Salient: An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 12, No. 3, April 6th, 1949.
To write at all about "Les Enfants du Paradis" is difficult: to sum it up adequately is impossible, at any rate For this pen. Any attempt to do justice in words to such a film makes the brightest achievements of the English cinema pale, can only be like the bobby-soxers attempt to describe Frank Sinatra's singing. The film has a sweep and scope and an epic momentum astonishing to those" who regard French films as chamber music rather than as symphony. And as in the great symphonies, the details are as perfect as the main outlines of the form.
Not that it's an arty film—anything hut. No one is going to rave about the music or photography or sets peruse—there are none of the extraordinary camera angles or patches of carefully contrived dramatic silence so beloved of writers on Film with a capital "F." No, it isn't like that at all. Music, photography and settings are superb, it is true, but in a lean, workmanlike way. This reviewer indeed, only began to notice them for themselves the third time he saw the film.