Friday, June 20, 2008


Filmmaker Jean Delannoy.

Sad news on the Jean Gabin Front:
On Thursday, June 19, 2008, the great French film director Jean Delannoy died in Guainville, France, at the age of 100.

While Delannoy, a distant relative of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, is not well-known in the United States, he was one of France's premiere directors, and he directed Jean Gabin in seven great films: LA MINUTE DE VERITE (1952), CHIENS PERDUS SANS COLLIER (1955), MAIGRET TEND UN PIEGE (1958), MAIGRET ET L'AFFAIRE SAINT-FIACRE (1959), LE BARON DE L'ECLUSE (1960), and LE SOLEIL DES VOYOUS (1967, which teamed Jean Gabin with Robert Stack).

Here is Mr. Delannoy's obituary, from the Associated Press:

French filmmaker Jean Delannoy dies at 100

PARIS (AP) — Classic French filmmaker Jean Delannoy, who adapted novels by Victor Hugo and Andre Gide and won the Cannes Film Festival's top prize in 1946, has died at age 100, officials said Thursday.

Delannoy died Wednesday at his home in Guainville, southwest of Paris, the local city hall said, without providing the cause of death.

Many of Delannoy's films, starring actors including Jean Gabin, Jean Marais and Michele Morgan, were French box office successes in the 1940s and 1950s.

But Delannoy's classic style went out of fashion in the 1960s, when he was derided by the more avant-garde New Wave filmmakers, including Francois Truffaut. The New Wave dubbed his movies "le cinema de papa."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy praised Delannoy for "devoting his life, with success, to his passion for art."

"More than just a great artist, he was a man of great intelligence, alert, pertinent and faithful in friendship," Sarkozy said in a statement.

Culture Minister Christine Albanel said Delannoy represented the "pure classic French style: a mix of refinement and depth inherited from his long companionship with literature."
Working with a script by Jean Cocteau, Delannoy revisited the Tristan and Isolde legend in 1943's "L'Eternel Retour" (Eternal Return.)

His 1946 film "La Symphonie Pastorale," adapted from a Gide novel, won Cannes' top prize. The film told the story of a blind orphan who falls in love with a married pastor.

Another of his films was "Notre Dame de Paris" (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), an adaptation of Hugo's novel starring Gina Lollobrigida and Anthony Quinn.

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