Murmur of the Heart (French: Le souffle au cœur) is a 1971 French film by French director Louis Malle that tells a coming of age story about a 14-year-old boy growing up in bourgeois surroundings in post-World War II Dijon, France. The film proved to be a box office success across Europe, gaining 2,652,870 admissions in France, and even 62,172 admissions in Hungary. The film was also a modest hit in the United States, grossing US$1,160,784.
The film starts by showing 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 and Dizzy Gillespie, along with books by Bataille, Proust and Camus, feature prominently in the film.
Lea Massari – Clara Chevalier
Benoît Ferreux – Laurent Chevalier
Daniel Gélin – Charles Chevalier
Michael Lonsdale – Father Henri
Ave Ninchi – Augusta
Fabien Ferreux – Thomas Chevalier
Marc Winocourt – Marc Chevalier
Gila von Weitershausen – Freda
Murmur of the Heart was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 1973 Academy Awards. It was also in competition, in the French part of the official selection, at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival.