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Jules Dassin

Jules Dassin

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Also Known As: Perlo Vita, Julius Dassin Died: March 31, 2008
Born: December 18, 1911 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Middletown, Connecticut, USA Profession: director, actor, producer, screenwriter, radio script writer, assistant director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Gained experience in theater and radio in New York before going to work in Hollywood in 1940, first with RKO (as assistant director) and then with MGM. Dassin hit his stride in the late 1940s with such dynamic (and still well-regarded) film noir melodramas as "Brute Force" (1947) and "The Naked City" (1948). After being blacklisted he moved to Europe, where he scored his greatest international successes with the French-produced "Rififi" (1955) and the then-scandalous "Never on Sunday" (1959), starring his second wife Melina Mercouri. For the most part, his later films--like "Up Tight" (1968), an ill-conceived black remake of John Ford's 1935 classic "The Informer"--have been disappointing and inconclusive.

Gained experience in theater and radio in New York before going to work in Hollywood in 1940, first with RKO (as assistant director) and then with MGM. Dassin hit his stride in the late 1940s with such dynamic (and still well-regarded) film noir melodramas as "Brute Force" (1947) and "The Naked City" (1948). After being blacklisted he moved to Europe, where he scored his greatest international successes with the French-produced "Rififi" (1955) and the then-scandalous "Never on Sunday" (1959), starring his second wife Melina Mercouri. For the most part, his later films--like "Up Tight" (1968), an ill-conceived black remake of John Ford's 1935 classic "The Informer"--have been disappointing and inconclusive.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Circle of Two (1981) Director
2.
  Dream of Passion, A (1978) Director
3.
  Rehearsal, The (1974) Director
4.
  Promise at Dawn (1970) Director
5.
  Survival 1967 (1968) Director
6.
  Uptight (1968) Director
7.
  10:30 P.M. Summer (1966) Director
8.
  Topkapi (1964) Director
9.
  Phaedra (1962) Director
10.
  Never on Sunday (1960) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Buzz (2006)
3.
 Phaedra (1962) Christo
4.
 Never on Sunday (1960) Homer
5.
 Rififi (1954) Cesar--Le Milanais
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1936:
First role with the ARTEF (Yiddish Proletarian Theater) company in New York City
:
Directed first stage play, "The Medicine Show"
1941:
Directed first short film, "The Tell-Tale Heart"
1942:
Feature directing debut, "Nazi Agent/Salute to Courage"
1947:
Helmed the brutal film noir, "Brute Force" starring Burt Lancaster and Hume Cronyn
1948:
Directed the black-and-white film noir "The Naked City"
1950:
Filmed "Night and the City" in London to avoid being brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee
:
European producers were told that their films would not be allowed to be released in the United States if Dassin was involved in their production; did not direct another film for five years
1955:
Returned to directing with the French language noir classic "Rififi"
1960:
Directed (also scripted) future wife, Melina Mercouri in "Never on Sunday"; earned Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay
1962:
Once again directed Melina Mercouri in "Phaedra"
1964:
Directed the heist film, "Topkapi" starring Melina Mercouri and Peter Ustinov
1967:
Directed "Illya Darling" the Broadway musical adaptation of his film, "Never on Sunday"
1968:
Wrote and directed "Up Tight!" starring Ruby Dee and Roscoe Lee Browne
1970:
Directed (also wrote and produced) his wife, Melina Mercouri in "Promise at Dawn"
1974:
Directed and co-starred with (also wrote) Olympia Dukakis, Arthur Miller and Melina Mercouri in "The Rehearsal"
1978:
Wrote and directed "Kravgi gynaikon"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Film
1980:
Directed his final feature, "Circle of Two" starring Richard Burton as a 60-year old artist who falls in love with a fifteen-year-old (Tatum O'Neal)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

"It's more important for me to be with Melina than to make a movie." --Jules Dassin quoted in Vanity Fair, February 1991.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Beatrice Launer. Former concert violinist. Married in 1933; divorced in 1962.
wife:
Melina Mercouri. Actor, politician. Born c. 1923; Greek; together from 1959; married from 1966 until her death on March 6, 1994.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Julie Dassin. Actor. Mother, Beatrice Launer.
son:
Joey Dassin. Mother, Beatrice Launer.
son:
Rickey Dassin. Mother, Beatrice Launer.

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