Breathless, The Rio Man, Cop or Thug… Jean-Paul Belmondo’s greatest films

From Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut to Philippe de Broca, via Gérard Oury or Henri Verneuil, he will have toured with the greatest. With the taste and the need to bounce back so as not to get locked into a role or a register.

Jean-Paul Belmondo left this Monday, September 6 at the age of 88. “Jean-Paul passed away today (Monday). He left to join his old accomplices at the Conservatory. His sincere smile will always be there ”, wrote in a statement his family, evoking the disappearance of his “pillar”. The actor, who had been hospitalized at the beginning of the year for general fatigue, died surrounded by his family, at his Parisian home.

From the new wave to popular cinema, the French actor has performed in all categories. Bébel (since his exploits on the buildings of Brasilia in Rio man) knew how to marry all genres, styles, infusing his characters with his sympathy, his good humor, this incorrigible charm of a man happy to play. Anthology.

  • Breathless by Jean-Luc Godard, in 1960, with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, Jean-Pierre Melville, Roger Hanin …

Become immortal and then die …»Posterity has seized on the unstoppable reply of Jean-Pierre Melville, the writer Parvulesco in Breathless. Because the film by Jean-Luc Godard, which some consider to be the most emblematic of the New Wave, has since become immortal. Winner of the 1960 Jean-Vigo Prize, the film was an immediate success. The irresistible charm because Jean Seberg’s unprepared, combined with the virile relaxation of the one who will soon be affectionately nicknamed Bébel, marks the history of the seventh art at the start of the 1960s.

  • La Ciociara (or The Barefoot Peasant Woman) , Franco-Italian film directed by Vittorio De Sica, released in 1960, with Sophia Loren,

In 1943, Cesira decides to flee Rome with her daughter, then still held by the German army, to take refuge in her native village. When a troop of Allied soldiers abuse them, the two traumatized women wall themselves in pain, each moving away from each other. An adaptation of a novel by Moravia, sought after by collectors the Italian star sharing the bill with Jean-Paul Belmondo.

  • The Doulos, French film by Jean-Pierre Melville released in 1962, with Serge Reggiani and Michel Piccoli.

The Doulos ? In slang, the “balance“, A police informer in the jargon of the trade … Silien (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is a bad boy. He will compromise himself with the police and the community, until passing for an informer to save his friend Maurice, a gangster in bad shape after the murder of a receiver. One of the best Melville.

  • A monkey in winter , French film directed by Henri Verneuil, in 1962, with Jean Gabin, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Noël Roquevert, Paul Frankeur, Suzanne Flon …

The film marks the only meeting between Gabin, the immense pre-war star, and Belmondo, the young first revealed two years earlier in Breathless by Godard. Adapted from a novel by Antoine Blondin and discussed by Michel Audiard, the story of these two men who sink into drunkenness to escape their sad daily life barely escaped the razor of the 1962 censorship. The Ministry of Health there saw a speech a little too enthusiastic in favor of alcohol and its delusions.

  • The man from Rio of Philippe de Broca in 1964, with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Françoise Dorléac, Jean Servais.

This Tintin-style adventure film stages the adventures of a soldier on leave in Paris, played by Jean-Paul Belmondo, who finds himself in Brazil to rescue his fiancée, camped by the unforgettable Françoise Dorléac, kidnapped under his eyes for a mysterious story of pre-Columbian statuettes. This is where the legend of Bébel the stuntman was born. On the buildings of Brasilia, Jean-Paul Belmondo will cheat death, for the general public and Steven Spielberg who will be inspired by his prowess to invent a certain Indiana Jones.

  • The Brain of Gérard Oury released in 1969, with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Bourvil, David Niven, Eli Wallach, Raymond Gérôme …

Gérard Oury had to invent the Bébel-Bourvil duo. The Magnificent and the intelligent false Benêt of French cinema replayed under the benevolent rule of the master of comedy the famous attack on the postal train which had made the headlines of the newspapers of the time. With these two exceptional acrobats, we laugh, we never get bored, and we are taken by an action always masterfully supported by extraordinary supporting roles held by Eli Wallach and David Niven, impeccable in the character of “Brain

  • La Sirène du Mississippi by François Truffaut, in 1969, with Jean-Paul Belmondo

To look at you is a joy and a pain»… Truffaut has the genius to make our national Bébel compose a character subjected to a devouring passion. Belmondo alias Louis Mahé, a notable of Reunion, falls here in love with Catherine Deneuve alias Marion Vergano. It is disturbing, mysterious, soon elusive. He will be ready to leave everything and lose everything to find her. A few years after starting out with the new wave, Belmondo forgot for a time the tagada-boom-boom … to the delight of his admirers. Note the formidable composition of an impeccable Michel Bouquet in the role of a private detective, of course incorruptible.

  • Borsalino by Jacques Deray in 1970, after Bandits in Marseille by Eugène Saccomano, with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Alain Delon, Nicole Calfan …

The two sacred monsters of French cinema are brought together on the same poster. Together they will dominate the underworld of Marseille. Delon plays the shady Roch Siffredi and Bébel the jovial thug François Capella. In the final scene, the Magnificent dies in the arms of the Samurai, crying. Almost a true story.

  • The magnificent by Philippe de Broca, in 1973, with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jacqueline Bisset …

Long before Hazanavicius, de Broca invented a secret agent caricature. But with Bébel alias Bob Sinclar and Jacqueline alias the wonderful Tatiana, the pastiche will prove to be more extraordinary than the reality of Bond. With this film, Belmondo the leaping now becomes the Magnificent for all eternity.

  • L’Incorrigible by Philippe de Broca, in 1975, based on the novel Ah… buddy! by Alex Varoux, with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Gérard, Geneviève Bujold, Julien Guiomar …

Bébel as a perfect mythomaniac. He sells a hotel on Avenue Foch a hundred times, another time a sailboat that takes on water and in the end steals a masterpiece from the Gréco from the lovely Geneviève Bujold. Driven by the verve of Audiard, banter at will Belmondo realizes one of its best belmonderies.

  • Cops and robbers by Georges Lautner, in 1979, with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Michel Galabru, Georges Géret …

Georges Lautner and Belmondo were made to get along. The same taste for spectacular cinema, the same desire to make viewers forget the banality of their lives. In Flic ou Voyou Bébel is incorruptible, funny and devilishly honest. Belmondophiles will remember that Marie Laforêt played at her side a lover as sassy as she was spiritual.

  • The misfit by Jacques Deray, in 1983, dialogued by Michel Audiard, with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Henri Silva, Carlos Sottomayor …

Belmondo returns to Marseille to catch drug traffickers. His muscular methods will not please the police hierarchy. Put in the closet, he will remain himself: intrepid, charmer, slugger and charmer. In this role to his measure, he attracted some five million people in the theaters.

  • Itinerary of a spoiled child by Claude Lelouch in 1988, with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Richard Anconina, Daniel Gélin …

Bébel has withdrawn but Claude Lelouch knows that Belmondo remains “the lord of cinema“. The director concocts a character to his excess, Sam Lion, a businessman who has decided to withdraw from the world. Bearded Bébel, and slightly aged, is breathtaking. The Caesars who ignored him for a long time gave him the trophy for best actor. At last !


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