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Claude Sautet

Claude Sautet

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Also Known As: Died: July 22, 2000
Born: February 23, 1924 Cause of Death: liver cancer
Birth Place: France Profession: director, screenwriter, assistant director, producer, music director, social worker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Sautet is one of France's leading chroniclers of middle-class, and especially middle-aged, life. He began his career as an assistant (e.g., to Jacques Becker on the classic gangster yarn, "Touchez pas au Grisbi" 1954), served as a TV producer and earned a reputation as a superior scenarist before directing his first feature, "Bonjour sourire", in 1955. His first significant achievement, the craftily handled underworld melodrama "The Big Risk" (1959), was overshadowed by the activities of the younger, New Wave directors. Sautet came into his own, however, with "The Things of Life" (1970), a keenly observed study of a mid-life crisis triggered by an automobile accident, which won the Prix Delluc at Cannes. Like many of the director's subsequent films, it starred Romy Schneider and Michel Piccoli.Sautet has subsequently turned out a number of finely observed social studies, often documenting the relations between large numbers of characters. Scenes set on beaches came to be over the years practically a trademark of his work, which he approached with a quiet irony and maturity. For years he was best known in the US for "Cesar et Rosalie" (1972), which teamed Yves Montand and Schneider in Sautet's answer...

Sautet is one of France's leading chroniclers of middle-class, and especially middle-aged, life. He began his career as an assistant (e.g., to Jacques Becker on the classic gangster yarn, "Touchez pas au Grisbi" 1954), served as a TV producer and earned a reputation as a superior scenarist before directing his first feature, "Bonjour sourire", in 1955. His first significant achievement, the craftily handled underworld melodrama "The Big Risk" (1959), was overshadowed by the activities of the younger, New Wave directors. Sautet came into his own, however, with "The Things of Life" (1970), a keenly observed study of a mid-life crisis triggered by an automobile accident, which won the Prix Delluc at Cannes. Like many of the director's subsequent films, it starred Romy Schneider and Michel Piccoli.

Sautet has subsequently turned out a number of finely observed social studies, often documenting the relations between large numbers of characters. Scenes set on beaches came to be over the years practically a trademark of his work, which he approached with a quiet irony and maturity. For years he was best known in the US for "Cesar et Rosalie" (1972), which teamed Yves Montand and Schneider in Sautet's answer to Francois Truffaut's "Jules et Jim"; "Vincent, Francois, Paul and Others" (1976), a tale of a crisis in the friendship of three middle-aged men facing their many failures and disappointments; and "A Simple Story" (1979), nominated for an Oscar as Best Foreign Film, a portrait of a working woman and the people in her orbit.

Sautet moved more firmly into melodrama with "Un Mauvais Fils/A Bad Son" (1980) and comedy with "Garcon!/Waiter!" (1983). His later "A Few Days with Me" (1989) proved to be a relatively uncharacteristic departure into more youthful territory, while youth and middle age crossed paths in the artful "Un Coeur en hiver" (1992). An intimate film about a love triangle that includes Emmanuelle Beart as a violin virtuoso, Daniel Auteuil as a violin maker, and Andre Dussollier as a violin dealer, "Un Coeur" was a typically quiet but remarkably rich character study which extended Sautet's formidable string of art-house critical triumphs. He enjoyed another success with 1995's "Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud", a chamber romance about a love triangle between an elderly writer, his female secretary with whom he falls in love, and his younger publisher who courts the woman.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Les Enfants de Lumiere (1995) Director
2.
4.
  Un Coeur en Hiver (1992) Director
5.
  Quelques jours avec moi (1988) Director
6.
  Cesar et Rosalie (1988) Director
7.
  Garcon! (1983) Director
8.
  Un Mauvais Fils (1980) Director
9.
  Une Histoire simple (1978) Director
10.
  Mado (1976) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Patrick Dewaere (1992) Himself
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Milestones close milestones

:
Music critic for COMBAT magazine
:
Worked as a technician or assistant on various films after graduating from IDHEC
1951:
First short film as director, "Nous n'irons plus au bois"
1955:
Directed first feature, "Bonjour sourire"
:
Continued working as an assistant director; also became a TV producer
1960:
Directed second film, "Classe tous risques/The Big Risk"
:
Worked for much of the 1960s primarily as a screenwriter on such film as Jacques Deray's "Symphonie pour un massacre" (1960), Jean-Paul Rappeneau's "La vie de chateau" (1966) and Philippe de Broca's "La diable par la queue" (1969)
1965:
Directed third film, "L'Arme a gauche/Guns for the Dictator"
1970:
Received greater critical attention after directing "The Things of Life"; began making films on a regular basis
1992:
Appeared as himself in "Patrick Dewaere", a biograpical documentary of the French film actor who committed suicide in 1982
1993:
Helmed and scripted "Un Coeur en hiver/A Heart in Winter"
1995:
Wrote and directed the well-received "Nelly et M. Arnaud"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Lycee de Coutances: -
College Saint-Euverte: -
Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs: -
Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques: - 1946 - 1948

Notes

Among the other screenplays which Sautet has either written, co-written or contributed to (but did not direct) are Marcel Ophuls' "Peau de banane/Banana Peel" (1964), Jacques Deray's "Borsalino" (1970), and Jose Giovanni's "My Friend the Traitor" (1988).

Sautet's film "Une simple histoire/A Simple Story" (1979) was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Graziella Sautet.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Jean Sautet. Businessman.
mother:
Marguerite Sautet.

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