|Born||10 October 1891|
|Died||12 December 1977 86) (aged|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter and actor|
Raymond Bernard (10 October 1891 – 12 December 1977) was a French film director and screenwriter whose career spanned more than 40 years. He is best remembered for several large-scale historical productions, including the silent films Le Miracle des loups (The Miracle of the Wolves) and Le Joueur d'échecs (The Chess Player) and in the 1930s Les Croix de bois (Wooden Crosses) and a highly regarded adaptation of Les Misérables .
Raymond Bernard was born in Paris in 1891, the son of the author and humorist Tristan Bernard and younger brother of the playwright Jean-Jacques Bernard. He began his career as an actor appearing on stage in plays written by his father, including Jeanne Doré (1913) alongside Sarah Bernhardt (also filmed in 1916).In 1917, Bernard began to work behind the camera as assistant to Jacques Feyder at Gaumont and then continued as a director, principally adapting plays by his father. In these popular entertainments, he soon gained experience of working with leading performers such as Max Linder and Charles Dullin.
In 1924, Bernard embarked upon a new style of film, the historical spectacle, with Le Miracle des loups set in 15th-century France in the reign of Louis XI. This proved to be the most expensive film of its day and one of the more profitable.Bernard's ability to combine dramatic narrative with spacious settings and large numbers of performers was utilised in the two remaining productions of his silent film career, Le Joueur d'échecs (1927) and Tarakanova (1930).
Bernard's film-making in the sound era continued for nearly three decades. Further large-scale productions included his film about the First World War, Les Croix de bois (1932), and a three-part adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables (1934) which was nearly five hours in length. In his later films, he returned to modest projects and budgets, including a number of sophisticated comedies. During the wartime Occupation of France, Bernard as a Jew was obliged to remain in hiding, and his film-making ceased until the end of the war.
He retired from film-making in 1958, but in the 1970s, when he was in his 80s, he was able to supervise the reconstruction of Les Misérables, which had been severely truncated in the 1940s for easier distribution. In 1977, shortly after the broadcast of a nearly complete version on French television, Bernard died at age 86.
Raymond Bernard was an Officer of the Legion of Honour.
Tristan Bernard was a French playwright, novelist, journalist and lawyer.
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Jacques Feyder was a Belgian actor, screenwriter and film director who worked principally in France, but also in the US, Britain and Germany. He was a director of silent films during the 1920s, and in the 1930s he became associated with the style of poetic realism in French cinema. He adopted French nationality in 1928.
Françoise Rosay was a French opera singer, diseuse, and actress who enjoyed a film career of over sixty years and who became a legendary figure in French cinema. She went on to appear in over 100 movies in her career.
Henri Benjamin Rabaud was a French conductor, composer and pedagogue, who held important posts in the French musical establishment and upheld mainly conservative trends in French music in the first half of the twentieth century.
Charles Dullin was a French actor, theater manager and director.
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Carnival in Flanders is a 1935 French historical romantic comedy film directed by Jacques Feyder. It is also widely known under its original title in French, La Kermesse héroïque. A German-language version of the film was made simultaneously and was released under the title Die klugen Frauen, featuring Ernst Schiffner in one of his early film roles.
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.
Pension Mimosas is a 1935 French drama film directed by Jacques Feyder. Based on an original scenario by Feyder and Charles Spaak, it is a psychological drama set largely in a small hotel on the Côte d'Azur, and it provided Françoise Rosay with one of the most substantial acting roles of her career. It was produced by the French subsidiary of the German company Tobis Film.
Paul Meurisse was a French actor who appeared in over 60 films and many stage productions. Meurisse was noted for the elegance of his acting style, and for his versatility. He was equally able to play comedic and serious dramatic roles. His screen roles ranged from the droll and drily humorous to the menacing and disturbing. His most celebrated role was that of the sadistic and vindictive headmaster in the 1955 film Les Diaboliques.
A chess player is someone who plays the game of chess.
Le Miracle des loups is a French historical drama film from 1924, directed by Raymond Bernard, written by André-Paul Antoine, starring Jean-Emile Vanni-Marcoux. The scenario was based on a novel of Henry Dupuis-Mazuel "Le miracle des loups", published in 1924.
Walter Percy Day O.B.E. (1878–1965) was a British painter best remembered for his work as a matte artist and special effects technician in the film industry. Professional names include W. Percy Day; Percy Day; "Pop" or "Poppa" Day, owing to his collaboration with sons Arthur George Day (1909–1952) draughtsman, Thomas Sydney Day (1912–1985), stills photographer and cameraman, and stepson, Peter Ellenshaw, who also worked in this field.
The Chess Player is a 1927 French silent film directed by Raymond Bernard and based on a novel by Henry Dupuy-Mazuel. It is a historical drama set in the late 18th century during the Russian domination of Polish Lithuania, and elements of the plot are drawn from the story of the chess-playing automaton known as The Turk.
Édith Jéhanne was a French film actress of the silent and early sound era.
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.
Bernard La Jarrige was a French film and television actor. His name is sometimes written as Bernard Lajarrige.
The Chess Player is a 1938 French historical drama film directed by Jean Dréville and starring Françoise Rosay, Conrad Veidt and Bernard Lancret. It is a remake of the 1927 silent film The Chess Player, itself based on the 1926 novel of the same title by Henry Dupuy-Mazuel. The film takes place in Vilnius during the reign of Catherine the Great.