How do European gangster films differ

Jean-Paul Belmondo

When you think of Belmondo, you first see the "The gripper"(1975) with the boxer nose, the daredevil who rarely needed a double, the"The professional"(1981), the"The ace of aces"(1982) ... A guy in tight jeans and a tight jacket with a raised collar. Always good for a dry slogan. The bulging lips are caressed by a superior smile, and his broad grin shows everyone unmistakably that someone here stands above everything - likes no matter how unbearable the nonsense in the film is.

This is how Belmondo became a trademark of French cinema. Also because of his commitment to the film business and to the French actors' union, the export item Belmondo Knight of the Legion of Honor and holder of the "Ordre national du Mérite et des Art et des Lettres".

The son of a sculptor learned a lot in his father's studio. Jean-Paul wanted to be a boxer. It remained an attempt. The restless youngster was more interested in acting than in school. At the age of 17 he already gained stage experience. After three years at a touring stage, he found himself admitted to the Paris Conservatory for the second time and took further training. This is followed by roles at various theaters in Paris, and since 1956 also some film roles (for example 1959 "An angel on earth"with Romy Schneider or"Steps without a trace"), until a bang: Jean-Luc Godard, supported by François Truffaut and Claude Chabrol, shoots the cult film with him"Out of breath" (1959).

A huge success also financially. Belmondo plays a gangster on the run from the police. The girl (Jean Seberg) he loves whistles on him. Disappointed, the young man still goes his way - to the point of deliberate death. Not the banal story, but the modern collage-like style of the film (Nouvelle Vague) and the defiant, self-confident character of the young hero after Humphrey Bogart caused a sensation and made Belmondo famous overnight. Leading roles waved: "A woman is a woman"(1960)," The house in Via Roma "(1959) with Claudia Cardinale,"... and yet they live"with Sophia Loren,"Eve and the priest" (1961).

The films are rather average, but with a prominent cast. Belmondo is not too good for any role. He tried everything and shot from 1961 to 1966 without a break. He is a priest, gangster and crook ("Cartouche, the bandit"- 1961), informers, seducers, highwaymen, fraudsters.

Philippe de Brocas "Adventure in Rio"(1963) becomes a turning point. Belmondo plays an air force soldier who witnesses how his fiancée is kidnapped to Rio. The chase adventures show a James Bond guy, urbane and unshakable. The antihero becomes the jack-of-all-trades who makes the best directors attracted: Godard, Melville ("The devil in the white vest", "The millions of a hunted"," Eve and the priest "), Sautet ("The panther is being chased"), Bolognini, Verneuil.

The fans set up a Belmondo club with presidents and vice-presidents. 1000 permanent members are counted. Belmondo is in demand like never before: Jean-Luc Godards "Eleven o'clock at night", "The great adventures of Monsieur L."(both 1965)," Beloved villain "," The thief of Paris ", the James Bond parody"Casino Royale"(all 1966)," I am No. 1 "(1968),"Borsalino"with Alain Delon,"The secret of the wrong bride"(both 1969) with Catherine Deneuve,"The coup"(1971) with Omar Sharif,"The man from Marseille"with Claudia Cardinale", "The daredevil", "The scoundrel"(all 1972), Alain Resnais' demanding film about the impostor" Stavisky ", de Broca's agent persiflage"The devil"(both 1973),"Fear over the city"(1974) by Verneuil,"The gripper"," The Despicable One "(both 1975),"My enemy's body" (1976), "A crazy guy"(1977) with Raquel Welch,"The greyhound", "The puppeteer"(both 1979),"The professional" (1981), "The ace of aces" (1982), "The outsider" (1983), "The boss" (1985). "The professional II"(1986) was a big flop and may serve as evidence that even the Belmondo type had to show signs of wear and tear in fifteen years. Belmondo was seen again in the crime film in 1992"The scary house", 1994 in Agnès Varda's comedy"One hundred and one nights", 1995 in Claude Lelouch's Victor Hugo literary film adaptation" Les Misérables "and Patrice Leconte's comedy"All of my fathers"(1998) and" Amazone "(1999).

In 1987 Belmondo resumed his theater work and became a. celebrated in the role of Cyrano by Bergerac. His marriage to Renée Constant (1959 to 1966), called Elodie, had three children: Patricia, Florence and Paul.

Other films with Jean-Paul Belmondo: "Molière" (1956), "Sunday friends", "The involuntary rocket pilot", "Live and let love" (all 1957), "Be beautiful and shut up", "Those who deceive themselves "," Charlotte and her Type "(all 1958)," The Three Musketeers "(1959)," Risky Pastime "," The Night Before the Vow "," The French Woman and Love ","Hours of tenderness"(all 1960)," They called him Rocca "," Galante love stories "(all 1961)," I dongiovanni della Costa Azzurra "," Un coeur gros comme ça "(guest appearance),"A monkey in winter"," Il giorno piu corto "(both 1962),"$ 100,000 in the sun"," Crazy Seafaring "," Hot Plaster "," Bonbons with Pepper "(all 1963),"Dunkirk, June 2, 1940"," Hunting men "," The boss has come up with something "(all 1964)," On a hot summer morning "," Is Paris on fire? "(1965)" La bandeà Bebel "(short film, 1967)," Le Démoniaque "(anonymous, 1968),"the Super brain"," Dieu a choisi Paris "," The man I like "(all 1969),"Musketeer with blow and stab"(1971)," The Legacy "(1972),"The glorious" (1983), "Happy Easter"(1984)," The Lion "(1988)," Désiré "(1996)," Peut-être "(1999)," L'aîné des Ferchaux "(2001), the TV remake of" The Millions of a Hunted One ","A man and his dog" (2008).