Julien Duvivier, at right, with Italian writer Giovannino Guareschi, 1952
|Born||8 October 1896|
|Died||29 October 1967 71) (aged|
Julien Duvivier (French: [dyvivje] ; 8 October 1896, in Lille – 29 October 1967, in Paris) was a French film director and screenwriter. He was prominent in French cinema in the years 1930–1960. Amongst his most original films, chiefly notable are La Bandera , Pépé le Moko , Little World of Don Camillo , Panique , Voici le temps des assassins and Marianne de ma jeunesse .
Jean Renoir called him, a "great technician, [a] rigorist, a poet".
It was as an actor, in 1916 at the Théâtre de l'Odéon under the direction of André Antoine, that Duvivier's career began.In 1918 he moved on to Gaumont, as a writer and assistant of, amongst others, André Antoine, Louis Feuillade and Marcel L'Herbier. In 1919 he directed his first film. In the 1920s several of his films had a religious concern: Credo ou la tragédie de Lourdes , L'abbé Constantin and La Vie miraculeuse de Thérèse Martin — a film about the Carmelite saint Thérèse of Lisieux.
In the 1930s Duvivier was part of the production company, 'Film d'Art', founded by Marcel Vandal and Charles Delac and he worked as part of a team. He stayed with them for nine years. David Golder (1930), was his first success. It was also his first 'talkie', as it was of the actor Harry Baur. They worked together many more times in the 1930s. In 1934 Duvivier collaborated with Jean Gabin for the first time in the film Maria Chapdelaine , while for La Bandera (1935), he availed himself of the writing talent of Charles Spaak, who had previously worked with Jacques Feyder, Jean Grémillon, Marc Allégret and Marcel L'Herbier. They too would work together many times from this point onwards. Having made Le Golem (1936), a remake of an earlier German horror film, Duvivier set out on La belle équipe (also 1936), with Jean Gabin, Charles Vanel and Raymond Aimos. The film remains a significant example of his work. Five unemployed men hit the lottery jackpot and decide to buy a seaside café/dance hall together. The unexpected, however, keeps happening. Once jealousy over a woman, Gina, (Viviane Romance), gets mixed up with the venture, there is little left to save. The original ending of the film involving a killing, was judged too pessimistic, and another, happier ending, was filmed. It was the happier version that was released, though both versions still survive. L'Homme du jour (1936), with Maurice Chevalier in the lead role is a minor work in the director's canon but Pépé le Moko and Un Carnet de Bal (both 1937) are incontestable summits.
Pépé le Moko, which plunges into the midst of the gangster underworld and which had the Casbah (Arab quarter) of Algiers for exotic backdrop, was the film which propelled Jean Gabin into the category of an international star. In 1938 Duvivier signed a contract with MGM and made his first American film, a biopic of Johann Strauss, The Great Waltz . The next year, back in France, he made La Fin du Jour , in which theatre actors in retirement struggle to see that their retirement home remains open. Michel Simon played an old ham actor, and Louis Jouvet, an old leading actor who still believes in his seductive powers. La Charrette fantôme followed, a horror film adapted from a novel by Selma Lagerlöf. In 1940 Untel père et fils , a family history starring Raimu, Michèle Morgan, and Louis Jouvet, was not able to be shown — because of the political situation — until the end of the war, at least in France. It is generally considered a minor work, and even a failure.
During World War II, Duvivier left to work in the United States. Before leaving the continent, he spent some days in Portugal. He stayed in Estoril, at the Hotel Palácio, between 2 July and 6 July 1940.After arriving in the United States, he produced several movies. Lydia (1941); two anthology films, Tales of Manhattan (1942) with Charles Boyer and Rita Hayworth among leading actors, and Flesh and Fantasy (1943) with Edward G. Robinson, Charles Boyer and Barbara Stanwyck; The Impostor (1944), again with Jean Gabin; and Destiny (also 1944), a Reginald Le Borg directed film which was built around a cut thirty-minute sequence from Flesh and Fantasy (Duvivier was uncredited) .
On his return to France, Duvivier experienced some difficulties in resuming his career. Panique (1946), an exhaustive summary of the lowest of human instincts, was the most personal, darkest, and nihilistic of his works. It was a bitter failure with critics and the public. Duvivier continued, notwithstanding, to work in France until the end of his life, apart from a short period in Great Britain to shoot Anna Karenina (1948) and to Spain for Black Jack (1950).
Under the Sky of Paris (1951) is a highly original film from the point of view of the way the film was cut. In the course of a day in Paris, one follows people whose paths will cross. The same year Duvivier shot the first of the humorous Don Camillo films from the Giovanni Guareschi books, Le Petit monde de Don Camillo . It met with immediate popular success and he followed its success with The Return of Don Camillo (1953). The series continued with other directors.
In Voici le temps des assassins (1956), Jean Gabin plays a decent restaurateur in Les Halles who is swindled by a cynical young woman, Catherine, (Danièle Delorme). Duvivier co-wrote and directed two films in 1957: the drama Lovers of Paris (starring Gérard Philipe) and the comedy-thriller The Man in the Raincoat (starring Fernandel and Bernard Blier).
Marie-Octobre (1959) followed, featuring Danielle Darrieux, Serge Reggiani, and Bernard Blier amongst others. It was an exercise in style; 11 people, nine men, two women, and a mise en scène that followed the unities of time, place, and action, it had a constant concern for the framing of the composition to reinforce an inquisitorial, menacing atmosphere. The same year he was invited to be part of the jury of the Cannes Film Festival, 1959, the year the Nouvelle Vague fully emerged. Duvivier's final portmanteau film was Le Diable et les dix Commandements (1962), while the scenario of Chair de poule (1963) has a resemblance to The Postman Always Rings Twice and again features an unscrupulous woman.
During the fall of 1967, just as the production of Diaboliquement vôtre reached completion, a film about a man made amnesiac following a car accident, Duvivier himself was in a traffic accident, triggering a heart attack which killed him.He was 71; he left behind a filmography comprising nearly 70 films. He is buried in the cemetery of Rueil-Malmaison in the Hauts-de-Seine.
Jean Gabin was a French actor and singer. Considered a key figure in French cinema, he starred in several classic films including Pépé le Moko (1937), La grande illusion (1937), Le Quai des brumes (1938), La bête humaine (1938), Le jour se lève (1939), and Le plaisir (1952). Gabin was made a member of the Légion d'honneur in recognition of the important role he played in French cinema.
Algiers is a 1938 American drama film directed by John Cromwell and starring Charles Boyer, Sigrid Gurie, and Hedy Lamarr. Written by John Howard Lawson, the film is about a notorious French jewel thief hiding in the labyrinthine native quarter of Algiers known as the Casbah. Feeling imprisoned by his self-imposed exile, he is drawn out of hiding by a beautiful French tourist who reminds him of happier times in Paris. The Walter Wanger production was a remake of the successful 1937 French film Pépé le Moko, which derived its plot from the Henri La Barthe novel of the same name.
Poetic realism was a film movement in France of the 1930s. More a tendency than a movement, poetic realism is not strongly unified like Soviet montage or French Impressionism but were individuals who created this lyrical style. Its leading filmmakers were Pierre Chenal, Jean Vigo, Julien Duvivier, Marcel Carné, and, perhaps the movement's most significant director, Jean Renoir. Renoir made a wide variety of films some influenced by the leftist Popular Front group and even a lyrical short feature film. Frequent stars of these films were Jean Gabin, Michel Simon, Simone Signoret, and Michèle Morgan.
Pépé le Moko[pe.pe lə mo.ko] is a 1937 French film directed by Julien Duvivier and starring Jean Gabin. The plot involves the trapping of a gangster on the run in Algiers, who believes he is safe from arrest in the Casbah. It was considered experimental for its day, and is credited with having inspired The Third Man.
Michel Simon was a Swiss actor. He appeared in the notable films La Chienne (1931), Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932), L'Atalante (1934), Port of Shadows (1938), The Head (1959), and The Train (1964). The actor François Simon is his son.
Pierre Mac Orlan, sometimes written MacOrlan, was a French novelist and songwriter.
Gaston Modot was a French actor. For more than 50 years he performed for the cinema working with a number of French directors.
Robert Hakim and Raymond Hakim were Egyptian-born brothers who usually worked in collaboration as film producers in France and other European countries. Their brother André Hakim was also a film producer.
Gabriel Gabrio was a French stage and film actor whose career began in cinema in the silent film era of the 1920s and spanned more than two decades. Gabrio is possibly best recalled for his roles as Jean Valjean in the 1925 Henri Fescourt-directed adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, Cesare Borgia in the 1935 Abel Gance-directed biopic Lucrèce Borgia and as Carlos in the 1937 Julien Duvivier-directed gangster film Pépé le Moko, opposite Jean Gabin.
Charles Spaak was a Belgian screenwriter who was noted particularly for his work in the French cinema during the 1930s. He was the son of the dramatist and poet Paul Spaak, the brother of the politician Paul-Henri Spaak, and the father of the actresses Catherine Spaak and Agnès Spaak.
The Man in the Raincoat is a French-Italian comedy-thriller film directed by Julien Duvivier, scripted by the director and René Barjavel, from the 1954 novel Tiger by the Tail by James Hadley Chase. It was released in 1957 and shown at the 7th Berlin International Film Festival in competition for the Golden Bear. It stars Fernandel,, and Bernard Blier.
Panique is a French film directed by Julien Duvivier, made in 1946 and released in 1947, starring Michel Simon and Viviane Romance. The screenplay is based on the novel Les Fiançailles de M. Hire by Georges Simenon. The film was released in the United States as Panic.
Voici le temps des assassins is a 1956 French crime film directed by Julien Duvivier and starring Jean Gabin and Danièle Delorme. The title is a line of Matinée d'ivresse - part of Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud. The film was released as Deadlier Than the Male in the United States and as Twelve Hours to Live in the UK. It is a dark tale of a young and pretty femme fatale who ruins the life of a man and kills his best friend.
Lucienne Bogaert was a French actress. She started her career in theatre, but later also worked in film. After she divorced her husband Robert Bogaert, she retained his name for professional purposes.
La Bandera is a 1931 French novel written by Pierre Mac Orlan.
Julien Duvivier was a French film director. He rose to prominence in French cinema in the silent era, and directed some of the most notable films of the poetic realism in the 1930s, such as La belle équipe and Pépé le Moko. During World War II he worked in the United States. He returned to France with Panique in 1946 and continued to work in Europe for the rest of his career. He had a big commercial success with The Little World of Don Camillo which had 12.8 million admissions in 1952. His last film was Diabolically Yours from 1967.
La Route impériale is a 1935 French film directed by Marcel L'Herbier. It combines a romantic drama with a military adventure story, set against the contemporary background of British operations against a rebellion in the kingdom of Iraq.
Jules Kruger (1891–1959) was a French cinematographer. He is known particularly for films which he photographed in the 1920s and 1930s for Abel Gance, Marcel L'Herbier, Raymond Bernard, and Julien Duvivier. He also worked in Great Britain and in Spain.
Lucas Gridoux was a Romanian-born French stage and film actor.
Jacques Krauss (1900–1957) was a French art director. He had a notable influence on the visual look of French poetic realist films before the Second World War due to his work with Julien Duvivier.