Denys de La Patellière

To Jean Gabin, who made six films under his direction, he was “Le père Pat”, but for the French cinema of the 1950s and 1960s, Denys de La Patellière (1921-2013) was above all a sure sign of success: fifteen of his films sold more than a million tickets, including the triumphant Taxi for Tobruk, which attracted five million viewers when it was released in 1961, only to increase even further in TV reruns. This anti-militarist satire, with dialogue by Michel Audiard, denounced the absurdity of war… A tenuous autobiographical thread ran through his career: in Les Aristocrates, his first feature, which he made thanks to Pierre Fresnay, La Patellière recalls his own youth at the heart of a penniless, noble landowning family. The screenplay, which he co-wrote (as was the case for most of his films), was based on a novel by Michel de Saint-Pierre. La Patellière’s taste for literature regularly led him to rely on novelists, in a wide variety of genres: James Hadley Chase for Retour de manivelle (1957), Maurice Druon for The Possessors (1958), Bernard Clavel for God’s Thunder (1965)... His winning hand: the big stars of the day (Jean Gabin and Pierre Fresnay, of course, as well as Danielle Darrieux, Lino Ventura, Fernandel, Jeanne Moreau, Charles Aznavour, Michèle Morgan and Michel Simon). He possessed great technical know-how and, at times, benefitted from Michel Audiard's incisive dialogue. His success made him an ideal target for the “Young Turks of the New Wave”. A philosopher, he admitted at the end of his career (which was devoted to television, including notably an excellent Comte de Monte-Cristo): "New directors had to make a place for themselves and they weren't wrong. If you don't want to take a hit, don't step into the ring.”

Restorations by TF1 Studio, Gaumont, Studiocanal, and a rare print of Le Salaire du péché from Les Films du Jeudi.

With the support of SACD

Sacd Mfc



Les Aristocrates by Denys de La Patellière (1955, 1h40)
The widowed Marquis Jean de Maubrun reigns over his estate and its traditions, but a wind of revolt blows through the family... This directorial debut was a great success, with a first-rate cast (Maurice Ronet, Brigitte Auber…) and including Pierre Fresnay, who gave Denys de La Patellière his start as a filmmaker.
Institut Lumière (Hangar) Sat 14 10:45am | UGC Confluence Tue 17 10:45am | Pathé Bellecour Fri 20 6:30pm

Le Salaire du péché by Denys de La Patellière (1956, 1h42)
Jean, an ambitious journalist, has married the daughter of a rich shipowner without the latter's consent. He learns that the old man has a heart condition... A film noir transposed from Hollywood, set in the heart of La Rochelle's bourgeoisie, starring Jeanne Moreau and Danielle Darrieux.
Institut Lumière (Villa) Wed 18 4pm | Lumière Bellecour Fri 20 8pm | Lumière Bellecour Sat 21 8:30pm

Retour de manivelle by Denys de La Patellière (1957, 1h58)
Eric Fréminger, ruined, shoots himself in the head. To collect his life insurance, his wife must make the suicide look like murder... An American-inspired whodunit starring Michèle Morgan (playing against type), Michèle Mercier at the beginning of her career, and Daniel Gélin.
Pathé Bellecour Mon 16 7:15pm | UGC Confluence Thu 19 10:45am | Institut Lumière (Hangar) Sun 22 1:30pm

The Possessors by Denys de La Patellière (1958, 1h32)
Noël, a newspaper magnate, realises that his son has taken advantage of his absence to rejuvenate the somewhat staid tradition of his newspaper... A youthful revolt against the capitalist bourgeoisie. The first collaboration between La Patellière and Gabin.
UGC Astoria Mon 16 4pm | Comœdia Wed 18 11:15am | Pathé Bellecour Thu 19 7:45pm | Cinéma St-Denis Sat 21 2:30pm | Lumière Terreaux Sun 22 11am

Rue de Paris by Denys de La Patellière (1959, 1h31)
Henri is a widower who brings up his children alone. He suddenly realises that they are not like him... La Patellière aptly captures a societal transition in this family chronicle starring Jean Gabin, Marie-José Nat and Claude Brasseur. Delectable dialogue by Michel Audiard.
Pathé Bellecour Sun 15 11:15am | Lumière Terreaux Tue 17 6:30pm | Comœdia Thu 19 11:15am

Taxi for Tobruk by Denys de La Patellière (1961, 1h33, VFSTA)
At 16:45 in Libya of 1942, four men in the Free French Forces blow up German petrol depots... A pacifist plea about the absurdity of war starring Lino Ventura and Charles Aznavour.
UGC Confluence Sun 15 1:30pm | Cinéma Bellecombe Mon 16 8pm | Comœdia Tue 17 1:45pm | Caluire Thu 19 9:30pm | Cinéma Opéra Fri 20 2pm | Pathé Bellecour Sun 22 4:45pm

Emile’s Boat by Denys de La Patellière (1962, 1h41)
Knowing that he is ill, the wealthy Larmentiel returns to his hometown in search of his natural son.... Michel Simon, Lino Ventura, Annie Girardot and Pierre Brasseur give performances full of flavour and humour.
UGC Confluence Sun 15 4:30pm | Comœdia Wed 18 2:30pm | Pathé Bellecour Sat 21 10:45am

God’s Thunder by Denys de La Patellière (1965, 1h30)
Léandre (Jean Gabin) and his wife Marie (Lilli Palmer) take in the young prostitute Simone (Michèle Mercier)... Classically wonderful Jean Gabin, a misanthrope with a heart of gold, and delightful dialogue by Pascal Jardin.
UGC Confluence Mon 16 11:15am | Institut Lumière (Hangar) Fri 20 9am | UGC Confluence Sun 22 1:45pm

Father’s Trip by Denys de La Patellière (1966, 1h25)
Monsieur Quantin wants to visit his daughter Marie-Louise in Lyon. He sets off on a journey that is full of surprises... Fernandel in one of his rare dramatic roles, strolling through the streets of Lyon of the 1960s.
Pathé Bellecour Sun 15 2pm | UGC Confluence Wed 18 4:30pm | Institut Lumière (Hangar) Sat 21 4pm

The Tattooed One by Denys de La Patellière (1968, 1h30)
Second-hand art dealer Mézeray, a greedy man, discovers an authentic Modigliani tattoo on the back of Legrain, a former legionnaire. Mézeray becomes obsessed with the idea of acquiring this unexpected work... A huge popular success, combining the calm precision of Jean Gabin with the energy and spontaneity of Louis de Funès...
Pathé Bellecour Mon 16 9pm | UGC Astoria Tue 17 1:45pm | UGC Confluence Sat 21 1:30pm

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