Jacques Becker

Jacques Becker (French: [bɛkɛʁ]; 15 September 1906 21 February 1960) was a French screenwriter and film director.

Jacques Becker
Born(1906-09-15)15 September 1906
Died21 February 1960(1960-02-21) (aged 53)
Paris, France
OccupationScreenwriter
Film director
Years active1935–1960
Notable work
Casque d'Or
Le Trou
Touchez pas au grisbi
Spouse(s)Françoise Fabian

Becker first worked in the 1930s as an assistant to director Jean Renoir during what is considered the latter's peak period, including such works as Partie de campagne (1936) and La Grande Illusion (1937). In the early part of World War II, Becker was held in a German prisoner-of-war camp for a year. During the Nazi occupation of France, he became a film director in his own right and he also joined the Comité de libération du cinéma français. He would go on to direct the period romance Casque d'or (1952), the influential gangster film Touchez pas au grisbi (1954), and the prison escape drama Le Trou (1959). While he remains lesser-known internationally than peers such as Marcel Carné and Renoir, Becker is nonetheless regarded as a major French filmmaker, with Casque d'or held in high esteem among film critics.[1]

Personal life

Born in Paris, Becker was of an upper-class background. His father Louis Becker, of Lorraine ascendance was corporate director for Fulmen, a battery manufacturer; his Irish mother, Margaret Burns, held a fashion house in rue Cambon near Chanel in Paris.[2]

Becker married actress Françoise Fabian in 1957, and his son Jean Becker also became a film director. Both his wife and his son were born on the same day (10 May).

Death

Becker died at the age of 53 in 1960 and was interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris.

Filmography

Director

Year Title English title Notes
1935Tête de turcMedium-length film (42 mins)
1935Le Commissaire est bon enfant, le gendarme est sans pitiéMedium length film (40 mins)
1940L'Or du CristobalCristobal's GoldBecker left the film, which was completed by Jean Stelli
1942Dernier atoutThe Trump Card
1943Goupi Mains RougesIt Happened at the Inn
1945FalbalasParis FrillsFilmed in 1944
1947Antoine et AntoinetteAntoine and Antoinette
1949Rendez-vous de juilletRendezvous in July
1951Édouard et CarolineEdward and Caroline
1952Casque d'orCasque d'or / Golden Marie
1953Rue de l'EstrapadeRue de l'Estrapade / Françoise Steps Out
1954Touchez pas au grisbi Touchez pas au grisbi / Grisbi / Honour Among Thieves
1954Ali Baba et les Quarante VoleursAli Baba and the Forty Thieves
1957Les Aventures d'Arsène LupinThe Adventures of Arsène Lupin
1958Montparnasse 19 / Les Amants de MontparnasseMontparnasse 19 / The Lovers of MontparnasseBecker took over the film from Max Ophüls who died while filming
1960Le TrouLe Trou / The Night Watch / The Hole

Assistant Director

Year Title English title Directed by Notes
1931Y'en a pas deux comme AngéliqueRoger Lion
1931Allô... Allô...Roger LionShort
1932La Nuit du carrefourNight at the CrossroadsJean Renoir
1932Boudu sauvé des eauxBoudu Saved from DrowningJean Renoir
1933Chotard et CieChotard and CompanyJean Renoir
1933Madame BovaryMadame BovaryJean RenoirUncredited
1936Partie de campagneA Day in the CountryJean RenoirReleased 1946
1936La vie est à nousLife Belongs to UsJean Renoir & collectiveBecker directed one short sequence of this anthology film and was an assistant director
1936Les Bas-fondsThe Lower DepthsJean Renoir
1937La Grande IllusionGrand IllusionJean Renoir
1938La MarseillaiseLa MarseillaiseJean Renoir
1940L'Héritier de MondésirThe Mondesir HeirAlbert Valentin

References

  1. "Jacques Becker's Acclaimed Films". They Shoot Pictures, Don't They. February 7, 2016. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  2. Vignaux, Valérie (2000). Editions du CÉFAL (ed.). Jacques Becker, ou l'exercice de la liberté. p. 11. ISBN 2-87130-088-7.


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