Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

People We Like: Francoise Dorleac

Back in 1965 when I was 19 I saw a supporting feature - a French film dubbed into English THAT MAN FROM RIO - a zany adventure by Philippe de Broca with Belmondo and a new French actress Francoise Dorleac, a movie which I really enjoyed. Its never popped up anywhere since and is not available on dvd so it will probably remain just a memory. I became fascinated by Francoise Dorleac though, the much more animated and vibrant sister of Catherine Deneuve. It seemed both sisters would be leading lights of the French and international movie scene.One was soon seeing Francoise improbably married to Donald Pleasance in Polanski's oddball CUL-DE-SAC, and as the model/agent with David Niven in that lively comedy thriller WHERE THE SPIES ARE. Then she was the very '60s love interest in that rather tatty epic GENGHIS KHAN in 1965, coming between Omar Sharif and Stephen Boyd. Truffaut's LE PEAU DOUCE (THE SOFT SKIN) was a major treat to catch up with recently, where she is the wonderfully attractive air hostess whom married man Jean Desailly falls for ...

Then Jacques Demy put her and Catherine into his entrancing musical LES DEMOISELLES DE ROCHEFORT full of pastel colours in 1967 where they dance and sing up a storm, with Francoise teamed with an ageing Gene Kelly. It was an absolute pleasure to see this on the big screen last summer, and the BFI dvd release includes Agnes Varda's documentary on its making and 25th anniversary reunion. A pall hangs over the film though as tragically Francoise was killed shortly afterwards in a car accident on her way to Nice airport in June 1967, it was a shock reading about it at the time. Her final role was in Ken Russell's spy caper BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN, also interesting to finally see recently, where she is with Michael Caine's double agent. She was 25, her career really ran for about 5 years but she certainly made her mark and would surely have continued at the top. We will always have those movies though - and those images of a beautiful happy demoiselle ...

The ROCHEFORT ensemble: Jacques Perrin, George Chakiris, Deneuve, Danielle Darrieux, Francoise, Michel Piccoli, Grover Dale, Gene Kelly.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, this is just to prove I do have a peek at your AB FAB blog now and again. I bought Les Demoiselles a few months back but have yet to view it. Seeing these fab pics I really must make the effort. Problem is finding a movie that appeals to both me and Chris and I know he wouldn't like it!