Paulin, Jean-Paul

(1902-1976)
   Director, producer, and screen-writer. The son of sculptor Paul Paulin, Jean-Paul Paulin was a child-hood friend of Jean Renoir, as his father was the friend of Renoir's father, Auguste Renoir. It was in part because of his connection to Renoir that Paulin became interested in the cinema.
   Unlike Renoir, Paulin did not begin experimenting with film until the arrival of sound. He made his first feature film, La Femme nue, in 1932, a remake of Léonce Perret's 1926 silent film. He went on to direct seventeen other films and to produce two others. The peak of Paulin's film career was the 1930s, during which time he also made Pas besoin d'argent (1933), starring Claude Dauphin and Lisette Lanvin, L'Abbé Constantin (1933), again with Dauphin and Léon Bélières and Françoise Rosay, L'Esclave blanc (1936), which was made from a script written by Carl Theodor Dreyer, Les Filles du Rhône (1937), starring Annie Ducaux and Madeleine Sologne, La Danseuse rouge (1937), Le Chemin de l'honnneur (1939), starring Henri Garat and Renée Saint-Cyr, and Trois de Saint-Cyr (1939). His focus during the decade was primarily on literary adaptation or on intrigue or adventure films.
   During the 1940s, Paulin continued to make films. He directed La Nuit merveilleuse (1940) with an all-star cast that included Fernandel, Jane Marken, Madeleine Robinson, and Charles Vanel; Cap au large (1942), featuring Robert Lynen and Mila Parély; L 'Homme qui vendit son âme (1943); Échec au roy (1945), starring Lucien Barroux and Odette Joyeux; La Nuit de Sybille (1947), again starring Baroux; Le Château de la dernière chance (1947), starring Robert Dhéry and Julien Carette; La Voix du rêve (1948), again starring Saint-Cyr; Voyage à trois (1949); and L'Inconnue no 13 (1949), starring Mady Berry and René Dary. There cannot be said to be a dominant trend among these films, although it is noteworthy that Paulin experimented with comedy as well as drama, which he had not done in the 1930s.
   In the 1950s, Paulin made only one film, Folie Douce (1950), although he produced both Paul Mesnier's Poil de Carotte (1952) and Jean Boyer's J'Avais sept filles (1954). He gave up the cinema after 1954 and has been more or less forgotten. While it is true that his film-making was uneven and some of his films seem a bit propagandistic, there are some interesting films among those he made. Those who know his work consider La Femme nue, L'Esclave blanc, Les Filles du Rhône, La Nuit merveuilleuse, and Cap au large to be the best.

Historical Dictionary of French Cinema. . 2007.

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