Having encountered a mysterious Princess on the death of his friend, Cegeste, Orpheus (Jean Marais) becomes so wrapped up in his poetry that it takes the Princess's angelic servant, Heurtebise, to persuade him to enter the Underworld to reclaim his dead wife, Eurydice, from her clutches.
Cocteau's visual imagination, leading us through mirrors into a bomb-scarred dreamworld governed by the femme fatale of Death, is enduringly magical and strongly cinematic.
Reviewed by David Parkinson
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