The Chorus

March 17th, 2004


The Chorus

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Still of Gérard Jugnot in The ChorusStill of Gérard Jugnot in The ChorusStill of Christophe Barratier in The ChorusStill of Jean-Baptiste Maunier in The ChorusJean-Baptiste Maunier in The ChorusStill of Marie Bunel and Gérard Jugnot in The Chorus

The new teacher at a severely administered boys' boarding school works to positively effect the students' lives through music.

Release Year: 2004

Rating: 7.8/10 (21,667 voted)

Critic's Score: 56/100

Director: Christophe Barratier

Stars: Gérard Jugnot, François Berléand, Jean-Baptiste Maunier

Fond de l'Etang is a boarding school for troubled boys located in the French countryside. In the mid-twentieth century, it is run by the principal M. Rachin, an egotistical disciplinarian whose official unofficial mantra for the school is "action - reaction", meaning that there will be severe consequences for any boy out of line. This approach does not seem to be working as the boys as a collective are an unruly bunch. In turn, the teachers don't teach, but are always watching out for the next subversive act from the boys. January 15, 1949 marks the arrival to the school of the new supervisor, M. Clément Mathieu, a middle-aged man who is grasping at finding his place in life after a series of failed endeavors. Although he does find the boys an unruly lot, Mathieu does not believe in the "action - reaction" policy, and as such, butts heads with Rachin while secretly undermining the policy...

Writers: Georges Chaperot, René Wheeler

Gérard Jugnot - Clément Mathieu
François Berléand - Rachin
Kad Merad - Chabert
Jean-Paul Bonnaire - La Père Maxence
Marie Bunel - Violette Morhange
Jean-Baptiste Maunier - Pierre Morhange
Maxence Perrin - Pépinot
Grégory Gatignol - Mondain
Thomas Blumenthal - Corbin
Cyril Bernicot - Le Querrec
Simon Fargeot - Boniface
Théodule Carré-Cassaigne - Leclerc
Philippe du Janerand - Monsieur Langlois
Carole Weiss - La Comtesse
Erick Desmarestz - Le Docteur Dervaux


Official Website: Pathé Distribution [France] |

Release Date: 17 March 2004

Filming Locations: Château de Ravel, Puy-de-Dôme, France

Box Office Details

Budget: €5,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: €131,887 (Italy) (31 October 2004) (58 Screens)

Gross: $3,629,758 (USA) (22 May 2005)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

For the role of Pierre Morhange (Jean-Baptiste Maunier), the filmmakers chose to hire an actual boys choir soloist. Jean-Baptiste is the soloist of Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Marc, the choir who also sang the songs in the film.

Crew or equipment visible: As Rachin enters the car and leaves with his family towards the end of the movie, crew members are reflected on the car windows. A man with a cigarette in his mouth can be seen (at 01:30:45) reflected first in the front side window and then in the back side window as the car drives past the camera.

Violette Morhange: Do you have children?
Clément Mathieu: No. Well, yes, I have 60.

User Review




Taking France by storm this summer, Les choristes purportedly led to a surge in applications to join choirs all over the country. The magic is unquestionably in the music, but I'll come to that later.

The success of Les choristes as a film (with or without the divine music) lies in its not trying to be anything more than what it is, a simple tale that opens up to you instead of manipulating you. You'll find neither heart-breaking poignancy nor rousing heroism. Within the short duration of a school term or two he spent with the somewhat notorious boarding school, teacher and musician Clement Mathieu had his modest ambition fulfilled, of having a choir sing the music he wrote, then moved along to a continuously modest life of teaching and music. Talented protégé Pierre Morhange did achieve fame and success, but we have essentially been spared laboured scenes of Titanic struggles or exuberant jubilation. To ensure that I'm not misleading towards the other extreme, let me hasten to add that Les choristes does touch our hearts. It does this gently, sensibly.

But in the end, it's the music. Purely the celestial beauty of the music alone will brings tears to the appreciative audiences' eyes. The story is touching. The character are likable. But the ultimate magic is the choir and boy soprano Jean-Baptiste Maunier chosen from two thousand auditions. Such a magical choice.


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