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Murmur of the Heart

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Louis Malle
Produced by Vincent Malle
Claude Nedjar
Written by Louis Malle
Starring Benoît Ferreux,
Lea Massari
Music by Gaston Frèche
Charlie Parker
Henri Renaud
Cinematography Ricardo Aronovich
Editing by Suzanne Baron
Distributed by United States Orion Classics
Release date(s) France April 28, 1971
Italy October 20, 1971
Running time 118 min
Country France
West Germany
Language French

Murmur of the Heart (French: Le souffle au cœur) is a 1971 French motion picture by French director Louis Malle that tells a coming of age story about a 14-year-old boy who is growing up in bourgeois surroundings in Dijon, France.



At the beginning, the film shows the adventures of the boy in school and his first sexual experience at a brothel. When the boy is found to have a heart murmur after a bout of scarlet fever, he goes with his mother to a sanatorium, where a series of circumstances lead to a sexual encounter with his mother. Jazz music by Charlie Parker (a member of the cast) and Dizzy Gillespie and books by Bataille, Proust and Camus feature prominently in the film.



Murmur of the Heart was nominated for "Best Writing Original Screenplay" in the 1973 Academy Awards. It was also in competition, in the French part of the official selection, at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival.[1]


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