Yesterday evening I watched Futures Vedettes (1954/55) on TV5 MONDE. The Films English titles include School of Love and Sweet Sixteen.
Futures VedettesFutures Vedettes  is an enjoyable little melodrama from the 1950’s, made just before the ‘French New Wave’ was to sweep away the classic polished style of commercial French cinema. Directed by Marc Allégret, the movie stars Jean Marais and a young Brigitte Bardot in the lead.

Jean Marais and Brigitte Bardot

Jean Marais and Brigitte Bardot

The story is about two young students, Sophie Dimater (Brigitte Bardot) and Élis/Élisa Petersen (Isabelle Pia), at a prestigious Vienna Conservatory, who fall madly in love with their dashing teacher, famed tenor, Eric Walter (Jean Marais), assuming he is separated with his wife for good. But the truth is, Eric; who is very much in love with his wife, a famous Opera singer, Marie Koukowska-Walter (Denise Noël), and since she’s a busy soprano travelling around for various performances; only uses the two teenage girls for his amusement while his wife is away. Once the girls realise that he’s been using both of them (each was unaware of the others involvement with the teacher); and Eric’s wife returns with a fatal throat and lung ailment, and has to discontinue her singing career; the movie veers towards a tragic ending. But we are in for a surprise.

Sweet Sixteen: Brigitte Bardot in 'Futures Vedettes'

Sweet Sixteen: Brigitte Bardot in ‘Futures Vedettes’

Jean Marais is suave and sophisticated as ever as the tenor. Brigitte Bardot is beautiful and perfect as the naïve yet sensual teenager. And rest of the cast is really spot on. The movie does slow down a bit in the middle, but manages to catch up. The beginning is comical, the latter sad. Yet, it ends on better note than anticipated.

'You too!' Sophie realises that Eric has seduced weak-willed Élis as well. (Isabelle Pia and Brigitte Bardot in a scene from the movie.)

‘You too!’ Sophie realises that Eric has seduced weak-willed Élis as well. (Isabelle Pia and Brigitte Bardot in a scene from the movie.)

A Beautifully shot Black and White movie, nice music, and a beautiful rendition of the Operatic version of Tristan and Isolde towards the end, with Brigitte Bardot’s character Sophie performing ‘Isolde’, inputting her own tragedy to enhance the performance of ‘Isolde’.

A Very Good Movie worth checking out, especially if you are fan of Brigitte Bardot. 8/10

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

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