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The Last Tycoons (series)

The Last Tycoons (series)

Exploring how a host of groundbreaking films were made, THE LAST TYCOONS is an eight-part series on the history of French cinema from the postwar era to New Wave and beyond – told from a unique angle.

When film credits roll most people focus on the stars of the show. Not Florence Strauss. She is most interested in the producer, and her series THE LAST TYCOONS unearths the stories behind the films’ creation, through live and archival interviews with the producers of the films in the series, as well as colleagues, family members, and experts on French cinema. And interlaced throughout is footage from a wealth of classic French films.

Self-taught and passionate, these men and women financed films when there was little public or private support, gambling everything they had in the process, bucking established commercial considerations and conventions. Directed by Florence Strauss, the 8-part documentary series THE LAST TYCOONS highlights these brave men and women, who from 1945 to 1980, produced the landmark films that have had a profound influence on the history of cinema and continue to inspire filmmakers and audiences for generations to come.

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The Last Tycoons (series)
  • The Last Tycoons - Episode 1

    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 Holly...

  • The Last Tycoons - Episode 2

    Directed by Florence Strauss • Documentary • 2020 • 56 minutes

    Episode 2: The Tenacious Ones
    “I came back here as though nothing had happened. The show must go on. Pretty stupid, I admit that. But that’s my character.” -- Pierre Braunberger

    During WWII, the Nazis seized the operations of any pr...

  • The Last Tycoons - Episode 3

    Directed by Florence Strauss • Documentary • 2020 • 56 minutes

    Episode 3: The Audacious Ones

    It takes nerve to forge ahead with a film when you’re broke, but it’s the kind of nerve that led to the production of some of the most successful mid-century French films.

    This episode argues that the ...

  • The Last Tycoons - Episode 4

    Directed by Florence Strauss • Documentary • 2020 • 56 minutes

    Episode 4: The American Way

    “The American Way” refers to studio production, in which producers don’t need to constantly search for financing—and directors don’t necessarily get the final cut, as enshrined in French law.

    By the 1960...

  • The Last Tycoons - Episode 5

    Directed by Florence Strauss • Documentary • 2020 • 56 minutes

    Episode 5: The Lovers

    This episode focuses on producers driven by a true passion for film. Mag Bodard was a trailblazer—a woman producing films during an almost completely male-dominated era. In addition to the usual challenges of f...

  • The Last Tycoons - Episode 6

    Directed by Florence Strauss • Documentary • 2020 • 56 minutes

    Episode 6 - The Immortals

    “People told me I’d catch the bug,’ and it must be quite a bug because I’ve had it for 30 years.” — Raymond Danon

    Raymond Danon projected a hard-nosed, no-nonsense persona. But that persona covered a deep ...

  • The Last Tycoons - Episode 7

    Directed by Florence Strauss • Documentary • 2020 • 56 minutes

    Episode 7 - Censorship

    In France, as elsewhere, the 1970s were an era that expanded the bounds of the permissible in film. There was an “anything goes” attitude — at least, anything that could make it past the censors.

    Emmanuelle w...

  • The Last Tycoons - Episode 8

    Directed by Florence Strauss • Documentary • 2020 • 56 minutes

    In this final episode, we meet a group of risk-taking producers at the tail end of a wide-open period of French cinema. Jean-Pierre Rassam lavished money on filmmakers he trusted, and didn’t bother reading scripts. (He also lived a l...