The most engaging 30 minutes of mime in any three hour movie.

In 1945 Marcel Carne looked around at the Nazi occupation of France and thought "Screw you, Nazis, I'm making a three hour long mime movie." And he did! Well, to distill Children of Paradise down to "a mime movie" really downplays what's going on here. It's the story of a love triangle -- er, pentagon or hexagon? -- between the greatest mime of a generation, the best actor in 19th century France, a master criminal who thinks he's a great writer, an aristocrat who we barely see, and some woman who's much less defined than the men but even in France there has to be a woman. Oh, and the guys are all based on historical figures and mostly the woman acts as a reason to talk about all of them at once. I'm really underselling this; let me start over.

In the first 30 seconds of Children of Paradise someone yells "Used clothes for sale!" and there's a monkey on stilts. It is the best movie.

We talk about it on this week's Lost in Criterion.