Directed by Florence Strauss • Documentary • 2020 • 56 minutes
Episode 1: The Romantic Ones
It takes a healthy dose of romanticism to try and build a film industry in a country whose economy is in ruins after war. But the producers in this episode were up for the challenge. Dissatisfied in Hollywood, brothers Robert and Raymond Hakim returned to France to re-launch their careers. Like the other producers in this episode, they were nothing if not resourceful. André Paulvé was a grain broker who talked his way into his first production. Alexandre Mnouchkine parlayed fur business cash into a life in cinema. And the larger-than-life cigar-chomping Henry Deutchmeister built himself a faux 18th-century manor—complete with modular edit suites on the grounds.
Films spotlighted in this episode:
Casque d'Or (1952) / Robert and Raymond Hakim / dir. Jacques Becker
La Belle et la Bête (1946) / André Paulvé / dir. Jean Cocteau
Fanfan la Tulipe (1952) / Alexandre Mnouchkine and Georges Dancigers / dir. Christian-Jaque
French Cancan (1955) / Henry Deutchmeister / dir. Jean Renoir