Award winning French remake of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, “Orpheus” (1950) directed by Jean Cocteau and starring Jean Marais, Maria Casares, Maria Dea, Francois Perier among others.

Completely different take from the Black Orpheus which i saw recently about which i wrote here https://vramonline.in/2021/03/05/black-orpheus/ . Here Orpheus (Jean Marais) is an acclaimed poet and Princess Death (Maria Casares) loves him. She creates a diversion outside the Poets Cafe in Paris and carts a perplexed Orpheus to her castle. Here he witnesses how Cegeste whom Princess had got killed comes back to life in a zombie way, becoming a slave to Princess.

Hertebise (Francois Perier) is sent alongwith Orpheus back to his house. There he listens to some radio messages which make no sense. Hertebise is there to help Orpheus but he falls in love with Eurydice (Maria Dea) who is the wife of Orpheus and expecting a child soon. Then Eurydice is killed by Princess and Orpheus follows her to bring her back. She is sent back with a condition that Orpheus should never look at her face again. If he does, she will disappear.

Interesting theme and very good production values including some superb special effects which are way ahead of time for a 1950 movie. Jean Cocteau has done a good job with script and direction, music by Georges Auric is spectacular. Cinematography by Nicolas Hayer is brilliant to say the least, it captures the essence of the film beautifully. Of the cast all the four mentioned above has done good roles to supplement the script. This film got a Fipresci in 1950.

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