- Audiard, Michel
- (Paul Michel Audiard / May 15, 1920, Paris, France - July 28, 1985, Dourdan, Essonne, France)After dropping out of school at age sixteen, he was successively a racing cyclist, an optician, an arc welder, a newsboy, and a journalist and film critic under the pen name of Jacques Potier for magazines and newspapers (Cinévie, L'Etoile du Soir, Libération). In the mid-1940s, he wrote several pulp novels published by the Fleuve Noir. Producer and director André Hunebelle noticed them and asked him to write an adventure movie, Mission à Tanger (André Hunebelle, 1949), the first script of a list including more than 130 titles. In 1955, he met Jean Gabin on the set of a movie he wrote, Gas-Oil / USA: Gas Oil / Hi-Jack Highway (Gilles Grangier) and became his regular screenwriter (nineteen films from 1955 to 1968). The dialogues he put into the mouth of the greatest French film star in such motion pictures as Les Grandes Familles (Denys de La Patellière, 1958), Rue des Prairies / Mio figlio / USA: Rue de Paris (Denys de La Patellière, France / Italy, 1959), Le Président / Il Presidente / UK: The President (Henri Verneuil, France / Italy), and Le Cave se rebiffe / Il re dei flasari / UK: The Counterfeiters / USA: The Counterfeiters of Paris (Gilles Grangier, France / Italy, 1961) remain anthological. Some of the movies he collaborated on in the 1960s became cult favorite of several generations of French (especially Les Tontons flingueurs / In famiglia si spara / Mein Onkel, der Gangster / UK: Crooks in Clover / USA: Monsieur Gangster, Georges Lautner, 1963). Unfortunately, he never took directing seriously, and the movies he filmed were unworthy of his talent (except for some dialogues). He wrote several books in the 1960s (1968 Le Terminus des Prétentieux, Plon) and the 1970s (1975 Le Ptit Cheval de Retour, Julliard; Répète un peu ce que je viens de dire, Julliard). In 1978, after one of his sons' accidental death, he published a deeply moving account of his grief (La Nuit, le Jour et toutes les autres Nuits, Denoël). He died of cancer at age sixty-five.Filmography1951 ◘ La Marche (short)1968 ◘ Faut pas prendre les Enfants du bon Dieu pour des Canards sauvages / UK: Leontine / USA:◘ Operation Leontine (also screenwriter, adapter, dialogist)◘ Une Veuve en Or / Una vedova tutta d'oro (also adapter, dialogist; France / Italy)◘ Elle boit pas, elle fume pas, elle drague pas, mais ... elle cause! (also co-screenwriter, co-adapter, dialogist, actor; France / Italy)◘ Le Cri du Cormoran le Soir au-dessus des Jonques (also co-screenwriter, co-adapter, dialogist)◘ Le Drapeau noir flotte sur la Marmite (also co-screenwriter, co-adapter, dialogist)◘ Elle cause plus . . . elle flingue! / Rosamunda non parla ... spara (also co-screenwriter, dialogist; France / Italy)1974 ◘ Vive la France (documentary; also screenwriter)◘ Comment réussir quand on est Con et Pleurnichard (also co-screenwriter, dialogist, actor)◘ Bons Baisers . . . à Lundi (also co-screenwriter, dialogist)
Encyclopedia of French film directors . Philippe Rège. 2011.