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  • An extended version, in 2 parts (40 minutes longer), has been made but never shown in the theaters. It was only shown on TV. I think it improves the film, getting us to know the main characters better, especially Thierry, with all the scenes in his High School, not included in the main version. It gives more sense to the whole script, which then holds better than the shorter one. I have sent the update for this extended version to IMDb, and it has been recorded under the reference 050423-085733-754000. It includes the name of the actors playing the parts of Thierry's teachers, who are not acknowledged in the cast of the main version. I don't know is this extended version exists on DVD, but, if it does, I would recommend people to get it and watch it.
  • davek2815 June 2010
    Warning: Spoilers
    I think I've only ever seen this on the small screen - I have a VHS recording from 1998 - but it really lodged itself in my brain, primarily due to the hypnotic final sequence. The final staged performance is really a fantasy sequence. There's little in the preceding film to show how they got to this point of perfection. In fact, with all their bickering I'm surprised one of them didn't lose an arm. They're very unprofessional through the preceding training sessions.

    Isabelle Pasco - what can I say? Okay, she doesn't do a lot of acting but I have tremendous admiration for her for just getting in the cage with those big cats. And she has a certain animal magnetism herself. Plus she went through hell by descending from a great height in that flimsy little cage (see the "making of" documentary on the DVD).

    It has its flaws - quite a lot of them, actually - but I find this film magical. Aside from the stupid arguments they have, it's essentially a tale of an attractive young couple who run away to the circus and make a go of it.

    A special mention for the music. It's probably just my weird taste, but when I first captured this film on video tape I rerecorded the last sequence, including credits, to an audio cassette so I could play it whenever I wanted to, at a very loud volume. Now I have the DVD I can watch the whole of that last 15 minutes or so over and over. Sad, I know, but it gets to me on a visceral level.

    8 stars for the film as a whole - either theatrical cut or director's cut - but the final performance deserves 9 stars and I'm SO glad it's now out on DVD, even though I had to buy it from the States. Unfortunately, I have to add that the DVD picture quality is very poor. Colour registration is way off, which is a real shame.
  • ieaun8 January 2000
    A failure at school, Thierry (Gerard Sandoz) does odd jobs at the local zoo in exchange for lessons from the lion tamer Frazier (Gabriel Monnet). He meets another trainee Roselyne (Isabelle Pasco) and they fall in love. Frazier dismisses Thierry for disobedience and Roselyne leaves with him. With the help of Thierry's English teacher Bracquard (Philippe Clevenot) they travel across France looking for work. They join a circus but are not allowed to work with the lions. Finally they join Koenig's circus in Munich. Roselyne is employed as the performer with Thierry as the trainer. Here they meet the tiger trainer Klint (Gunter Meisner).

    Disappointing performances by Isabelle Pasco and Gerard Sandoz, but Gunter Meisner is good as the tiger trainer who has lost his nerve. All the elements which made the director's previous films "Diva" and "Betty Blue" so enjoyable seem to be missing here: a strong storyline, fine acting by the leads, even a good musical score. Instead Beineix relies too much on his talent for good visuals and the excitement generated between the performers and the lions.