7.3/10
2,461
22 user 21 critic

Testament of Orpheus (1960)

Le testament d'Orphée, ou ne me demandez pas pourquoi! (original title)
Not Rated | | Biography | 18 February 1960 (France)
The Poet looks back over his life and work, recalling his inspirations and obsessions.

Director:

Jean Cocteau

Writer:

Jean Cocteau
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young artist draws a face at a canvas on his easel. Suddenly the mouth on the drawing comes into life and starts talking. The artist tries to wipe it away with his hand, but when he looks... See full summary »

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Enrique Rivero, Elizabeth Lee Miller, Pauline Carton
Orpheus (1950)
Fantasy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A poet in love with Death follows his unhappy wife into the underworld.

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Jean Marais, François Périer, María Casares
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When Michel, who's 22, tells his parents he is in love, his mother Yvonne is distraught, believing she will lose his love (which is the center of her life), and his father Georges is ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Yvonne de Bray
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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. ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Edwige Feuillère, Silvia Monfort, Jean Marais
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément
Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély
Coriolan (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Jean Cocteau, Josette Day, Henri Filipacchi
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Short about Mrs. Weisweiller's Villa in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferat, on Côte d'Azur, which was decorated by Jean Cocteau.

Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Jean Cocteau, Edouard Dermithe, Francine Weisweiller
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Man is haunted by a murder he's committed.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Edward Arnold, Peter Lorre, Marian Marsh
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Jean Cocteau
Stars: Jean Cocteau
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This is a story of a secret organization of former police officers, who go beyond the law, to kill notorious criminals without trial. One police inspector, (Enrico Maria Salerno) tries to ... See full summary »

Director: Steno
Stars: Enrico Maria Salerno, Mariangela Melato, Mario Adorf
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After killing her treacherous step-father, a girl tries to escape the country with a young vagabond. She dresses as a boy, they hop freight trains, quarrel with a group of hobos, and steal ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Wallace Beery, Louise Brooks, Richard Arlen
Pets (1973)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Naive, but brash and sultry teenage runaway Bonnie finds herself lost and adrift in America. The lovely young lass runs afoul of a colorful array of evil oddballs who all treat her like an ... See full summary »

Director: Raphael Nussbaum
Stars: Ed Bishop, Joan Blackman, Candice Rialson
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean Cocteau ... Himself - the Poet
Edit

Storyline

The poet Jean Cocteau is lost in space-time. He has been in the 18th century and is now turning up at different moments in professor Langevin's life. The professor has invented some bullets, which travel faster than light. With one of them he kills Cocteau, who is resurrected as his old self, but is still caught in the space between fantasy and reality. At a gypsy camp a woman saves a photo out of the fire and restores it. On the photo Cocteau recognizes Cégeste from his film Orphée. He tears the photo into pieces and throws it into the sea. Immediately Cégeste himself jumps out of the water. He brings Cocteau to a rogatory commission led by Heurtebise and The Princess from the film Orphée. Cocteau admits that he has constantly attempted to enter a world which is not his own, a world that is beyond the limits of man, and that disobedience is like a religion for him. The commission imposes on him the sentence of life. In a hall inside some stone ruins the goddess Athena kills Cocteau ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

18 February 1960 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Le testament d'Orphée See more »

Edit

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,850
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Third and final part of the poet's trilogy formed by "Le sang d'un poète" (1930), "Orphée" (1949) et "Le Testament d'Orphée" (1959). See more »

Quotes

Cégeste: It's no use. An artist always paints his own portrait. You'll never paint that flower.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Breathless (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Orphée et Eurydice
Composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck
(1762)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
the summit of surreal
11 February 2004 | by luminous_lucianoSee all my reviews

While clearly not the first in its eclectic genre, this classic is definitely a great round-up of all that is surreal - all that the ''mechanics'' of both surrealism as those of dream can be deemed to be all about... Said mechanics fascinated Cocteau, to the point that he had to make this, his final film, a very original ''sequel'' of sorts to his classic ORPHÉE. If only all sequels since had been so original!

The cameos are indeed plentiful as also unexpected; many great stars of 1959 show up, from all fields as all continents! In this, the movie has a time capsule quality that only adds to its surrealness...

Most amazing though is the cameo that is not and could have been; Chaplin, who admired Cocteau -and it was mutual- through the language barrier and everything else that separated them... They had met on a cruise and greeted each other as brothers, though unable to exchange a single word almost... Surely he would have accepted to don the clothes of the Tramp one more time for this unique film... What a surreal addition to an already singular film it would have been! Although, on that cruise, through interpreters, Chaplin had confided that he was sad that he had become rich while playing a poor man... Cocteau admired him all the more for that...

Throughout "Le Testament d'Orphée", the film-goer has the impression of walking through someone else's dream - the director's dream. It is the goal of every film director to have his or her audience view things as if through the director's own eyes - well, I don't think anyone has ever succeeded quite like Cocteau did in this one, his cinematographic swan song as it was as well...

Le Testament d'Orphée is thus highly recommended for so many reasons; Bergman fans as well as those left unimpressed somehow by "Un Chien Andalou", because it was too short; those few will undoubtedly appreciate the long treatment given to this by the master, Jean Cocteau...!


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed