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Danielle Darrieux (1917–2017)


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220px-Danielle_Darrieux_Five_Fingers_2.j

Danielle Darrieux passed away October 17 at the age of 100.  I may be mistaken but I don't think this has been announced here.

Life and career[edit]

Darrieux was born in Bordeaux, France, during World War I, the daughter of Marie-Louise (Witkowski) and Jean Darrieux, a medical doctor who was serving in the French Army.[1][2] Her mother was born in Algeria.[3] Her father died when she was seven years old.

Raised in Paris, she studied the cello at the Conservatoire de Musique.[4] At 14, she won a part in the musical film Le Bal (1931).[5] Her beauty combined with her singing and dancing ability led to numerous other offers; the film Mayerling (1936) brought her to prominence.[6]

In 1935, Darrieux married director/screenwriter Henri Decoin,[3] who encouraged her to try Hollywood. She signed a seven-year contract with Universal Studios to star in The Rage of Paris (1938)[5] opposite Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Afterwards, she elected to return to Paris.

Under the German occupation of France during World War II, Darrieux continued to perform, a decision that was severely criticized by her compatriots. However, it is reported that her brother had been threatened with deportation by Alfred Greven, the German manager of Continental, the only film production company permitted in occupied France. She received a divorce and then fell in love with Porfirio Rubirosa, a Dominican Republic diplomat and notorious womanizer. They married in 1942. His anti-Nazi opinions resulted in his forced residence in Germany. In exchange for Rubirosa's freedom, Darrieux agreed to make a promotional trip in Berlin. The couple lived in Switzerland until the end of the war, and divorced in 1947. She married scriptwriter Georges Mitsikidès in 1948, and they lived together until his death in 1991.

Darrieux appeared in the MGM musical Rich, Young and Pretty (1951). Joseph L. Mankiewicz lured her back to Hollywood to star in 5 Fingers (1952) with James Mason. Upon returning to France, she appeared in Max OphülsThe Earrings of Madame de... (1953) with Charles Boyer, and The Red and the Black (1954) with Gérard Philippe. She starred in Lady Chatterley's Lover (1955), whose theme of uninhibited sexuality led to its being proscribed by Catholic censors in the United States. She played a supporting role in her last American film, United Artists' epic Alexander the Great (1956) starring Richard Burton and Claire Bloom.

At the request of director Lewis Gilbert, Darrieux worked in England to shoot The Greengage Summer (1961) with Kenneth More. In 1963, she starred in the romantic comedy La Robe Mauve de Valentine at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris. The play was adapted from the novel by Françoise Sagan.

In Jacques Demy's film musical The Young Girls of Rochefort (1966) her role was the only one in which a principal actor in any of Demy's film-musicals sang his or her own musical parts. (All other actors had a separate person dub their singing parts.) During the 1960s, she also was a concert singer.

In 1970, Darrieux replaced Katharine Hepburn in the Broadway musical Coco, based on the life of Coco Chanel,[7] but the play, essentially a showcase for Hepburn, soon folded without her. In 1971 and 1972 she also appeared in the short-lived productions of Ambassador. She worked again with Demy for his film Une chambre en ville (1982), an opera-like musical melodrama reminiscent of the director's earlier work The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, 1964). Once again, Darrieux provided her own vocals for her songs.

Honors[edit]

For her long service to the motion picture industry, in 1985 she was given an Honorary César Award. She continued to work, her career spanning eight decades, most recently providing the voice of the protagonist's grandmother in the animated feature, Persepolis (2007), which deals with the impact of the Islamic revolution on a girl's life as she grows to adulthood in Iran.

Death[edit]

Danielle Darrieux died on 17 October 2017 at the age of 100, due to complications from a fall, five months after turning 100 that May.[8][9]

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One of my all time favourite lines of dialogue was drolly delivered by Danielle Darrieux in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's FIVE FINGERS (1952).

She played a countess, used to living a luxurious lifestyle, who resided in neutral Turkey during WW2 and would side with whichever side of the war could keep her in a world of comfort.

When at one point she notices a German clerk observing her admiringly Darrieux commented to him, "Please do not look at me as if you had a source of income other than your salary."

The French actress's ability to combine a worldly sophistication with, at times, a haughty disdain in the film was a sheer delight.

8fDlNbnpff3VcUZ5HgzqGbSyp14m7Gy_BEJgtcgd

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It was just pointed out to me that there was indeed a thread about Darrieux after she passed away.  I am planning on watching Lovers In Paris (1957) tonight and only jsut became aware that she had died.  Sorry.

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55 minutes ago, Bogie56 said:

It was just pointed out to me that there was indeed a thread about Darrieux after she passed away.  I am planning on watching Lovers In Paris (1957) tonight and only jsut became aware that she had died.  Sorry.

And I'll be watching Five Fingers tonight by way of paying tribute to the lady.

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On 11/14/2020 at 4:54 PM, TomJH said:

One of my all time favourite lines of dialogue was drolly delivered by Danielle Darrieux in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's FIVE FINGERS (1952).

She played a countess, used to living a luxurious lifestyle, who resided in neutral Turkey during WW2 and would side with whichever side of the war could keep her in a world of comfort.

When at one point she notices a German clerk observing her admiringly Darrieux commented to him, "Please do not look at me as if you had a source of income other than your salary."

The French actress's ability to combine a worldly sophistication with, at times, a haughty disdain in the film was a sheer delight.

8fDlNbnpff3VcUZ5HgzqGbSyp14m7Gy_BEJgtcgd

I absolutely loved everything about this film - poor James Mason. And it is so obscure.  I think it was only on a burned DVD from Fox, Fox Movie Channel doesn't play it anymore, and it costs 4 bucks to rent on Amazon. I have no idea how you are watching this unless you ponied up four bucks to Amazon, but enjoy.

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59 minutes ago, LsDoorMat said:

I absolutely loved everything about this film - poor James Mason. And it is so obscure.  I think it was only on a burned DVD from Fox, Fox Movie Channel doesn't play it anymore, and it costs 4 bucks to rent on Amazon. I have no idea how you are watching this unless you ponied up four bucks to Amazon, but enjoy.

I watched Five Fingers the other evening on the Fox Cinema Archives DVD. It's an okay image, hardly restored, but I have no complaints about it. My library had this DVD and I scooped it up to make a copy of it.

Like yourself this low key highly intelligent spy drama is a great personal favourite of mine. The entire cast is excellent but James Mason's understated, dry deliveries of sharp, incisive, often clever dialogue are a particular joy for me. Some on location shots done in Turkey (though I doubt that any of the cast were actually there) adds tremendously to the atmospheric appeal of the street scenes.

I also have to say that not enough people are aware of this terrific, at times highly suspenseful film portrayal of a real espionage event from the war.

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