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21 February 2015

Le Petit Poucet (1972)

The classic fairy-tale story Le Petit Poucet/Little Thumb by Charles Perrault has been filmed several times. In 1972, well-known French director Michel Boisrond made Le Petit Poucet, a poetic film adaptation with the young Jean-Christophe Maillot as Little Tom Thumb and legendary French singer Marie Laforêt as the elegant Queen.

Le Petit Poucet
French postcard by Librairie Hachette, Paris, no. 11. Photo: Parc Film Navarre & associés. Publicity still for Le Petit Poucet/Tom Thumb (Michel Boisrond, 1972) with Jean-Christophe Maillot.

Marie Laforet in Le Petit Poucet
French postcard by Librairie Hachette, Paris, no. 2. Photo: Parc Film Navarre & associés. Publicity still for Le Petit Poucet/Tom Thumb (Michel Boisrond, 1972) with Marie Laforêt.

Lost in the wood


Le petit Poucet is one of the eight fairy-tales published by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou Contes du temps passé (1697), now world-renowned.

Little Tom's parents are poor and want to leave him and his brothers in the forest. But Tom Thumb (played by Titoyo aka Jean-Christophe Maillot) is clever and marks his way by white pebbles from a river.

However, the second time he is unsuccessful - he has only bread-crumbs and birds eat them. The brothers are lost in the wood.

Tom climbs up a tree and spots a distant light. The boys walk towards it. They come at last to a house, and learn that it belongs to an ogre (Jean-Pierre Marielle) who has a princess in his entrapment. Tom is determined to free the princess (Marianne Ridoret).

Jean-Luc Bideau, Marianne Ridoret and Marie Laforet in Le Petit Poucet (1972)
French postcard by Librairie Hachette, Paris, no. 3. Photo: Parc Film Navarre & associes. Publicity still for Le Petit Poucet/Tom Thumb (Michel Boisrond, 1972) with Jean-Luc Bideau as the King, Marianne Ridoret as the princess and Marie Laforêt as the Queen.

Jean-Christophe Maillot in Le Petit Poucet (1972)
French postcard by Librairie Hachette, Paris, no. 9. Photo: Parc Film Navarre & associés. Publicity still for Le Petit Poucet/Tom Thumb (Michel Boisrond, 1972) with Jean-Christophe Maillot.

Le Petit Poucet (1972)
French postcard by Librairie Hachette, Paris, no. 10. Photo: Parc Film Navarre & associés. Publicity still for Le Petit Poucet/Tom Thumb (Michel Boisrond, 1972) with Jean-Christophe Maillot.

Horrifying music


The fairy-tale of Little Thumb has been filmed several times. This little shown 1972 version is a cult film for many French people who grew up in the 1970s.

Due to its great success in France was that the magazine Lisette followed the film by Michel Boisrond in an illustrated adaptation. The story was published in 16 chapters from September to November 1972.

The quite horrifying music was composed by Francis Lai. The cast included well-known actors as Jean-Luc Bideau, Marie Laforêt, and Jean-Pierre Marielle.

Jean-Christophe Maillot, credited as Titoyo, was 12 at the time. Le Petit Poucet was his only film.

Maillot became a dancer and choreographer. At the moment he is the director of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo.

Jean-Christophe Maillot in Le Petit Poucet (1972)
French postcard by Librairie Hachette, Paris, no. 12. Photo: Parc Film Navarre & associés. Publicity still for Le Petit Poucet/Tom Thumb (Michel Boisrond, 1972) with Jean-Christophe Maillot.

Jean-Christophe Maillot in Le Petit Poucet (1972)
French postcard by Librairie Hachette, Paris, no. 13. Photo: Parc Film Navarre & associés. Publicity still for Le Petit Poucet/Tom Thumb (Michel Boisrond, 1972) with Jean-Christophe Maillot in the title role.

Jean-Pierre Marielle in Le Petit Poucet (1972)
French postcard by Librairie Hachette, Paris, no. 17. Photo: Parc Film Navarre & associés. Publicity still for Le Petit Poucet/Tom Thumb (Michel Boisrond, 1972) with Jean-Pierre Marielle.

Sources: Jan Lipsansky (IMDb), Wikipedia (French and English) and IMDb.

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