Friends (1971 film)

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Directed byLewis Gilbert
Produced byLewis Gilbert
Written by
  • Vernon Harris
    Jack Russell
Story byLewis Gilbert
Music by
CinematographyAndréas Winding
Edited byAnne V. Coates
Lewis Gilbert Productions
Distributed by
Release date
  • 24 March 1971 (1971-03-24) (United States)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Friends is a 1971 teen-romance film directed and produced by Lewis Gilbert and written by Gilbert, Vernon Harris, and Jack Russell. The soundtrack, with music composed by Elton John and Paul Buckmaster, and lyrics written by Bernie Taupin, was released as the Friends album, and John's recording of the title selection charted when released as a single in the United States.[1]


In this teen romance, a neglected 15-year-old English boy named Paul Harrison (Sean Bury), living in Paris with his wealthy businessman father, befriends an orphaned 14-year-old French girl named Michelle Latour (Anicée Alvina). She is recently arrived in Paris to live with her cousin but soon finds the situation in her cousin's Montmartre apartment to be disturbingly unwholesome.

Together, Paul and Michelle decide to run away; they travel to the idyllic marshlands of the Camargue where Michelle has in her keeping a very small cottage. She and her recently deceased artist father periodically escaped to the cottage from their home in Arles. There, Paul and Michelle set up housekeeping, become lovers, have a baby, and play at being responsible adults. Along the way, both Paul and Michelle discover many of the troubles that can be involved in family life. Ultimately, however, police searching for Paul find the two. The movie ends before the family's inevitable confrontation with the police.


In the 1974 sequel, Paul and Michelle, the young family has been reunited, and Paul Harrison has to cope with not only a new love interest for Michelle Latour, but also the difficulties he faces balancing work, college, and trying to maintain their family.

Critical reception[edit]

The film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best English-Language Foreign Film at the 1972 Golden Globe Awards. It was also nominated for a Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture at the 1972 Grammy Awards.[2]

Roger Ebert gave the film a one-star rating, criticizing it heavily for its portrayal of teenage sex: "The archness of their 'innocence' toward sex is, finally, just plain dirty. And the worst thing is that the movie seems to like it that way."[3]



  1. ^ Billboard chart 24 April 1971 - peaked at number 34
  2. ^ New York Times
  3. ^ Roger Ebert (1 September 1971). "Friends".

External links[edit]