(1900–73), b. Basel, Switzerland
The older brother of Yves Allégret and adopted nephew of André Gide, Marc Allégret had a long, pedestrian record, illustrating the way French cinema has sustained mediocre talents through warfare, the New Wave, and the pinched conditions of commercial cinema. Allégret’s first film was made in his capacity as secretary to Gide on a trip to Africa in 1925. According to Gide, on their return Allégret languished, “… or at least has not really worked; I fear that, for greater facility, he may give up the best in him.” A cryptic, poignant remark, followed by the confession that it was “for him, to win his attention, his esteem, that I wrote Les Faux-Monnayeurs.” No Allégret film is anywhere near as good as the novel he inspired. When Allégret’s appetite for work revived, he became assistant to Robert Florey, whose Le Blanc et le Noir he took over when Florey returned to Hollywood.
In 1947, Allégret went to England and directed three films there, including Blackmailed, with Dirk Bogarde and Mai Zetterling. L’Amante di Paridi was a Helen of Troy extravaganza with Hedy Lamarr as the lady. A more convincing beauty was shown by Brigitte Bardot in Mamzelle Striptease. It is a mark of Allégret’s own staidness that he cultivated Roger Vadim as an assistant for ten years without ever dreaming of the lewd freshness with which Vadim would film Bardot—a meeting first accomplished through Allégret’s own projects.
1927: Voyage au Congo (d). 1929: Papoul. 1930: La Meilleure Bobonne; J’Ai Quelque Chose a Vous Dire; Le Blanc et le Noir (codirected with Robert Florey). 1931: Les Amants de Minuit (codirected with Augusto Genina); Mam’zelle Nitouche; Attaque Nocturne. 1932: Fanny; La Petite Chocolatière. 1934: Le Lac-aux-Dames; L’Hôtel du Libre-Echange; Sans Famille; Zou-Zou. 1935: Les Beaux Jours. 1936: Sous les Yeux d’Occident; Aventure à Paris; Les Amants Terribles. 1937: Gribouille. 1938: La Dame de Malacca; Entrée des Artistes; Orage. 1939: Le Corsaire. 1941: Parade en Sept Nuits. 1942: L’Arlésienne; Félicie Nanteuil. 1943: Les Petites du Quai aux Fleurs. 1944: Lunégarde; La Belle Aventure. 1946: Pétrus. 1947: Blanche Fury. 1949: The Naked Heart/Maria Chapdelaine. 1951: Blackmailed; Avec André Gide; La Demoiselle et Son Revenant. 1952: Jean Coton. 1953: Julietta. 1954: L’Amante di Paridi; Femmina. 1955: Futures Vedettes; L’Amant de Lady Chatterley. 1956: En Effeuillant la Marguerite/Mamzelle Striptease. 1957: L’Amour Est en Jeu. 1958: Sois Belle et Tais-Toi. 1959: Un Drôle de Dimanche; Les Affreux. 1961: “Sophie,” an episode from Les Parisiennes. 1962: Le Démon de Minuit. 1963: L’Abominable Homme des Douanes. 1970: Le Bal du Comte d’Orgel.