Set in 1940s rural France at a school for delinquent or orphaned boys, this timeless story captures a crucial moment in the lives of the boys involved. The boys struggle for independence and self-expression. They defy authority, especially when it comes from their brutally unfair and abusive headmaster, Rachin (Francois Berleand). The neglect or absence of their families has created disjointed and sullen attitudes in the boys, and only after their teacher, Clement Mathieu (Gerard Jugnot), shows them that he will guide them, befriend them, and teach them by peaking their curiosity, not by insisting or punishing, do they begin to change. The choir he forms, and the songs he teaches the boys, become a source of pride for them, allowing them to rise above the confines of their meagre and stifling school, and dream of a bright future.
Georges Chaperot (1945 story La Cage aux rossignols); René Wheeler (1945 story La Cage aux rossignols); René Wheeler (1945 screenplay La Cage aux rossignols); Noël-Noël (1945 screenplay La Cage aux rossignols); Christophe Barratier (screen story); Christophe Barratier (screenplay); Philippe Lopes-Curval (screenplay).
Gérard Jugnot (Clément Mathieu); François Berléand (Rachin); Kad Merad (Chabert); Jean-Paul Bonnaire (La Père Maxence); Marie Bunel (Violette Morhange); Jean-Baptiste Maunier (Pierre Morhange); Maxence Perrin (Pépinot); Grégory Gatignol (Mondain); Thomas Blumenthal (Corbin); Cyril Bernicot (Le Querrec); Simon Fargeot (Boniface); Théodule Carré-Cassaigne (Leclerc); Philippe Du Janerand (Monsieur Langlois); Carole Weiss (La Comtesse); Erick Desmarestz (Le Docteur Dervaux). Please contact SFC to add other cast members and characters.
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Beautiful voices - but devoid of any real meaning.
Mark Banks (United Kingdom)
Opinion: Limited Recommendation
This used to be a staple film that I recommended; I even bought it for the choir master at a parish I used to attend once. But over the years it's faded out of my mind, I think for good reason. And that reason is that whilst the story is 'inspirational' in a cliched kind of way, and whilst yes the chorus sound is very beautiful, by leaving God out of the equation the music has been emptied of any real meaning. If people are given gifts to sing, and indeed compose such music, those gifts have been given so that the music may be used to praise God - all for the glory of God. But instead in The Chorus what we're left with is a somewhat sentimental homage to a good teacher. Not as sentimental as Etre et Avoir, but overall the film still lacks a depth that it so easily could have had but for a mere mention of the One that has imparted all of these gifts to us in the first place.