewhat stifiled by life in a middle-class family where there's little chance of enjoying his latest Charlie Parker disc, let alone getting laid. But when scarlet fever exacerbates a mild heart condition, he is sent to a sanatorium accompanied by his mother (Massari) - on the rebound from an affair. The point of the movie is not the much discussed singular and single, sensitively handled liaison between the 14-year-old and his mother but the observation of life c. 1954 and the portrait of the boy, played with great charm by Ferreux.

 Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 16th, 1971

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Also available in the 3 Films by Louis Malle Boxset which includes Murmur of the Heart (1971), Lacombe, Lucien (1974) and Au revoir les enfants (1987) plus a bonus disc of supplements featuring: New interviews with actor and Louis Malle widow Candice Bergen and biographer Pierre Billard, Excerpts from a French TV program featuring the director on the sets of Murmur of the Heart and Lacombe, Lucien, Audio interviews with Malle from 1972, 1980, and 1988 and much more...

               

An overview of the package and supplements disc are briefly examined HERE

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 328 - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:58:08 
Video 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.86 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio French (Dolby Digital 1.0) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer (16:9 - 3:07)

• 18-page liner notes booklet with color photos and essays 

DVD Release Date: March 28th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 27

 

 

Comments:

A pristine image from Criterion. The transfer looks extremely film-like and detailed with muted colors and deep blacks. The individual release of the film on DVD is quite bare-bones with an anamorphic trailer and some excellent liner notes but is does have a correspondingly more reasonable price tag. The bulk of the extras are on the boxset's bonus disc with the individual price of Au Revoir Les Enfants being the most convincing reason to nab the entire package.

The subtitle font, consistent throughout the boxset, is a shade larger than usual. The audio is original one channel but clear and consistent. This film eclipses most all more predictable coming-of-age/sexual awareness films and truly deserves this Criterion DVD release where quality is so paramount. Malle fans should be quite thrilled. All three films in the boxset are highly recommended!  

Gary W. Tooze

 





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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Also available in 3 Films by Louis Malle which includes Murmur of the Heart (1971), Lacombe, Lucien (1974) and Au revoir les enfants (1987) plus a bonus disc of supplements featuring: New interviews with actor and Louis Malle widow Candice Bergen and biographer Pierre Billard, Excerpts from a French TV program featuring the director on the sets of Murmur of the Heart and Lacombe, Lucien, Audio interviews with Malle from 1972, 1980, and 1988 and more...

               

An overview of the package and supplements disc are briefly examined HERE

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 328 - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

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