July 31, 2017

Goodbye to Jeanne Moreau.

"Jeanne Moreau, the sensual, gravel-voiced actress who became the face of the New Wave, France’s iconoclastic mid-20th-century film movement, most notably in François Truffaut’s 'Jules and Jim,' died on Monday at her home in Paris. She was 89."

The NYT reports.

To have Jeanne Moreau as your favorite actress has always seemed to me to be the height of sophistication. My favorite Jeanne Moreau movie is "The Bride Wore Black."



And here's the delightful trailer for "Jules et Jim":

30 comments:

Feste said...

Thank God for this. Was just asking, begging for flowers!

Feste said...

Wonder what she would have looked like? - leaning up against Vonnegut’s leg. Rubbing up against Vonnegut? - where would she have put her hand? God, I needed this ...

Comanche Voter said...

I don't know Ms. Altlhouse. Raquel Welch in that deerskin bikini always got the job done for me back in the day. Angie Dickinson wasn't bad either. But then out in the tipi we had simple tastes. Didn't go for any of that French stuff.

YoungHegelian said...

The last time I saw Moreau in a movie theater was in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Querelle> in 1982. While the gay sex is not as explicit as a film like Taxi zum Klo, it was explicit enough. My wife & I went with a female friend, who said at the end "Well, that was certainly educational!".

According to IMDB, she kept working until quite recently, which was news to me. It takes some courage to start out as "la belle" & age gracefully into roles which prove again & again you are no longer "belle".

Big Mike said...

She was good, but IMHO Catherine Deneuve was better.

Ann Althouse said...

"It takes some courage to start out as "la belle" & age gracefully into roles which prove again & again you are no longer "belle"."

I think she looked beautiful old. I have some question whether the way she looked when she was young is really what one normally calls beautiful. She was unusual looking.

tcrosse said...

What wonderful moue she had on her.

Saint Croix said...

I loved her in Band of Outsiders. One of my favorite movies. (Tarantino liked it so much he named his production company after the film). They barely had a screenplay when they made that movie. Godard spent most of the rehearsal time working on that dance number. It's called the Madison.

YoungHegelian said...

@Prof. Althouse,

I have some question whether the way she looked when she was young is really what one normally calls beautiful. She was unusual looking.

I think for the French, especially of that era, she was considered beautiful. The French always have had a thing for women who look like they have "character", over & above the physical attributes of the simpler "boobs, butt, & face" style-beauty. Even Brigitte Bardot, considered the French sex-pot of her time, while certainly built, was not your standard beauty in the face. I think that was true for the male actors, too. Gerard Depardieu as a romantic leading man in most western countries? No way, Jose!

This French admiration for "striking" looking female physical beauty carries into the sort of movie fare shown in theaters on La Place Pigalle, too. Or, that's what my friends tell me.......

William said...

Some actresses were blessed by their directors. Alfred Hitchcock didn't make Grace Kelly a star, but he did give her the roles for which she's remembered. Bergman made Liv Ulmann illustrious. I don't think Truffaut performed a similar service for Moreau. I saw both the films mentioned, but they don't stick in the mind. She may have been a fine actress but she didn't have the impact of Bardot or Deneuve........Aging French stars need a franchise like the Harry Potter movies so they can remain alive prior to death.

Sebastian said...

To have François Truffaut as your favorite director has occasionally seemed to me to be the height of sophistication.

J&J, sure, the Antoine Doinel series, and The Wild Child, or as we hillbillies prefer, L'Enfant Sauvage.

Feste said...

Cannot find Moreau streaming on Amazon. Have Netflix rental DVD's. Don't see any to purchase, streaming.

Henry said...

I think I will rewatch it soon.

traditionalguy said...

She expressed an irrepressibly friendly persona. She made you want to spend time with her. That was more than an earthy seductress; so if you wanted more in a female, then she gave it.

grimson said...

Saint Croix: Anna Karina was in "Band of Outsiders," not Jeanne Moreau.

readering said...

My favorite was a silly film, Viva Maria, with Brigitte Bardot. Both actresses already in their thirties, but still captivating to this young teen.

Roughcoat said...

She was Martine in "Monte Walsh," a great Western, so very poignant and sad.

glenn said...

Jennie shouldn't complain. French cinema has more sexy mature women than most. And god was she sexy. The first reason I watched French film.

Feste said...

Readering, thank you!

Viva Maria is the comedic story of two gorgeous women circus entertainers (Brigitte Bardot and Jeanne Moreau) who become involved with revolutionary politics in Latin America. Bardot plays the daughter of an Irish radical who was killed in Central America. Left alone, she eventually meets up with a circus which features Moreau, and the two women devise a popular song-and-dance routine. While the circus is travelling through Latin America, the two women become

... moved by the plight of the peasants, and decided to become revolutionaries themselves.

... mover over revolutionary, Two Mules for Sister Sara

... and move over soft-revolutionary, Milagro Beanfield War

That's for me. Just ordered streaming!

Thank you.

Feste said...

Now playing, Viva Maria.

See the Metro Lion roar.

But wait, the girls aren’t nekkid yet ...

At least that redheaded Catholic Nun got nekkid right away, for that “no-good atheist,” then let Clint grab her ass up there tree, while saving the revolution, in “Two Mules.”

So far, just walking fully dressed up a ramp ... when will the action start?

Lydia said...

What I remember from her old films was that down-turned mouth turning into a smile that lit up her whole face.

exiledonmainstreet said...

" I have some question whether the way she looked when she was young is really what one normally calls beautiful."

I think of Catherine Denevue as the great French beauty. But Moreau certainly looks gorgeous in "Jules et Jim." Maybe she was such a great actress she could convincingly play a beautiful woman. Bernhardt, was not a beauty, but had the ability to convince audiences that she was.

I loved "Jules et Jim" when I saw it in college and somehow forgot about it. Now I want to watch it again.

I've never seen "The Bride Wore Black."

Feste said...

Viva Maria (cont)

... well, at least now, “my petticoat is in rags”, but not from fighting the revolution, dancing too hard before hard men, unless stage dancing half-naked before the men is the revolution ... if petticoat is in rags, how these women going to fight the revolution? - they need to kit-up ... Bardot and Moreau, feeling to me like near equals, both carrying, no little love and lots of flirting between the two ... no revolution yet ... feeling that for these two stage-babes, it might require a lot more stripping down to deeper bare, beyond petticoat rags, before they are all in the revolution ...

Feste said...

Viva Maria

... here it comes, ... oh baby, Moreau is stroking a "new Vickers” machine-gun, like she really wants it .. now, peasants in rags ... two women getting a plan to have their intimate way, destroying some wealthy plantation owner ... a chic two-fer being offered, to the unsuspecting ... one man ... he’s gone ... “boo!” ...

Vittorio Jano IV said...

My vote goes to Elevator to the Gallows, Louis Malle's first film. Miles Davis, I believe, improvised to provide the music for the walking in the rain scene.
https://youtu.be/icJw9HXXoXA

Feste said...

... well shit, a peasant wagon broke in the river, a mini-bronze Cathedral of Notre Dame just floated away, lost ... going to need more than ornamental religion for this revolution ... girls still looking hot, after they pumped that Vickers gun - waaaaaaaaaaaaay -- beyond it’s heat cycle ...

Feste said...

“Judgment, thou are fled to brutish breasts!”... peasants hearing Moreau’s from-the-breast rub-up on The Bard ... peasants taking hope ... asshole man telling the women they don’t belong in this war ... Moreau, “Rise, and freedom will answer you ... is there any man here so base that he is willingly a slave? ...”

May end it here as – I - feel that one ...

Ron said...

I do love the wacky intro music especially....

William Chadwick said...

With young Bill Buckley as "Jules."

Be said...

"The Bride Wore Black" is a favorite; her first feature. I loved her in her first Bunuel take, as the hired help with the black boots.

The Best Honor in recent times was as "...Elevee des cendres." Dad actually sent me out to watch that. (Not for Mme Moreau, but for Mlle Carremore.)