My Gleanings

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Jean Aurenche war story regarding Henri Jeanson

In his memoir, "La Suite à l'Ecran", Jean Aurenche tells this story about Henri Jeanson.

"...he [Henri Jeanson] had an immense moral courage that made him capable of just about any kind of provocation. So, when his wife learned that he was imprisonned she absolutely panicked at the idea that he would openly insult the occupiers or actually spit in the faces or do something else that would bring about his liquidation. More than any other loving spouse, she strove to gain his liberation. She moved heaven and earth, and heaven and earth were German at this time.I do not know how she managed it but she succeeded in ferreting out a German officer who was a lawyer in civilian life and was a great admirer of Jeanson's whose articles he had read before the war in "Le Canard Enchaîné" which he received in Germany. Thus it was that a German officer defended Jeanson tooth and nail in a French court smack in the middle of the Occupation and successfully got him acquitted. Claude Marcy, Henri's wife,...told me that this German officer wanted to dine with Jeanson at their home. Jeanson was offended but he eventually agreed on the condition that the German officer not come in uniform. Claude told Henri, "Be wise. Don't provoke him. You've just gotten out of jail. Stay calm." The German arrived dressed in civilian clothes and Jeanson straightaway let fly at him, "So, at Stalingrad, has the thaw set in?"

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Jacques Rivette on "le conseil des dix" ------ Introduction

The November 1955 issue of “Cahiers du Cinema” saw the inauguration of a new heading “Le conseil des dix”. Ten contributors rating the films that had been released in the preceding month. A box on the facing page explained in part,

“...The feature that we introduce in this issue aims to conciliate the subjectivity of our critics (who will continue to be found meanwhile under their customary signatures) with the exhaustivity and objectivity legitimately expected by our readers.Our idea is to propose to ten carefully chosen personalities a list of the principal films released during the month. Each will indicate with a conventional sign whether the film does not merit being seen (bullet), merits being seen "only if one likes that" (1 star), merits being seen (2 stars), merits being seen "absolutely" (3 stars). If the box is left blank that shows an abstention. Either our correspondent has not seen the film or he waives expressing an opinion.”

One of the ten panelists on that first “conseil” was future Cahiers editor and film director Jacques Rivette. Serving also were François Truffaut and Alain Resnais. It would be the first of ninety-six conseils that Rivette would participate on, the being in the month of September 1966. In all Cahiers would convoke “le conseil des dix” one hundred and thirty-eight times before discontinuing it after the May-June 1968 issue.

In July 1963 Rivette would begin his tenure as the editor of Cahiers. A note at the end of the monthly Petit Journal du Cinema feature which is not credited but most probably written by him describes le conseil as,

“...not a "judgment", a final sentence, beyond appeal, not a flat out judgment but a bit of advice similar to the one that you give to a friend whom you meet in the street who asks you, "What is there that is “must see” right now? And is it really worth seeing?" To which you reply quickly between red lights, "Yes, it is really worth it". Or rather, "if you have nothing else to do and you like that kind of thing". Or even "You'd be better off stating home and watching TV or listening to Webern - that can't hurt you". Or "Go tonight. Cancel your dinner plans or your date with Albertine". The only exception to this rule is the citation 4 stars "masterpiece" - a personal bet on the future, an intimate little pleasure, an ontological, political or phenomenological certainty or all of these at the same time.”

The ninety-six conseils that JR made a part of considered one thousand six hundred and eighty films. What follows here is a record of how Jacques advised. I have tried to list all the films that he rated at three or four stars. Below that I have tried to list all films from directors whose films he was known to have a penchant for, (e.g. Robert Aldrich, Nicholas Ray, Robert Mulligan), directors who are usually spoken of as “qualité francaise” (e.g. Claude Autant-Lara, René Clément), and other situations that interested me.

The numbers below the month are:
number of films rated: 4 stars-3stars-2stars-1star-bullet-abstain

The “four stars” rating was not begun until late 1956.


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Jacques Rivette on "le conseil des dix" 1955-1959 part two

continued from

Nov ‘55

17 x-3-1-2-3-8

(3 stars) Kiss Me, Deadly (Robert Aldrich), Les Mauvaises Rencontres (Alexander Astruc), Run for Cover (Nicholas Ray)

(2 stars) Les Grandes Manoeuvres (René Clair)

(1 star) East of Eden (Elia Kazan), Bad Day at Black Rock (John Sturges)

(bullet) Death of a Cyclist (J A Bardem), Marty (Delbert Mann), Strategic Air Command (Anthony Mann)

(abstain) Chiens Perdus sans Collier (Jean Delannoy), The White Shiek (Federico Fellini), Je Suis un Sentimental (John Berry)

Dec ‘55

18 x-3-3-0-4-8

(3 stars) Land of the Pharaohs (Howard Hawks), The Blackboard Jungle (Richard Brooks), The Big Knife (Robert Aldrich)

(2 stars) Man without a Star (King Vidor) Hallelujah (King Vidor), Silver Lode (Allan Dwan)

(bullet) Les Héros sont Fatigués (Yves Ciampi), Summertime (David Lean), Soldier of Fortune (Edward Dmytryk)

Jan ‘56

17 x-4-0-3-1-9

(3 stars) To Catch a Thief (Alfred Hitchcock), Lola Montès (Max Ophuls), The Man from Laramie (Anthony Mann) Ordet (Carl Theodore Dreyer)

(bullet) La Pointe Courte (Agnes Varda)

(abstain) Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa)

Feb ‘56

16 x-0-3-2-6-5

(2 stars) Senso (Luchino Visconti), House of Bamboo (Sam Fuller), Northwest Passage (King Vidor)

(1 star) The Big Combo (Joseph H Lewis), The Tall Men (Raoul Walsh), I Died 1000 Times (Stuart Heisler)

(bullet) Papa, Maman, ma Femme et Moi... (Jean-Paul Le Chanois), Helen of Troy (Robert Wise), Marguerite de la Nuit (Claude Autant-Lara), The Princess Sen (Kiego Kimura), The Ladykillers (Alexander Mackendrick)

Mar ‘56

A note at the bottom of the conseil tableau records a long list, among them JR, that “recommend more than warmly” Federico Fellini’s “Il Bidone”.

Apr ‘56

Beneath the conseil table, we are informed that Edgar G Ulmer’s “The Naked Dawn” is “recommended warmly” by a group that includes JR.

Jun ’56

JR among others “recommends” Henri-Georges Clouzot’s “Le Mystère Picasso” and he “advises” Otto Preminger’s “The Man with the Golden Arm”

Jul ’56

14 x-3-2-2-2-5

(3 stars) Mr. Arkadin (Orson Welles), Lifeboat (Alfred Hitchcock) Toni (Jean Renoir)

(2 stars) Artists and Models (Frank Tashlin), The Lieutenant Wore Skirts (Frank Tashlin)

(bullet) Smiles of a Summer Night (Ingmar Bergman)

(abstain) The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin)

Aug-Sep ’56

17 x-3-3-4-0-7

(3 stars) It’s Always Fair Weather (Stanley Donen / Gene Kelly), Brigadoon (Vincente Minelli), My Sister Eileen (Richard Quine)

(2 stars) The Revolt of Mamie Stover (Raoul Walsh), The Harder They Fall (Mark Robson), Bob the Gambler (Jean-Pierre Melville)

(1 star) Gervaise (René Clément), The Magnificent Matador (Budd Boetticher)

A note at the foot of the table also records that JR “recommends” Jean Renoir’s “Elena and Her Men”

Oct ‘56 15 x-3-2-1-3-6

(3 stars) The Last Frontier (Anthony Mann), While the City Sleeps (Fritz Lang), La Peur (Roberto Rossellini)

(1 star) The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (Otto Preminger),

(bullet) Wild Love (Mauro Bolognini), Walk into Paradise (Marcel Pagliero)

Jan ‘57

A note at the foot of the table listed JR among those who “recommend” Roger Vadim’s “And God .... Created Woman”

Feb ‘57

15 0-0-2-2-5-6

(2 stars) Hot Blood (Nicholas Ray), Tennessee’s Partner (Allan Dwan)

(1 star) The Burning Hills (Stuart Heisler), The King and I (Walter Lang)

(bullet) Lust for Life (Vincente Minelli), The Solid Gold Cadillac (Richard Quine)

(abstain) Folies-Bergere (Henri Decoin)

Mar ‘57 15 1-2-2-1-2-7

(4 stars) Bigger Than Life (Nicholas Ray)

(3 stars) Time in the Sun (Sergei Eisenstein / Gregory Alexandrov) L' Amour a la Ville (sketch film -- various)

(2 stars) Assassins et Voleurs (Sacha Guitry)

Apr ‘57

A note at the bottom of the table informs us that “ ’The Wrong Man' by Alfred Hitchcock wins the suffrage of the ’Hitchoockeans’ (sic), but you knew that already.”
Another note informs us that JR “recommends most warmly” Frank Tashlin’s “The Girl Can’t Help It”.

Jun 57

19 3-2-3-2-4-5

(4 stars) The Girl Can’t Help It (Frank Tashlin), The Crucified Lovers (Kenji Mizoguchi), Hollywood or Bust (Frank Tashlin)

(3 stars) St. Joan (Otto Preminger), The Wrong Man (Alfred Hitchcock)

(2 stars) Les Trois font la Paire (Sacha Guitry), The Forty-first (Grigory Chukhrai), The Incredible Shrinking Man (Jack Arnold)

(1 star) Storm Center (Daniel Taradash)

(bullet) Celui qui Doit Mourir (Jules Dassin), The Burmese Harp (Kon Ichikawa), The Crucible (Raymond Rouleau)

(abstain) Around the World in 80 Days (Michael Anderson), Somebody Up There Likes Me (Robert Wise), Le Cas du Dr. Laurent (Jean-Paul Le Chanois)

Aug-Sep ‘57

13 1-1-1-0-3-7

(4 stars) The True Story of Jesse James (Nicholas Ray)

(3 stars) The Last Hunt (Richard Brooks)

(2 stars) Seven Men from Now (Budd Boetticher)

Oct ’57

16 0-0-2-3-4-7

(2 stars) Twelve Angry Men (Sidney Lumet), Abandon Ship (Richard Sale)

(1 star) Oklahoma (Fred Zinneman)

(bullet) Island in the Sun (Robert Rossen), Oeil pour Oeil (André Cayatte)

Nov ’57 17 1-4-1-2-2-7

(4 stars) Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (Fritz Lang)

(3 stars) Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (Frank Tashlin), A Face in the Crowd (Elia Kazan), The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (Luis Bunuel), An Affair to Remember (Leo McCarey)

(2 stars) Nights of Cabiria (Federico Fellini)

(1 star) Portes des Lilas (René Clair), The Wings of Eagles (John Ford)

(bullet) La Casa del Angel (Leopoldo Torre Nillson), Les Espions (Henri-Georges Clouzot)

Dec ‘57

16 1-3-2-0-2-8

(4 stars) A King in New York (Charles Chaplin)

(3 stars) Sawdust and Tinsel (Ingmar Bergman), Toute la Mémoire du Monde (Alain Resnais), Street of Shame (Kenji Mizoguchi)

(2 stars) Les Maîtres Fous (Jean Rouch), Mister Cory (Blake Edwards)

Jan ‘58 17 0-3-0-2-4-8

(3 stars) Fear Strikes Out (Robert Mulligan), Aparajito (Satyajit Ray), Bitter Victory (Nicholas Ray)

(1 star) A Hatful of Rain (Fred Zinneman), The Sun Also Rises (Henry King) The Pride and the Passion (Stanley Kramer)

Mar ‘58 17 1-2-3-4-4-3

(4 stars) You Only Live Once (Fritz Lang)

(3 stars) No Down Payment (Martin Ritt), The Tin Star (Anthony Mann)

(2 stars) Kiss Them for Me (Stanley Donen), Interlude (Douglas Sirk), The Wayward Bus (Victor Vicas)

(1 star) Witness for the Prosecution (Billy Wilder), Pal Joey (George Sidney)

Apr ‘58

14 1-1-2-3-3-4

(4 stars) Bonjour Tristesse (Otto Preminger)

(3 stars) Something of Value (Richard Brooks)

(2 stars) Le Temps des Oeufs Durs (Norbert Carbonnaux), The Garment Jungle (Vincent Sherman)

(1 star) Kanal (Andrzej Wajda)

(bullet) A Farewell to Arms (Charles Vidor), Sayonara (Joshua Logan), Peyton Place (Mark Robson)

May ‘58

14 1-2-3-4-3-1

(4 stars) The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman)

(3 stars) Les Girls (George Cukor), Montparnasse 19 (Jacques Becker)

(2 stars) Le Chatte (Henri Decoin), Juvenile Jungle (Ko Nakahira)

(bullet) The Young Lions (Edward Dmytryk), The Brothers Rico (Phil Karlson)

Jun ‘58

12 1-2-1-3-4-1

(4 stars) White Nights (Luchino Visconti0

(3 stars) Illicit Interlude (Ingmar Bergman), The Pajama Game (George Abbott/Stanley Donen)

(2 stars) This Angry Age (René Clement)

(1 star) Mon Oncle (Jacques Tati), The Brothers Karamazov (Richard Brooks)

Jul ‘58

11 1-1-1-3-2-3

(4 stars) Touch of Evil (Orson Welles)

(3 stars) Baby Face Nelson (Don Siegel)

(2 stars) L’Eau Vive (François Villiers)

(1 star) The Cranes Are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov), The Long, Hot Summer (Martin Ritt), Gideon of Scotland Yard (John Ford)

Aug ‘58

11 0-1-1-4-2-3

(3 stars) The Quiet American (Joseph L. Mankiewicz)

(2 stars) Legend of the Lost (Henry Hathaway)

(1 star) Jet Pilot (Joseph von Sternberg), The Cobweb (Vincente Minelli), Tea and Sympathy (Vincente Minelli), From Hell to Texas (Henry Hathaway)

(bullet) Edge of the City (Martin Ritt), The Buster Keaton Story (Sidney Sheldon)

(abstain) The Delicate Delinquent (Don McGuire)

Nov ‘58

19 1-3-3-6-3-3

(4 stars) The Grand Illusion (Jean Renoir)

(3 stars) Dreams (Ingmar Bergman), The Left-Handed Gun (Arthur Penn), The Goddess (John Cromwell)

(2 stars) Une Vie (Alexander Astruc), Tarnished Angels (Douglas Sirk), La Vie à Deux (Clement Duhour)

(1 star) En Cas du Malheur (Claude Autant-Lara), Les Tricheurs (Marcel Carné), God’s Little Acre (Anthony Mann)

(bullet) Desire Under the Elms (Delbert Mann)

Jan ‘59

20 0-3-5-6-5-1

(3 stars) Dreams (Ingmar Bergman), Secrets of Women (Ingmar Bergman), Les Mistons (François Truffaut)

(2 stars) Il Grido (Michelangelo Antonioni), Indiscreet (Stanley Donen), Lettre de Sibéria (Chris Marker), Rising of the Moon (John Ford)

(1 star) Les Amants (Louis Malle), The Horse’s Mouth (Ronald Neame)

(bullet) Le Jouer (Claude Autant-Lara), The Barbarian and the Geisha (John Huston)

(abstain) Les Fils de L’Eau (Jean Rouch)

Feb ‘59 12 1-0-4-1-4-2

(4 stars) Man of the West (Anthony Mann)

(2 stars) The Last Hurrah (John Ford), The Vikings (Richard Fleischer), South Pacific (Joshua Logan)

(1 star) The Roots of Heaven (John Huston)

March ‘59

14 1-3-3-2-5-0

(4 stars) Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock)

(3 stars) Les Rendez-vous du Diable (Haroun Tazieff), A Time to Love and a Time to Die (Douglas Sirk), Run of the Arrow (Sam Fuller)

(2 stars) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Richard Brooks)

(bullet) Raintree County (Edward Dmytryk), La Loi (Jules Dassin), The Defiant Ones (Stanley Kramer)

April ’59

14 1-1-1-1-10-0

(4 stars) Brink of Life (Ingmar Bergman)

(3 stars) Le Beau Serge (Claude Chabrol)

(bullet) Gigi (Vincente Minelli), Guingette (Jean Delannoy), Le Petit Prof’ (Carlo Rim), La Femme et le Pantin (Julien Duvivier), The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (Mark Robson), Separate Tables (Delbert Mann), The Philosopher’s Stone (Satyajit Ray)

May ‘59 21 2-5-3-5-5-1

(4 stars) Ivan the Terrible (Sergei Eisenstein), Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi)

(3 stars) Les Cousins (Claude Chabrol), Moi, un Noir (Jean Rouch), Wind Across the Everglades (Nicholas Ray), Head Against the Wall (Georges Franju), The Devil’s Wanton (Ingmar Bergman)

(1 star) Bell, Book and Candle (Richard Quine)

(bullet) The Big Country (William Wyler)

June ‘59

14 0-2-5-1-6-0

(3 stars) Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman), Goha (Jacques Baratier)

(2 stars) Rock-a-Bye, Baby (Frank Tashlin), Tripes au Soleil (Claude Bernard-Aubert), I Want to Live (Robert Wise), Auntie Mame (Morton DaCosta)

(1 star) Les Draguers (Jean-Pierre Mocky)

(bullet) Marie-Octobre (Julien Duvivier), The Black Orchid (Martin Ritt), The Proud Rebel (Michael Curtiz)

Jul ‘59

14 2-2-2-3-5-0

(4 stars) Hiroshima, Mon Amour (Alain Resnais), The 400 Blows (François Truffaut)

(3 stars) Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks), Middle of the Night (Delbert Mann)

(2 stars) Some Came Running (Vincente Minelli), The Fabulous World of Jules Verne (Karel Zeman)

(1 star) The Fly (Kurt Neumann)

(bullet) The Sound and the Fury (Martin Ritt), Compulsion (Richard Fleischer), Room at the Top (Jack Clayton)

Aug ‘59

14 1-0-3-4-4-2

(4 stars) The Empress Yang Kwei Fei (Kenji Mizoguchi)

(2 stars) Buchanan Rides Alone (Budd Boeticcher), The Last Mile (Howard W Koch), The Warrior and the Slave Girl (Vittorio Cottafavi)

(1 star) Black Orpheus (Marcel Camus), Al Capone (Richard Wilson), Pork Chop Hill (Lewis Milestone)

Sep ‘59 12 1-1-2-1-4-3

(4 stars) Hindu Tiger (Fritz Lang)

(3 stars) Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys (Leo McCarey)

(2 stars) Tiger of Bengal (Fritz Lang)

Oct ‘59 18 0-2-3-4-9-0

(3 stars) Trial (Mark Robson), Ten Seconds to Hell (Robert Aldrich)

(2 stars) Hot Summer Night (David Friedkin), Double Agents (Robert Hossein), Big Deal on Madonna Street (Mario Monicelli)

(1 star) Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (Edward Cline), Diary of Anne Frank (George Stevens), Westbound (Budd Boeticcher)

(bullet) Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Roger Vadim), Babette Goes to War (Christian-Jaque)

Nov ‘59

14 1-2-2-4-2-3

(4 stars) Anatomy of a Murder (Otto Preminger)

(3 stars) Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder), The Horse Soldiers (John Ford)

(2 stars) Ossessione (Luchino Visconti), Two Men in Manhattan (Jean-Pierre Melville)

(1 star) The Magician (Ingmar Bergman), Destiny of a Man (Segei Bondarchuk)

(abstain) L’Ambiteuse (Yves Allegret)

Dec ‘59 15 1-2-1-3-4-4

(4 stars) Dejeuner sur L’Herbe (Jean Renoir)

(3 stars) General Della Rovere (Roberto Rossellini), North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock)

(2 stars) The Buccaneer (Anthony Quinn)

(1 star) Diamonds and Ashes (Andrjez Wajda), A Hole in the Head (Frank Capra), They Came to Cordura (Robert Rossen)

(bullet) La Jument Verte (Claude Autant-Lara)


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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Jacques Rivette on "le conseil des dix" 1960-1966 Part 3

continued from:

Jan ‘60

13 1-0-3-3-4-2

(4 stars) Citizen Kane (Orson Welles)

(2 stars) À Double Tour (Claude Chabrol), Fra Diavolo (Hal Roach/Charley Rogers), A Lesson in Love(Ingmar Bergman)

(1 star) The Mysterians (Ishiro Honda)

Feb ‘60

14 1-0-4-3-3-3

(4 stars) Pickpocket (Robert Bresson)

(2 stars) The Geisha Boy (Frank Tashlin), Republic of Sin (Luis Buñuel)

(bullet) On the Beach (Stanley Kramer), Solomon and Sheba (King Vidor)

Mar ‘60

19 0-1-1-7-4-6

(3 stars) Le Bel Age (Pierre Kast)

(2 stars) The Wonderful Country (Robert Parrish)

(1 star) The Angry Hills (Robert Aldrich), L’Eau à la Bouche (Jacques Donoil-Valcroze), Odds Against Tomorrow (Robert Wise)
The Devil’s Disciple (Guy Hamilton)

(bullet) Last Train from Gun Hill (John Sturges), I Accuse! (José Ferrer)

Apr ‘60

17 2-0-0-6-6-3

(4 stars) The Testament of Orpheus (Jean Cocteau), Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju)

(1 star) Our Man in Havana (Carol Reed)

May ‘60

17 1-3-1-2-5-5

(4 stars) Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard)

(3 stars) Moonfleet (Fritz Lang), Party Girl (Nicholas Ray), Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray)

(2 stars) Le Trou (Jacques Becker)

(1 star) Plein Soleil (René Clément), Operation Petticoat (Blake Edwards)
(bullet) Suddenly, Last Summer (Joseph L Mankiewiecz), Classe Tout Risque (Claude Sautet), La Chatte Sort Ses Griffes (Henri Decoin)

Jun ‘60

17 0-3-5-3-4-2
(3 stars) Les Bonnes Femmes (Claude Chabrol), Verboten! (Sam Fuller), Give a Girl a Break (Stanley Donen)

(2 stars) La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini), Les Scélérats (Robert Hossein), Marche ou Crève (George Lautner), Les Régates de San Francisco (Claude Autant-Lara), Once More, with Feeling! (Stanley Donen)

(1 star) Jazz on a Summer Day (Bert Stern/Aram Avakian)

(bullet) Tendre et Violente Elisabeth (Henri Decoin), On N’enterre Pas le Dimanche (Michel Drach)

(abstain) Le Baron de L’Ecluse (Jean Delannoy)

Jul ‘60

18 0-1-4-8-5-1

(3 stars) That Kind of Woman (Sidney Lumet)

(2 stars) Time Without Pity (Joseph Losey), The Bank Dick (Edward F Cline), Les Jeux de L’Amour (Philippe de Broca), The Young Stranger (John Frankenheimer)

(1 star) Never on Sunday (Jules Dassin), Sons and Lovers (Jack Cardiff), Edge of Eternity (Don Siegel)

(bullet) Moderato Cantabile (Peter Brook)

Aug ‘60

16 0-0-2-4-8-2

(2 stars) L’Amerique Insolite (François Reichenbach), Private Property (Leslie Stevens)

(1 star) Austerlitz (Abel Gance)

(bullet) Ballad of a Soldier (Grigory Chukhrai), Never So Few (John Sturges), A Summer Place (Delmer Daves)

Sep ‘60

16 0-1-1-5-5-4

(3 stars) Legions of the Nile (Vittorio Cottafavi)

(2 stars) When Comedy Was King (Robert Youngson)

(bullet) Gestapo Contre X (Frédéric Dard), The Tunnel of Love (Gene Kelly), The High Life (Julien Duvivier)

Oct ‘60

19 1-0-4-3-8-3

(4 stars) Poem of the Sea (Alexander Dovzhenko/Julia Solntseva)

(2 stars) The Savage Innocents (Nicholas Ray), The Unforgiven (John Huston), Deep in My Heart (Stanley Donen), A Terrible Beauty (Tay Garnett)

(bullet) Le Bois des Amants (Claude Autant-Lara)

Nov ‘60

19 2-2-3-3-4-5

(4 stars) Sansho (Kenji Mizoguchi), L’Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni)

(3 stars) Heller in Pink Tights (George Cukor), Lady without Camellias (Michelangelo Antonioni), Let’s Make Love (George Cukor)

(2 stars) The Apartment (Billy Wilder), Strangers When We Meet (Richard Quine)

(1 star) Crésus (Jean Giono), Kagi (Kon Ichikawa)

(bullet) La Francaise et L’Amour (various)

(abstain) Peeping Tom (Michael Powell)

Dec ‘60

19 0-2-4-1-10-2

(3 stars) Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock), Sergeant Rutledge (John Ford)

(2 stars) The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (Budd Boeticcher), Le Passage du Rhin (André Cayatte), Murder by Contract (Irving Lerner), Goliath and the Dragon (Vittorio Cottafavi)

(bullet) Zazie on the Metro (Louis Malle), La Verité (Henri-Georges Clouzot), Look Back in Anger (Tony Richardson), From the Terrace (Mark Robson)

Jan ’61

18 2-1-2-7-5-1

(4 stars) Shoot the Piano Player (François Truffaut), Nazarin (Luis Bunuel)

(3 stars) Mein Kampf (Erwin Leiser)

(1 star) The Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman)

(bullet) Boulevard (Julien Duvivier), Terrain Vague (Marcel Carné)

Feb ‘61

15 0-0-2-5-6-2

(2 stars) The Alamo (John Wayne)

(1 star) Bells Are Ringing (Vincente Minelli)

(bullet) Don’t Give Up the Ship (Norman Taurog), Chien de Pique (Yves Allegret)

Mar ‘61

20 0-0-2-9-7-2

(2 stars) Chance Meeting (Joseph Losey), The Lady with the Dog (Josef Heifitz)

(1 star) La Farceur (Phillipe de Broca), The Magnificent Seven (John Sturges), Inherit the Wind (Stranger Kramer)

(bullet) Murder Inc. (Burt Balaban/Stuart Rosenberg), The Fygitive Kind (Sidney Lumet)

(abstain) Tunes of Glory (Ronald Neame)

Apr ‘61

20 1-1-5-5-6-2

(4 stars) La Notte (Luchino Visconti)

(3 stars) Lola (Jacques Demy)

(2 stars) North to Alaska (Henry Hathaway), Les Laches Vivent d’Espoir (Claude Bernard-Aubert)

(1 star) Nobi (Kon Ichikawa), Kismet (Vincente Minelli)

(bullet) L’Amant de Cinq Jours (Phillipe de Broca), BUtterfield 8 (Daniel Mann)

May ‘61

18 1-2-3-6-5-1

(4 stars) Rocco and his Brothers (Luchino Visconti)

(3 stars) Les Godelureaux (Claude Chabrol), Where is Freedom (Roberto Rossellini)
(2 stars) The Great Imposter (Robert Mulligan)

(1 star) The Concrete Jungle (Joseph Losey), Cimarron (Anthony Mann)

(bullet) Le Propre de L’Homme (Claude Lelouch), Sanctuary (Tony Richardson), Until They Sail (Robert Wise)

(abstain) La Princess de Cleves (Jean Delannoy)

Jun ‘61

17 1-4-2-2-5-3

(4 stars) The Sacrilegious Hero (Kenji Mizoguchi)

(3 stars) Bellissima (Luchino Visconti), La Pyramid Humaine (Jean Rouch) Description d’un Combat (Chris Marker), Thirst (Ingmar Bergman)

(2 stars) La Proie pour L’Ombre (Alexandre Astruc), Pick-Up on South Street (Sam Fuller)

(1 star) Shadows (John Cassavetes), The Misfits (John Huston)

(bullet) Kapò (Gillo Pontecorvo), Vive Henri IV (Claude Autant-Lara), La Bride sur la Cou (Roger Vadim/ J D Trop/ Jean Aurel)

(abstain) The Entertainer (Tony Richardson)

Jul ‘61

19 0-2-1-5-5-6

(3 stars) Elmer Gantry (Richard Brooks), Exodus (Otto Preminger)

(2 stars) The Savage Eye (Ben Maddow/ Joseph Strick/ Sidney Meyers)

(1 star) Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Karel Riesz), Home from the Hill (Vincente Minelli)

(bullet) Une Aussi Longue Abscence (Henri Colpi)

(abstain) Two Women (Vittorio de Sica)

Aug ‘61

18 0-1-3-3-7-4

(3 stars) The Diabolical Dr. Mabuse (Fritz Lang)

(2 stars) St-Tropez Blues (Marcel Moussy), The Bellboy (Jerry Lewis), Hoodlum Priest (Irvin Kershner)

(1 star) A Raisin in the Sun (Daniel Petrie), Joan of the Angels (Jerzy Kawalerowicz)

(bullet) Stray Dog (Akira Kurosawa)

Sep ‘61

18 0-1-2-5-7-3

(3 stars) The Young One (Luis Buñuel)

(2 stars) Era Notte a Roma (Roberto Rossellini), Esther and the King (Raoul Walsh/Mario Bava)

(1 star) The Rat Race (Robert Mulligan)

(bullet) This Could be the Night (Robert Wise)

Oct ‘61

18 0-1-2-5-6-4

(3 stars) Morte Saison des Amours (Pierre Kast)

(2 stars) Le Monocle Noir (Georges Lautner), Underworld USA (Sam Fuller)

(1 star) Ocean’s 11 (Lewis Milestone), The Young Savages (John Frankenheimer)

(bullet) La Fille aux Yeux D’Or (Jean-Gabriel Albicocco) L’Atlantide (Edgar Ulmer)

Nov ’61

20 1-2-4-3-5-5

(4 stars) A Woman Is a Woman (Jean-Luc Godard)

(3 stars) Au Prix de sa Vie (Mark Donskoy), Last year at Marienbad (Alain Resnais)

(2 stars) Ce Soir ou Jamais (Michel Deville), Leon Morin, Pretre (Jean-Pierre Melville)

(1 star) Spartacus (Stanley Kubrick), You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man (George Marshall)

(bullet) The Guns of Navarone (J Lee Thompson)

Dec ‘61

18 0-1-2-4-4-7

(3 stars) Two Rode Together (John Ford)

(2 stars) L’Enclos (Armand Gatti), Chronique d'un Été (Edgar Morin/Jean Rouch)

(1 star) One-Eyed Jack (Marlon Brando), Flaming Star (DonSiegel), Wild in the Country (Phillip Dunne)

(bullet) Tout l'Or du Monde (René Clair), Return to Peyton Place (José Ferrer)

(abstain) Le Rendez-vous (Jean Delannoy)

Mar ‘62

16 1-1-4-2-7-1

(4 stars) Jules and Jim (François Truffaut)

(3 stars) The Hustler (Robert Rossen)

(2 stars) Lady for a Day (Frank Capra), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Blake Edwards)

(bullet) The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Vincente Minelli), A View from the Bridge (Sidney Lumet)

Apr ‘62

17 0-0-2-4-5-6

(2 stars) Adorable Menteuse(Michel Deville), Hercules and the Conquest of Atlantis (Vittorio Cottafavi)

(1 star) The Last Sunset (Robert Aldrich), King of Kings (Nicholas Ray)
(bullet) Vie Privée (Louis Malle)

May ’62

18 1-3-2-6-6-0

(4 stars) Splendor in the Grass (Elia Kazan)

(3 stars) The Seven Deadly Sins-- sketch “Lust” (Jacques Demy), The Seven Deadly Sins-- sketch “Sloth” (Jean-Luc Godard), West Side Story (Robert Wise/Jerome Robbins)

(2 stars) The Seven Deadly Sins-- sketch “Greed” (Claude Chabrol)

(1 star) The Seven Deadly Sins-“Envy” sketch (Edouard Molinaro), Cartouche (Philippe de Broca), Fanny (Joshua Logan), Lover Come Back (Delbert Mann)

(bullet) One, Two, Three (Billy Wilder), Sergeants 3 (John Sturges)

June ‘62

16 1-2-2-4-6-1

(4 stars) Viridiana (Luis Bunuel)

(3 stars) Cleo from 5 to 7 (Agnes Varda), Too Late Blues (John Cassavetes)

(2 stars) The Ladies Man (Jerry Lewis), Accatone (Pier Paolo Pasolini)

(1 star) La Chambre Ardente (Julien Duvivier)

Jul ‘62

19 1-2-2-7-7-0

(4 stars) Wild River (Elia Kazan)

(3 stars) Le Caporal Épinglé (Jean Renoir), Le Signe du Lion (Eric Rohmer)

(2 stars) Oeil du Malin (Claude Chabrol)

(1 star) Merrill’s Marauders (Sam Fuller), The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (José Quintero), Phaedra (Jules Dassin)

(bullet) The Innocents (Jack Clayton), The Children’s Hour (William Wyler)

Aug ‘62

21 2-3-4-7-4-1

(4 stars) The General (Clyde Bruckman/Buster Keaton), Vanina Vanini (Roberto Rossellini)

(3 stars) Rendez-vous de Minuit (Roger Leenhardt), Love at Twenty (Andrjez Wajda and François Truffaut sketches)

(2 stars) Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy (Harold Lloyd), Une Grosse Tête (Claude de Givray)

(1 star) Killer’s Kiss (Stanley Kubrick), Divorce - Italian Style (Pietro Germi)

(abstain) Le Coeur Battant (Jacques Donoil-Valcroze)

Oct ‘62

20 1-2-5-6-5-1

(4 stars) Chronicle of Flaming Years(Julia Solntseva)

(3 stars) L’Eclisse (Michelangelo Antonioni), Boccacio ‘70 -- sketch (Luchino Visconti)

(2 stars) Machine-Gun Kelly (Roger Corman)

(1 star) Bonne Chance Charlie (Jean-Louis Richard), Mondo Cane (Paolo Cavara/Gualtero Jacopetti/Franco Prosperi)

(bullet) Boccacio ‘70 -- sketch (Federico Fellini)

Nov ‘62

19 2-3-4-3-5-2

(4 stars) Vivre sa Vie (Jean-Luc Godard), Through a Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman)

(3 stars) The Man Who Killed Liberty Valance (John Ford), Therese Desqueyroux (Georges Franju), Eva (Joseph Losey)

(2 stars) Advise and Consent (Otto Preminger), L’Éducation Sentimentale (Alexandre Astruc)

(bullet) The Devil and the Ten Commandments (Julien Duvivier), That Touch of Mink (Delbert Mann)

Dec ‘62

16 0-2-1-5-6-2

(3 stars) Ride the High Country (Sam Peckinpaugh), Sweet Bird of Youth (Richard Brooks)

(2 stars) The Longest Day (Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernard Wicki)

(1 star) Birdman of Alcatraz (John Frankenheimer), Cape Fear (J Lee Thompson)

(bullet) Electra (Michael Cacoyannis)

Jan ‘63

17 1-1-1-6-3-5

(4 stars) The Miracle Worker (Arthur Penn)

(3 stars) Lolita (Stanley Kubrick)

(2 stars) How the West Was Won (John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall)

(1 star) Billy Budd (Peter Ustinov), L’Oeil du Monocle (Georges Lautner), Sodom and Gomorrah (Robert Aldrich), The Manchurian Candidate (John Frankenheimer)

Feb ‘63

17 1-1-2-6-2-4

(4 stars) Hatari (Howard Hawks)

(3 stars) I Vinti (Michelangelo Antonioni)

(2 stars) The Trial (Orson Welles)

(1 star) Mandrin (Jean-Paul Le Chanois) Mutiny on the Bounty (Lewis Milestone), Les Quatre Verities-- sketch (René Clair)

(bullet) Five Miles to Midnight (Anatole Litvak)

Mar ‘63

14 1-2-2-2-3-4

(4 stars) Le Petit Soldat (Jean-Luc Godard)

(3 stars) Landru (Claude Chabrol), Bandits a Orgosolo (Vittorio de Seta)

(2 stars) Il Posto (Ermanno Olmi), The Errand Boy (Jerry Lewis)

(1 star) Le Muetrier (Claude Autant-Lara)

(bullet) The Sword and the Balance (André Cayatte)

Apr ‘63

14 0-2-2-4-2-2

(3 stars) 14-18 (Jean Aurel), Bay of Angels (Jacques Demy)

(2 stars) Salvatore Giuliano (Francesco Rosi), Le Soupirant (Pierre Étaix)

(1 star) Ophelia (Claude Chabrol), The War Lover (Phillip Leacock)

May ‘63

17 1-0-4-7-5-0

(4 stars) Trial of Joan of Arc (Robert Bresson)

(2 stars) A Taste of Honey (Tony Richardson), It’s Only Money (Frank Tashlin), All Fall Down (John Frankenheimer)

(1 star) Two for the Seesaw (Robert Wise), Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean), Dr. No (Terence Young)

(bullet) Melodie en Sous-Sol (Henri Verneuil), Le Jour et L’Heure (René Clément), L’Immortelle (Alain Robbe-Grillet)

June ‘63

15 1-2-1-6-5-0

(4 stars) The Exterminating Angel (Luis Bunuel)

(3 stars) Knife in the Water (Roman Polanski) Les Abysses (Nico Papatakis)

(2 stars) Le Joli Mai (Chris Marker)

(1 star) Mourir a Madrid (Frédéric Rossif), Requiem for a Heavyweight (Ralph Nelson), Tall Story (Joshua Logan)

Jul ‘63

20 1-2-4-8-4-1

(4 stars) Les Carabiniers (Jean-Luc Godard)

(3 stars) 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini), Nine Days (Mikhail Romm)

(2 stars) Tu Ne Tueras Point (Claude Autant-Lara), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (Robert Aldrich)

(1 star) This Sporting Life (Lindsay Anderson), The Bathhouse (Sergei Yutkevich), To Kill a Mockingbird (Robert Mulligan)

(bullet) 55 Days to Peking (Nicholas Ray)

Aug ‘63

15 0-1-3-5-2-4

(3 stars) Wuthering Heights (Luis Bunuel)

(2 stars) Il Sorpaso (Dino Risi)

(1 star) The Leopard (Luchino Visconti), Two Weeks in Another Town (Vincente Minelli)

Sep ‘63

17 1-2-2-3-4-5

(4 stars) The Chapman Report (George Cukor)

(3 stars) Marilyn (Harold Medford), Hitler, Connais Pas (Bertrand Blier)
(2 stars) Something Wild (Jack Garfein), Bachelor Flat (Frank Tashlin)

(1 star) Harikari (Masaki Kobayashi)

(bullet) The List of Adrian Messenger (John Huston)

Oct ‘63

18 1-1-3-8-3-2

(4 stars) The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock)

(3 stars) Cuba Si (Chris Marker)

(1 star) The Man from the Diners Club (Frank Tashlin), The Great Escape (John Sturges)

(bullet) PT-109 (Leslie Martinson), A Gathering of Eagles (Delbert Mann)

Nov ’63

18 2-3-1-4-4-4

(4 stars) Adieu Philippine (Jacques Rozier), Muriel (Alain Resnais)

(3 stars) Donovan’s Reef (John Ford), Vacances Portugaises (Pierre Kast), Irma La Douce (Billy Wilder)

(2 stars) Le Magot de Joséfa (Claude Autant-Lara)

(1 star) Le Feu Follet (Louis Malle), Hud (Martin Ritt), All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk)

(bullet) L’Aine des Ferchaux (Jean-Pierre Melville), Codine (Henri Colpi), Germinal (Yves Allegret)

Dec ’63 – Jan ‘64

21 1-1-4-5-6-4

(4 stars) The Nutty Professor (Jerry Lewis)

(3 stars) The Swedish Mistress (Vilgot Sjöman)

(2 stars) Hands Over the City (Francesco Rosi), Hallelujah the Hills (Ed Emshwiller/Adolfas Mekas), The World of Apu (Satyajit Ray)

(1 star) Journal Intime (Valerio Zurlini), My Name Is Ivan (Andrei Tarkovsky), Peau de Banane (Marcel Ophuls)

(bullet) Cleopatra (Joseph L Mankiewicz), The Condemned of Altoona (Vittorio de Sica), Chair de Poule (Julien Duvivier)

Feb ’64

18 1-0-3-3-6-5

(4 stars) Contempt (Jean-Luc Godard)

(2 stars) It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World (Stanley Kramer), Charade (Stanley Donen)

(1 star) Les Tonton Flingueurs (Georges Lautner), The Cardinal (Otto Preminger)

(bullet) The Balcony (Joseph Strick), Tom Jones (Tony Richardson)

Mar ’64

20 0-2-2-8-1-7

(3 stars) Judex (Georges Franju), Bye-Bye Birdie (George Sidney)

(1 star) La Vie Conjugale (André Cayatte)

(bullet) Kings of the Sun (J Lee Thompson)

Apr ’64

22 2-2-2-9-5-2

(4 stars)The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Jacques Demy), Diary of a Chambermaid (Luis Bunuel)

(3 stars) Gordeyev Family (Mark Donskoy), Light in the Piazza (Guy Green)

(2 stars) The Pink Panther (Blake Edwards)

(1 star) Night Train (Jerzy Kawalerowicz), That Man from Rio (Philippe de Broca), Le Tulip Noire (Christian-Jaque), The Haunting (Robert Wise)

(bullet) The Victors (Carl Foreman)

May ’64

22 2-2-3-3-6-6

(4 stars) The Servant (Joseph Losey), The Silence (Ingmar Bergman)

(3 stars) Pour la Suite du Monde (Michel Brault/ Marcel Carrière/Pierre Perrault), Four for Texas (Robert Aldrich)

(2 stars) Le Punition (Jean Rouch), Seven Days in May (John Frankenheimer)

(bullet) From Russia with Love (Terence Young)

Jun ’64

24 0-4-6-4-6-3

(3 stars) La Jetée (Chris Marker), Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick), The Fiancés (Ermanno Olmi), The Pumpkin Eater (Jack Clayton)

(2 stars) Who’s Minding the Store? (Frank Tashlin), Cyrano and D’Artagnan (Abel Gance), Des Pissenlits par la Racine (Georges Lautner)

(1 star) The Fall of the Roman Empire (Anthony Mann), Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Vittorio de Sica)

(bullet) The Prize (Mark Robson), Becket (Peter Glenville)

Jul ’64

23 3-4-5-3-4-4

(4 stars) Wagonmaster (John Ford), America, America (Elia Kazan), La Bataille de France (Jean Aurel)

(3 stars) The Hidden Fortress (Akira Kurosawa), The Terrorist (Gainfranco De Bosio), La Peau Douce (François Truffaut), Freud (John Huston)

(2 stars) David and Lisa (Frank Perry), The Best Man (Franklin Schaffner), Soldier in the Rain (Ralph Nelson)

(1 star) Samson (Nanabhai Bhatt)

(bullet) Les Felins (René Clement)

Aug-Sep ’64

24 1-0-1-2-6-13

(4 stars) Bande à Part (Jean-Luc Godard)

(2 stars) Paris When It Sizzles (Richard Quine)

(1 star) La Vie à L’Envers (Alain Jessua), Seduced and Abandoned (Pietro Germi)

Oct ’64

20 0-2-4-3-5-6

(3 stars) Man’s Favorite Sport ? (Howard Hawks), A Distant Trumpet (Raoul Walsh)

(2 stars) The World of Henry Orient (Georges Roy Hill), Les Plus Belles Escroqueries du Monde (sketch film)

(1 star) One Potato, Two Potato (Larry Peerce)

(bullet) Topkapi (Jules Dassin)

(abstain) Les Amities Particulieres (Jean Delannoy)
Nov ’64

23 2-3-4-5-6-3

(4 stars) Harlem Story (Shirley Clarke), All These Women (Ingmar Bergman)

(3 stars) Bebo’s Girl (Luigi Comencini), The Damned (Joseph Losey), Time Stood Still (Ermanno Olmi)

(2 stars) World Without Sun (Jacques-Yves Cousteau), A Hard Day’s Night (Richard Lester), Love with a Proper Stranger (Robert Mulligan)

(1 star) The Train (John Frankenheimer), L’Insoumis (Alan Cavalier)

Jan ’65

25 2-3-5-2-4-9

(4 stars) The Red Desert (Michelangelo Antonioni), Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock)

(3 stars) The Night of the Iguana (John Huston), Cheyenne Autumn (John Ford), The Passenger (Andrjez Munk)

(2 stars) The Patsy (Jerry Lewis), And Quiet Flows the Don (Sergei Gerasimov), The Tiger Likes Fresh Meat (Claude Chabrol)

(1 star) The Killers (Don Siegel), La Ronde (Roger Vadim)

(abstain) Behold a Pale Horse (Fred Zinneman)

Feb ’65

26 2-0-5-3-2-14

(4 stars) A Married Woman (Jean-Luc Godard), Gertrud (Carl Theodore Dreyer)

(2 stars) I Step Through Moscow (Georgi Daneliya), Les Barbouzes (Georges Lautner)

(1 star) Marriage Italian-Style (Vittorio de Sica)

(abstain) My Fair Lady (George Cukor)

Mar ’65

28 1-5-6-5-6-5

(4 stars) Lilith (Robert Rossen)

(3 stars) Yoyo (Pierre Étaix), Kiss Me, Stupid (Billy Wilder), Not on Your Life (Luis García Berlanga), Weekend (Palle Kjærulff-Schmidt), The Thin Red Line (Andrew Marton)

(2 stars) Mata-Hari (Jean-Luis Richard)

(1 star) De L’Amour (Jean Aurel)

(bullet) The Outrage (Martin Ritt), Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton)

May-Jun ’65

27 2-2-4-4-7-8

(4 stars) Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard), Winter Light (Ingmar Bergman)

(3 stars) Le 317e Section (Pierre Schoendoerffer), Journal d’une Femme en Blanc (Claude Autant-Lara)

(2 stars) Thomas the Imposter (Georges Franju), How to Murder Your Wife (Richard Quine)

(1 star) Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte (Robert Aldrich)

(bullet) Major Dundee (Sam Peckinpaugh), John Goldfarb, Please Come Home (J Lee Thompson)

Aug ’65

20 0-1-4-6-6-3

(3 stars) Baby, The Rain Must Fall (Robert Mulligan)

(2 stars) A High Wind in Jamaica (Alexander Mackendrick), The Knack ...and How to Get It (Richard Lester)

(1 star) 36 Hours (George Seaton), A House Is Not a Home (Russell Rouse), The Hanged Man (Don Siegel)

(bullet) Kitten With a Whip (Douglas Heyes), The Rounders (Burt Kennedy)

(abstain) The Gun Hawk (Edward Ludwig)

Sep ’65

25 1-1-6-4-8-5

(4 stars) Young Cassidy (Jack Cardiff, John Ford)

(3 stars) L’Amour a la Chaine (Claude de Givray)

(2 stars) Marie Chantal Contre le Dr. Kaft (Claude Chabrol), Viva Las Vegas (George Sidney), Sex and the Single Girl (Richard Quine), Les Baisers (sketch film – Claude Berri, Bertrand Tavernier)

(1 star) Un Mari a Prix Fixe (Claude de Givray)

(bullet) Tokyo Olympiades (Kon Ichikawa), None but the Brave (Frank Sinatra), Von Ryan’s Express (Mark Robson)

(abstain) Le Lit a Deux Places (Jean Delannoy)

Sep ’66

23 1-0-3-5-2-12

(4 stars) Seven Women (John Ford)

(2 stars) The Roaring Twenties (Raoul Walsh), Duel at Diablo (Ralph Nelson)

(1 star) Arabesque (Stanley Donen), The Slender Thread (Sydney Pollack) I Knew Her Well (Antonio Petrangeli)

(bullet) The Oscar (Russell Rouse), Girl Happy (Boris Sagal)

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Some ideas from Jean Aurenche.

Jean Aurenche is well-known for being Francois Truffaut's target in the article “A Certain Tendency of French Cinema”. He also collaborated with the director Bertrand Tavernier when Tavernier was starting out as a director. Tavernier told the “Guardian” newspaper in 2002,

“By attacking Aurenche, he attacked the person who was closest to the new wave - the person who was ready to experiment and who was the most open. He was the one who told me: get rid of the plot; we must write only for our pleasure. He was the contrary to the technician Truffaut described. He was a kind of a poet, sometimes misfiring, sometimes brilliant.",11710,817147,00.html

These are some translation that I made from Aurenche’s memoir “La Suite à l’Écran” (The Rest Is on the Screen).

On André Gide and the film version of his novella "La Symphonie pastorale" (pages 132-133)

“Gide had himself began to draw an adaptation of it, ["La Symphonie pastorale"] at the request of the producer Jacques Gide who was his cousin. On reading the first pages of his screenplay, the producers expressed disappointment....They called on Bost and me never showing us Gide’s script and I learned later that Gide, displeased by this decision, opted to bow out and he withdrew.
When Gide read our manuscript he did not care for it at all and made us aware of that, without however intervening to have changes made. The film had a great success and, I don’t know if he reappraised his opinion but, in any case, he had the kindness to tell us that he was very happy for our success and that he might possibly have been to harsh with regard to our work.
Time passed. Twenty years later - long after Gide’s death - his fifty page treatment came into my hands. In point of fact the story of "La Symphonie pastorale" had not much interested Bost and me. Nevertheless, we endeavored to be faithful to it. Gide who was a very intelligent man had not tried to conform to his book and, in his adaptation, he went so far as to attempt a critique of his novel. His screenplay was much more relaxed and much more interesting than ours, freer and more entertaining. I regret that he was not allowed to finish it.
Whatever, "La Symphonie pastorale", was not a good film but it was an enormous success. It won all kinds of awards, including the Palme D’Or at Cannes....Today, I find the film pompous. It seems to me that this is due to the style of its director, Jean Delannoy, who however was in life anything but self-important. But often pomp impresses people to the point of beguiling them.”

On Jean Delannoy (page 181-182)

“Delannoy truly had the knack of spoiling a good story..... All our ideas (and his) are there but withered and devitalized. You never knew what to do with Delannoy who, however, during the writing was more intelligent, more creative than Rene Clement. Turn the cameras and it all fled him.”

On “Notre Dame de Paris” (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”) (1956)

“Delannoy fiddled with the screenplay and did a bad job of it.”

On Julien Duvivier (page 183)

“A disagreeable memory [“Femme et le pantin“] not only because the result was horrible and stupid but because more than that Duvivier was second-rate, aggressive, thickheaded and not very intelligent.”

On Charles Spaak (page 233)

“I was never impressed by [Charles] Spaak whom I found to be too ponderous, too stilted except when he wrote for Renoir or Gremillon which tends to prove that the real creator of a film is the director. And the scriptwriter is the fifth wheel on the carriage.”

On Monte Hellman’s “Two-lane Blacktop” (page 233)

“A fantastic film... About car-racers who compete in illegal and secret drag-racing in back-country America. On first view, everything about them was repulsive to me. By the end of the film, I had come to know them. I felt I was sharing their lives.”

On not becoming a director himself (page 156)

“It was because of the cinematographer’s that I finally gave up on the idea of becoming a director. The stars did not sleep with the directors, but with the cinematographer’s. They made me too afraid. They could sweep away one of your ideas with a categorical, “That’s impossible”. Even [Autant]-Lara feared a cinematographer like Michel Kleber. That’s all changed now. I have often been on Tavernier’s set. He does not fear Pierre-William Glenn, and Glenn does not fear him. They amuse and stimulate each other, while before what happened, happened in an unbearable atmosphere...except with [Christian] Matras and [Armand] Thirard...Jean Renoir revolted against this dictatorship without creating a counter-dictatorship. ”

On René Clément (page 231)

“The director must feel that he is independent...Patricia Highsmith said that the only good film drawn from one of her novels was ‘Plein Soleil‘. because Clément and Gegauff had completely re-examined her novel. In Gérard Philipe’s analysis, Clément “directed against the screenplay and he cut the film against the direction.”

On Claude Autant-Lara

(page 91)
“That said, it should be known that [Autant]-Lara loathed Bost and passed up no opportunity to denigrate him. He judged him too austere, too Protestant, too puritan, a lot of bull, right? That exasperated Pierre who when he was drunk could become violent and swear like a trooper. He rewrote the dialogue for ‘La Jument Verte’ to get vengeance on Lara who, on reading it, turned red. He did not know where to start. I never saw a man so shocked.”

“The real problems though were between Lara and Jeanson. Jeanson was writing the dialogue for ‘Marguerite de la nuit’ and Lara who did not like his work at all, did not dare to tell him. More exactly, he had attempted telling him, but had gotten nowhere. He gave up telling himself, “Let him work”. Only, at night, the unhappy Ghislaine [Autant-Lara’s wife], according to an expression dear to Lara, “rolled up her sleeves” and rewrote the dialogue.”

From Jean Aurenche “La Suite à l’Écran” (“The Rest Is On The Screen”).

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Cahiers "young turks" and French Quality directors -- May '57

In the May 1957 "Situation of French Cinema" special issue of Cahiers du Cinema, an article featured sixty French directors with a capsule chronology, a filmography and a thumbnail critique for each one. What follows is my translation of the critiques of twelve directors who are the “usual suspects” of “French Quality” cinema. These thumbnails were written by Charles Bitsch, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Donoil-Valcroze, Claude de Givray, Jean-Luc Godard, Robert Lachenay, Louis Marcorelles and Luc Moullet. They were not, however, individually credited. The presence of “Robert Lachenay” in this group, probably signals the participation of François Truffaut.

Once again, these thumbnail critiques were originally published in the May 1957 special "Situation of French Cinema" issue of "Cahiers du Cinema" and translated by me.

Yves Allegret

“Dédée d'Anvers“, “Une si jolie petite plage“, “Manèges” and “Les Orgueilleux” form a coherent whole with a progression towards a mastery of a style and a world-vision, questionable though it be. This “noir” suite lays bear injustice and social hypocrisy, greed, the corruptive power of money, the loneliness of those who do not play the game and the impossibility of love. Praiseworthy concerns, but mingled in with an indulgence for the villainy shown. No matter, the undertaking was viable, strewn with robust scenes, taken from uncompromising ethnological documents on man who is referred to as civilized but who is in the twentieth century savage. Then came three failures. Even should this remain the state of things, Yves Allégret deserves a paragraph in the history of cinema, but no more than that.

Claude Autant-Lara

For many producers, he is the surest of the prominent directors. This blessing constrains him to subjects less demanding and less personal than he might want (but he pressed “Marguerite de la nuit”, one of his poorer films), Censorship has also played him some dirty tricks. For these two reasons, the ensemble of his work, careful, intelligent, and skilful does not avoid a certain classicism which poorly fits this auteur - passionate, mettlesome, explosive, quarrelsome and “committed”, but also esthetic and sentimental. For this reason, one must wonder if, with the march of time, “Diable au corps” and “Le Blé en herbe” will still scandalize the right-thinking. Our wager: these films will pass for romantic - which perhaps they are - and which certainly “Le Rouge et le Noir” is, despite that the accent is placed there on social rather than psychological drama. By contrast, “La Traversée de Paris“, represents in his body of work, the ideal convergence of the ambitions of the auteur and public success. If the fashion of judging the world that is encountered there is more out of the 1930s - an epoque in which the judgment of an Autant-Lara or an Aurenche is fixed - than of 1957, if thus this fashion of judgment was then more revealing than today, it is less that Autant-Lara has preserved the spirit of his youth for which he should be reproached than to the time-lags and contradictions of production. He is attracted to stories of adolescent love but his “children who love” remain, in general, rather theoretic. And that is why the bitter and always revolting style of Lara is better accommodated by a pitiless analysis of disagreeable characters such as those of “La Traversée de Paris”.


As “Carlo” does rhyme with “bravo”, let us regret not being able to applaud his work. “L’ Armoire volante”, in taking us to cloud nine, was not a “signed Levitan”. The sketch film “La Gourmandise” left us dreaming of enchanting tomorrows: one must feel disenchanted. If René Clair’s fault is not allowing himself to be guided by his instinct, Carlo Rim, by contrast, would gain by more self-analysis and better self-control: the crudities would be prevented from becoming vulgarities, the bawdiness from becoming obscenity, and the jokes from becoming oafish. His comic style makes him a cabaret artist-filmmaker who came too late to mise-en-scene. As with Franju and Roquier, the pre-war climate would have been more propitious to the fostering of his talent. The young cinephiles prefer “Admiral” Carbonnaux to this Montmartrois, Carlo Rim.

Marcel Carné

Gamboling not without some awkwardness in a private world of the most formal poetry (“Les Visiteurs du soir“, ”Juliette ou La clef des
songes“) but asserting a consistent taste for recreating the atmosphere of an epoque ( “Drôle de drame“, and “Les Enfants du paradis” which so enchanted the anglo-saxon spectators). Carné is quite himself only as a populist. He has frequented all the little bistros of the Republic, of the Faubourg Saint-Martin or of Boulogne-Billancourt, the dance halls and the furnished townhouses. His Parisien films have the “back-to-work” sourness of the day after a holiday when it is necessary to return to one’s labors. He remains quite strictly tied to a social period -- the Popular Front. Carné lived his golden age as the nucleus of one of the most perfect teams of French cinema -- Prevert, Trauner, Jaubert and Gabin. Friends quarrel intensely and do good work together. Today Carné must defend by himself a prestigious reputation, but he is still the capable artisan whom we knew before 1939. Mad lover of impeccable work, tending towards a formalism a little too dried out that he perhaps inherited from his master, Jacques Feyder.

André Cayatte

After nine average films where only the skillfulness of “Le Chanteur inconnu” stands the test of time, he made the last of the great Jacques Prevert films “Les Amants de Vérone”, a work confused and often irritating but more often moving in its tragic and poetic expression of Fate. Would he be the new Carné? No, his reputation and celebrity since, and (including “Justice est faite”) rests on four “thesis” (whatever that means) films: distinguished, demanding, skillful and often courageous but which, legal pleas rather than works of art, defy esthetic judgment and the “crtitique of beautés”. He defends his ideas as one defends one’s clients, speaking to the gallery. Here, a series of techniques and gestures which might have a polemic value but which are not relevant to the art of film. “Oeil pour Oeil”, shot entirely on location and without any thesis will be awfully revealing. Will we finally know who Cayatte is when, as all authentic creators, he speaks, first off, for himself.

René Clair

A complete film auteur who, from the silent era has brought to French cinema intelligence, finesse, humor, and an intellectualism a bit dry but smiling and in good taste. He was very nearly hobbled by the “talkie” but he quickly understood that his style, inherited from the French “primitives” could easily adapt to this additional frill. “Quatorze Juillet” marks a high point. What follows appears more labored, but “quality” remains. His four post-war films demonstrate an evolution but betray a certain difficulty in finding subjects and end with “Les Grandes manoeuvres“, a finely chiseled and melancholy work. “Porte des Lilas” is announced as a more unusual film with finer turns. In whatever manner that his career continues, he has created a cinematographic universe which is his own, a universe rigorous and not shorn of fantasy, thanks to which he remains one of the greatest film-makers.

René Clément

To call him the greatest French director would be a gratuitous compliment, if one did not imply that Renoir or Bresson are greater because they are more “film auteurs”. In as much as he as proven in “Monsieur Ripois” that his talent could flourish without the help of Aurenche and Bost and as he is now, with Irvin Shaw, the author of the adaptation of “Un barrage Contre la Pacifique” whose mastery and quality we can reasonably presume. More than everything else and beyond their scenarists, all Clément’s films - including his only failure “Le Château de Verre” - manifest a continuous philosophy which is well the doing of their realisateur. His characters are all prisoners of historical or geographical conditions or, more simply, of themselves and it is their desperate battle to break through the bars and vanquish their solitude, battles, doomed to failure or derision, which he paints for us with a meticulous and lucid realism which broaches at once both cruelty and lyricism. He is more than the obstinate architect of proud buildings constructed in tailored stone, more than a majestic director of actors, more than the master of a rigorous style, he is also -- in the proportion that one can measure living artists -- the “film genius”.

Henri-Georges Clouzot

At the age of seven, he wrote a play whose protagonist rid himself of his wife by putting nails in her soup. The story of his life reveals him to be stubborn, clear-sighted, concerned to express the “hard face” of existence. This is a “film auteur”. “I do not believe,” he says, “in a director who is not his own writer.“ He loves his metier. “I am most of all physical, but my greatest pleasure in directing a film, is the shooting, the editing.” He depicts situations with no concern for the judgments of society, but he puts himself in danger of taking the bite from his films by targeting too great a number of spectators. “I work for the Gaumont-Palace,” he proclaims. But we know so well that his concerns, his obsessions -- perversion, true cruelty -- are not compatible with the wants of the great public. Thus, how Clouzot is careful of self-censorship. Furthermore, he knows where he is going and why, in his gallery of monsters, he puts great emphasis on the revolting, the sadistic, the subversive, the executioner. By subtraction, he, little-by-little, reveals, with the sharpness of a photgraphic negative, the dazzling image of pure innocence and of selfless friendship.

Henri Decoin

A little out-of-fashion with his silk scarf in his open-collar shirt. But what of it! Directors who are indulged by history shoot what they want, when they want, where they want. And since long ago, Henri Decoin is one among them. He shoots anything, anywhere, with anyone, but not anyway, however. Decoin spurs integrity all way to reflection on the subjects offered to him. He never hesitates to take risks and goes back to square one, even, after a successful film. Light-hearted, some twenty years ago, when his heart beat for Danielle Darrieux, his name now weighs heavily in the arguments of producers. For Henri knows how, without panache, to adapt himself to all genres, all styles. Why reproach him for this facility? It permits him to be the darling child of the distributors. What says it better?

Jean Delannoy

More than festival awards, his films have most often known success with the public, and, as much evidence confirms it, have “touched” the spectators. A paradoxical situation, since, what critics in general have mostly reproached him -- who has given us this definition “cinema is a movement of the heart” -- for the coldness of his narration and the dryness of his direction, despite a sureness of technique and a copious sense of craft. Academicism, a superficial exploitation of great literary works or social problems, say the most severe. Is this only bias? Well, a critic as perceptive and little inclined to vehemence as Pierre Lephoron came to this conclusion which we will make our own: “One would have to believe that the director of 'Marie-Antoinette Reine de France' tends toward an art that he is incapable of attaining, that his ambitions, as noble as they are, lead him and his finished work astray.”

Julien Duvivier

Some will tell you that today’s Duvivier is not worthy of yesterday’s Duvivier and judge “L’ Affaire Maurizius“ by wailing for “Pépé le Moko”. One might respond by burning “Un Carnet de Bal” in the name of “Sous le Ciel de Paris”. In fact, Duvivier’s career is like a temperature chart with spiked highs and vertiginous slumps that, when led back to a happy medium witnesses an enviable warmth. If it it is rare that his films make rapt, it is rarer that his films make bored. His taste for a certain style of the baroque, culminating with “La Fête à Henriette” make him the often guileful, sometimes aggravating champion of the unexpected. Constructed in stucco rather than cut in marble, his structures are not those that last, but perishables are not the least of foodstuffs.

Jean Grémillon

Since 1953, Jean Grémillon has not directed a feature film. However, “Remorques”, “Lumière d'été” and “Le 6 juin à l'aube” suffice to assure him renown. But, from one who, after the Liberation was considered the most complete French director we had hoped for better and, above all that he would give to our screen the kind of social conscience that it has always lacked. His culture and his moderation would undoubtedly permit him to fill this delicate role. But the imperatives of production decided otherwise and Grémillon’s character did the rest. These half-solutions didn’t suit him which his last three films illustrate, although “L’ Amour d'une Femme” deserved a better reception.

Once again, these thumbnail critiques were originally published in the May 1957 special "Situation of French Cinema" issue of "Cahiers du Cinema" and translated by me.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Rod Steiger on Harry Baur

From “The Guardian" interview with Rod Steiger" at the National Film Theater, 23 August 1992, reprinted in “Rod Steiger" by Tom Hutchinson page 215.

"My favorite actor that impressed me was a French actor. An incredible talent named Harry Baur….And Harry Baur when he did “Les Miserables" and played both parts…That I would love to have…This man had the ability to stand still, and he’d make a universe around himself. Incredible."

François Truffaut and "le petit voisin"

Jérôme Tonnerre is one of the more successful screenwriters of the past two decades in France. He has worked with directors such as Yves Robert (“La Gloire de Mon Père“/“My Father‘s Glory“, “Le Château de ma Mère/ “My Mother‘s House“)“Claude Sautet (“Quelques Jours avec Moi“, “Un Coeur en Hiver“/ “A Heart in Winter“), Phillippe de Broca (“Les 1001 Nuits“, “Le Bossu”) , Jean-Paul Rappeneau (“Bon Voyage“), Patrice Leconte (“Confidences Trop Intimes“/“Intimate Strangers“), and Claude Lelouch (“Viva la Vie!”). In a memoir published in 1999, but as of yet not translated into English, “Le Petit Voisin”, he writes of the meeting that determined that his young fatherless boy would become a screenwriter.

“My name is Tonnerre, Jérôme, Christopher, Armand. I aver that on October 11, in 1974, at six o’clock in the evening, at the of fifteen years, I was born. I had dared to sound the buzzer chez François Truffaut.” (pages 15-16, Le Petit Voisin)

I would like here to share with any of those of you who are interested some of Tonnerre’s musings on some of the odd circumstances of Truffaut’s death. This is my translation from pages 148 to 150 of Jérôme Tonnerre’s “Le Petit Voisin”

“Sunday, October 21 1984, Rue Michel-Ange, After making love, the night. Mouth of darkness, the radio proffers, “The filmmaker François Truffaut died this afternoon in the American Hospital at Neuilly as a result of a tumor of the brain.
“A priest, Father Popeiluszko and a child, little Gregory, preceded him by a little. Still others are going to escort him.
“Pierre Kast, a companion of the New Wave, had died on the evening of Saturday October 20, on board an airplane that was repatriating him on an emergency from Rome. He was preparing an adaptation of “L’Herbe Rouge” to star Jean-Pierre Leaud. Oddly, Boris Vian [the author of the novel “L’Herbe Rouge“] had himself met death as he was playing a role in a Kast film, on June 23, 1959, during a showing of “J'irai cracher sur vos tombes” [based on another Vian novel] at Marbeuf, the theater where Truffaut in July 1946 had discovered “Citizen Kane”, the bestowing wellspring of a young man which determines his career as a cineaste.
“On Friday, October 19, attended by a nurse who had no idea who he was, Henri Michaux decided between “ways of being asleep” and “ways of being awake”. His family revealed the news only after his cremation. His adored wife had been burned alive.
“Two beings whom we admired can not know each other during their lives - no connections of my awareness except a poorly loved childhood, a distant mother - and find each associated with the other at the end.
“Libération“, on Monday October 22, on its front page headlines this rhyming couplet:

Michaux is dead
Truffaut is dead

“The list does not end there.
“That same day, Oskar Werner, the Jules of “Jules and Jim”, the Montag of “Fahrenheit” dies in Vienna. Death cultivates its humor, icily. As German speakers will appreciate, the fireman Montag was extinguished (s’est éteint) on a Monday.
“A cohort of premature deaths, all Carosse family, have since followed Truffaut. A veritable film crew: cinematographer Nestor Almendros, composer Georges Delerue, photographer Pierre Zucca, scenarist Bernard Revon, and the actors Delphine Seyrig and Charles Denner.
“Condemned to silence by sickness, the star of “L’Homme qui aimait les femmes”(“The Man Who Loved Women”) also passed on a Sunday. In hospitals, it is fact that more people die on this day.
“The title of Charles Williams novel - The Long Saturday Night - suggest a “serie noire” sleepless night . That of its film version - Vivement Dimanche! - [ though that film is known in English as “Confidentially Yours”, its actual translation would be, “I can’t wait for Sunday”] suggest an impatience for a Sunday repose, unless it be a case of “the big sleep”. In titling his last opus, Truffaut should have heeded [Jacques] Audiberti. He who admired so much Audiberti’s final book, that journal of his sickness, “Dimanche m’attend” (“Sunday awaits me”). “I keep my journal. It keeps me.” Inevitably, Audiberti died on a Sunday.”