Jouvet, Louis


Jouvet, Louis
(1887-1951)
   Actor. Born in Crozon in Brittany, Louis Jouvet trained as a pharmacist but dreamed of becoming an actor. He worked as a pharmacist for a time, while he tried—three times—to gain admission to the Paris Conservatoire d'art dramatique. He finally gave up and studied acting, directing, and all things theatrical in a more hands-on way as an apprentice to Jacques Copeau at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier. Despite his lack of formal credentials and his early difficulties, Jouvet went on to become one of the legendary actors of the French stage and screen.
   Jouvet made his stage debut in 1910 and his screen debut shortly thereafter, in the 1913 film d'art production of Shylock. This initial entry into cinema would not be fruitful, as Jouvet abandoned the medium to concentrate all of his energies on his stage career, going on to become director of the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier.
   Jouvet's next foray into cinema would not come for nearly twenty years, during which time he went to the United States to perform on-stage, and became director of the Comédie du Champs-Elysées. Jouvet reappeared onscreen in 1933, in Knock, a film he codirected. From that point on, Jouvet was a fairly constant presence on the screen and appeared in some of the major films of the period, particularly those associated with Le Réalisme poétique or poetic realism. Among the films in which he appeared are Louis J. Gasnier's adaptation of Marcel Pagnol's Topaze (1935), Jacques Feyder's La Kermesse héroïque (1935), Jean Renoir's Les Bas-fonds (1936) and La Marseillaise (1938), Julien Duvivier's Un carnet de bal (1937), La Fin du jour (1939), La Charette fantôme (1939), and Untel père et fils (1943), Marcel L'Herbier's Forfaiture (1937), Pierre Chenal's L'Alibi (1937) and La Maison du Maltais (1938), Marcel Carné's Drôle de drame (1937) and Hôtel du nord (1938), Alexander Esway's Éducation de prince (1938), Marc Allégret's L'Entrée des artistes (1938), Max Ophuls's L'École des femmes (1940), Maurice Tourneur's Volpone (1941), Christian-Jacque's Un revenant (1946), Henri-Georges Clouzot's Quai des Orfèvres (1947), Henri Decoin's Les Amoureux sont seuls au monde (1948) and Entre onze heures et minuit (1949), Georges Lampin and André Cayatte's Retour à la vie (1949) and Miquette et sa mère (1950), and Henri Jeanson's Lady Paname (1950).
   Considered one of the great stage actors of the last century, Jouvet had a respectable career onscreen as well, although some would argue that his screen career paled before his stage career. Nonetheless,
   Jouvet's considerable stage presence translated well on the screen. He was a masterful actor whose forceful performances defined the films he appeared in, although part of his genius was that even with his commanding presence, he never dominated the screen. The roles Jouvet played varied widely. He appeared as aristocrats and police detectives, school teachers and priests. He could play murder mysteries and Molière with equal skill. If it is true that Jouvet's screen career was only a footnote to his great stage career, it is also true that he was one of the great actors of what is considered French cinema's golden age.

Historical Dictionary of French Cinema. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jouvet, Louis — (1887 1951)    Actor. Born in Crozon in Brittany, Louis Jouvet trained as a pharmacist but dreamed of becoming an actor. He worked as a pharmacist for a time, while he tried three times to gain admission to the Paris Conservatoire d art… …   Guide to cinema

  • Jouvet, Louis — (1887 1951)    theater figure    A major figure of 20th century French theater, Louis Jouvet, who was born in Crozon, made his debut at the vieux Colombier acting troop, which he founded with jacques copeau. He became director of the Comédie des… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Jouvet, Louis — ▪ French actor and director born Dec. 24, 1887, Crozon, Fr. died Aug. 16, 1951, Paris  actor, director, designer, and technician, one of the most influential figures of the French theatre in the 20th century.       Beginning as a pharmacist at… …   Universalium

  • Jouvet, Louis — • ЖУВЕ (Jouvet) Луи (24.12.1887 16.8.1951)    франц. актёр, режиссёр. На сцене с 1911. В кино с 1932 (ф. Топаз ). Будучи одним из крупнейших театр. актёров, Ж. принёс в кинематограф высокую культуру речи, жеста и мимики. Сыграл Капеллана в ф.… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Jouvet, Louis — (December 24, 1887, Crozon,    Finistère, France August 16, 1951, Paris, France)    One of the major figures of French theater, he made his stage debut as an actor in 1910. In 1914, Jacques Copeau hired him, and he joined the Théâtre du Vieux… …   Encyclopedia of French film directors

  • Jouvet, Louis — ► (1887 1952) Actor francés. Fue director de la Comédie Française. Películas: Topaze, La kermesse heroica y Knox, entre otras …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jouvet — Jouvet, Louis …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • JOUVET (L.) — JOUVET LOUIS (1887 1951) Il y a deux Louis Jouvet: l’homme de théâtre, un des plus importants animateurs de compagnie et metteurs en scène du siècle; et la vedette de cinéma malgré lui, pourrait on dire dont une quarantaine de films conservent… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Jouvet — (Louis) (1887 1951) acteur et metteur en scène français; directeur du théâtre de l Athénée (1934 1951). Acteur dans de nombr. films: Drôle de drame (1937), Hôtel du Nord (1938), Quai des Orfèvres (1947) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Louis Jouvet — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Jouvet. Louis Jouvet …   Wikipédia en Français


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