Claude Berri

Claude Berri (French: [bɛʁi]; 1 July 1934 – 12 January 2009) was a French film director, writer, producer, actor and distributor.

Claude Berri
Claude Berel Langmann

(1934-07-01)1 July 1934
Died12 January 2009(2009-01-12) (aged 74)
OccupationFilm producer, actor, screenwriter, film director
Years active1953–2008
Spouse(s)Anne-Marie Rassam
(m. ??; d. 1997)
ChildrenJulien Rassam
Thomas Langmann
RelativesArlette Langmann (sister)
AwardsOscar Best Short Film
(for Le Poulet)

Early life

Born Claude Berel Langmann in Paris, Berri was the son of Jewish immigrant parents.[1] His mother, Beila (née Bercu), was from Romania, and his father, Hirsch Langmann, was a furrier from Poland.[2] His sister was the screenwriter and editor Arlette Langmann.


Berri won the "Best Film" BAFTA for Jean de Florette, and was also nominated for twelve César Awards, though he never won. Berri also won the Oscar for Best Short Film for Le Poulet at the 38th Academy Awards in 1966, and produced Roman Polanski's Tess which was nominated for Best Picture in 1981.

Internationally, however, two films in 1986 overshadow all his other achievements. Jean de Florette and its sequel Manon des Sources were huge hits.[3] In 1991, his film Uranus was entered into the 41st Berlin International Film Festival.[4] Six years later, his film Lucie Aubrac was entered into the 47th Berlin International Film Festival.[5]

In 2003, he was elected President of the Cinémathèque Française where he obtained enough state subsidies to cover the costs of its resurgence at its new site in the rue de Bercy.[6]

Personal life

Berri's wife, Anne-Marie Rassam, committed suicide in 1997, jumping from the apartment of Isabelle Adjani's mother.[7] Berri and Rassam had two children: actor Julien Rassam and actor and film producer Thomas Langmann.


Berri died of a stroke, in Paris, aged 74.[8] After his death, a group of nine works by Robert Ryman, Ad Reinhardt, Giorgio Morandi, Richard Serra and Lucio Fontana was promised to the Centre Pompidou in Paris in lieu of tax. But the heirs of the film director finally sold them through French art dealer Philippe Ségalot for about €50 million to Qatar.[9]



  • 1962: Le Poulet (short) (released 1965) Winner Best Live Action Short Film Oscar (also produced)
  • 1964: Les Baisers (segment « Baiser de 16 ans »)
  • 1964: La Chance et l'amour (segment « La Chance du guerrier »)
  • 1967: Le Vieil Homme et l'Enfant (US title: The Two of Us) (also screenwriter)
  • 1968: Mazel Tov ou le Mariage
  • 1969: Le Pistonné
  • 1971: Le Cinéma de papa
  • 1972: Sex-shop
  • 1975: Le Mâle du siècle
  • 1976: La Première fois
  • 1977: Un moment d'égarement
  • 1980: Je vous aime
  • 1981: Le Maître d'école
  • 1983: Tchao Pantin (English title: So Long, Stooge)
  • 1986: Jean de Florette
  • 1986: Manon des Sources (US title: Manon of the Spring) — sequel to Jean de Florette (second half of the book L'Eau des collines)
  • 1990: Uranus
  • 1993: Germinal at the time, the most expensive French feature film ever made
  • 1996: Lucie Aubrac
  • 1999: La débandade
  • 2002: Une femme de ménage (English title: A Housekeeper)
  • 2004: L'Un reste, l'autre part
  • 2007: Ensemble, c'est tout (English title: Hunting and Gathering)
  • 2009: Trésor (also screenwriter and producer; died after four days of filming)



  • 1967: Le Vieil Homme et l'Enfant, novel that was adapted by Berri for the film. (English: The Two of Us. Helen Weaver (translation), Lydia Rosier (drawings). Morrow. 1968. OCLC 343943.CS1 maint: others (link))
  • 1968: Mazel Tov ou le Marriage
  • 1969: Le Pistonné
  • 1970: Le Cinéma de Papa
  • 1972: Sex-shop
  • 1975: Le Mâle du Siècle (English title: Male of the Century )
  • 1976: La Première Fois
  • 1977: Un Moment d'Égarement
  • 1980: Je Vous Aime
  • 1981: Le Maître d'École
  • 1983: Tchao Pantin (English title: So Long, Stooge)
  • 1986: Manon des Sources (US title: Manon of the Spring)
  • 1986: Jean de Florette
  • 1990: Uranus
  • 1993: Germinal
  • 1997: Lucie Aubrac
  • 1999: La Débandade
  • 2002: Une Femme de Ménage (English title: A Housekeeper)
  • 2004: L'un Reste, l'Autre Part (English title: One Stays, the Other Leaves)
  • 2007: Ensemble, c'est tout (English title: [Hunting and Gathering)


See also


  1. "French director, producer and actor Claude Berri". The Independent. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2009.
  3. NY Times Obituary Bruce Weber 13 January 2009
  4. "Berlinale: 1991 Programme". Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  5. "Berlinale: 1997 Programme". Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  6. NY Times A New Life for a Has-Been, a Gehry Building 26 October 2005
  7. Lorrain, François-Guillaume (15 January 2009). "Claude Berri : adieu, Monsieur Cinéma". Le Point. Paris. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  8. "" French cinema icon Claude Berri dies at 74 "". Archived from the original on 26 July 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  9. Adam, Georgina; Burns, Charlotte (7 July 2011). "Qatar revealed as the world's biggest contemporary art buyer". The Art Newspaper. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2019.

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