Biography of Julien Duvivier (1896-1967)

French filmmaker born in Lille on October 8, 1896 and died in Paris on October 29, 1967.


He studied in a Jesuit College and had since early relationship with the atmosphere of the theater. It became part of one of the most important companies in the history of French cinema: that of the Odeon; I work there as an Assistant of the famous Antoine, an authority on the implementation on the scene and in the theatrical adaptation of works of prestige. This link with a theater director was the germ of what would be its relationship with cinema, which is also encauzaría by way of direction.

Initially, he/she acted as a collaborator of Louis Feuillade and Marcel L´Herbier, two of the key figures of the beginnings of French cinematography. Thus ventured into film machinery, learning that allowed him to carry out his first work as a director in 1919, with a tape entitled Haceldama ou prix du sang. His following films were - something very common in European cinema - literary adaptations, works showing this director's fondness for the theatre. Although he/she defined it as an atheist, it remains striking the important number of works performed with marked religious character. Thus, we can mention the miracle of Lourdes (1924) and Abbé Constantin (1925).

His first major success, once he/she had already shot a number of films, was Maria Chapdelaine (1934), film shot in Canada. A year later he/she directed what would become one of his most important works, the flag (1935), on a novel by Pierre Mac Orlan. It's an excellent film set in a unit of the Spanish legion, which was attended by people of very diverse nature: persecuted rightly or wrongly, proletarians, middle class, intellectuals that life circumstances oblige the enlistment, etc., and in military life, risk and death to find the justification to a life full of criticism and worries. Along with the heroic bazaars (1935), Jacques Feyder, critic and historian Ángel Zúñiga considers it the film made by an alien who has reflected the idiosyncrasies and the way of being of the Spaniards with more dignity.

In 1936 he/she filmed in the old Golem the Czechoslovakia, based on the novel by Meyrink of the same title and that just got a discreet welcome. The following year he/she directed another of his important films and have gone down in history: Pepe Le Moko. It tells the story of a dangerous criminal played by Jean Gabin, who lives hidden in the Arab quarter of the city of Algiers, where he/she is chased by the police. He/She falls for a beautiful woman and it leaves everything to follow it, but it dies when it moves away from it. It was one of the great works of Duvivier and an emblematic title of French poetic realism. As a result of the victory that got the film, the Americans made a version titled Algiers (1938) starring Charles Boyer and Hedy Lamarrand directed by John Cronwell. The same year is another of his memorable productions: Carnet de dance (1937), film for episodes about a woman who remembers his past and which is worth him great acclaim, to such an extent that earned him a contract with MGM. The film won the León de el Festival de Venecia that year. In the United States shot after the great Waltz (1938), a musical title on the figure of the composer Johan Strauss who failed to meet the expectations that had been generated. Back in France, he/she worked in several films, including end-of-day (1938), in which also participated the screenwriter Charles Spaak, who collaborated with Duvivier in some of the most important moments of her career. The outbreak of World War II forced him to move back to the United States, where shot Lydia (1941), a second version of dance card.

Back to France made three important productions: the adaptation of the Leo Tolstoy novel Anna Karenina (1948); Under the sky of Paris (1951), which is a vision of the French city through different characters; and the time of the assassins (1956), excellent police work. However, although its production will continue until 1967, year of the filming of his latest film (diabolically yours), his pulse as a director began to suffer and class began a decline in relation to their background. At this stage of their production are the first adaptations of the novels of Guareschi, that have the character of Don Camilo by protagonist; such is the case of Don Camilo (1952) and the return of Don Camilo (1953), which narrates the adventures of fun from a pastor of people and the Communist Mayor of the same. In the 1960s its production emphasizes its irregularity of form which only the burning house (1961), a detective of some entity, and meat of perdition (1963), adapted from a novel by James Hadley Chase, they deserve to be featured.

While his name has been progressively forgotten with the passing of the years, Julien Duvivier was a director who showed in several of his works fine sensibility, narrative talent and ability to create atmospheres where violence and poetry melted with great skill. Not denying that their figure is essential to a correct understanding of French and European cinema in the 1930s at the beginning of the fifties. He/She was one of the most famous directors of the period known as "poetic realism" in the history of cinema.


Short films: 1923: vie (Co-Director, co-writer, comontador and co-producer; documentary) machine to refaire. 1932: venus du college.

Feature films:

As director and scriptwriter or co-writer: 1919: Haceldama, ou le prix du sang (and producer). 1920: the reincarnation of Sege (unfinished) Renaudier. 1922: Les roquevillard (and producer); L'ouragan sur montagne (and producer); Le logis de l'horreur-Der unheimliche gast.1923: Le reflet de Claude Mercoeur (and producer). 1924: the miracle of Lourdes; Coeurs farouches; L'Oeuvre Inmortelle.1925: Abbé Constantine (and producer); Planting of dolor.1926: the agony of Jerusalem; Le mademoiselle Beulemans marige; The Hispano.1927 man: Le Mystère de Tour Eiffel.1928: Le tourbillon de Paris; Croisiere.1929 divine it: Maman Colibri; A miracle of Santa Teresita Au bonheur des dames.1930: David Glober.1931: the five Knights; ALO Paris, love me you telefonista.1932: Scarlet hair; The head of a hombre.1933: the small rey.1934: heading to Canada; maría Chapdelaine.1935: Flag; Golgotha; Le Golem.1936: La belle equipe; L'homme du jour; Pepe le Moko.1937: baile.1938 card: the great Waltz; End of jornada.1939: the phantom fantome.1940: A tel per et fils.1941: Lydia (and coargumento). 1942: six destinations (address only). 1943: the Deceiver (and producer); Aside from the life (and co-producer). 1945: Panique.1948: Ana Karenina.1949: Au royaume des cieux.1950: Jack the negro.1951: under the sky of paris.1952: Don Camilo; La Fête to Henriette.1953: the return of don Camilo.1954: l'affaire Maurizius.1955: Voici le temps des assassins; Marianne de ma jeunesse.1956: man of the impermeable.1957: the hierve.1958 stew: La femme et le pantin.1959: acusados.1960 dinner: Boulevard; Das kunstseidene girl Mädchen (address only). 1961: ardiente.1962 camera: the devil and the ten mandamientos.1963: meat perdicion.1967: diabolically yours.

Other collaborations as writer: 1921: L'Aagonie des aigles (& co-direction); Crepuscle d' épouvante. 1924: La nuit of the revanche.1935: Bout de chou.1946: Amours délices et orgues.