Jacques Tourneur


Director
Jacques Tourneur

About

Birth Place
Paris, FR
Born
November 12, 1904
Died
December 19, 1977

Biography

Master of macabre suspense who hit his peak in the 1940s with such atmospheric gems as the Val Lewton-produced horror classic "Cat People" (1942), the quietly absorbing psychodrama "Experiment Perilous" (1944) and one of the masterworks of film noir, "Out of the Past" (1947). Tourneur worked on the films of his father, the gifted visual stylist Maurice Tourneur, in the US and then in Par...

Photos & Videos

Out of the Past - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Berlin Express - Lobby Card Set
I Walked with a Zombie - Movie Posters

Family & Companions

Christianne Tourneur
Wife
Actor.

Bibliography

"Jacques Tourneur"
Michael Henry (1974)

Biography

Master of macabre suspense who hit his peak in the 1940s with such atmospheric gems as the Val Lewton-produced horror classic "Cat People" (1942), the quietly absorbing psychodrama "Experiment Perilous" (1944) and one of the masterworks of film noir, "Out of the Past" (1947). Tourneur worked on the films of his father, the gifted visual stylist Maurice Tourneur, in the US and then in Paris, where he made his directorial debut in 1931. He returned to America in 1935, making shorts and B features at MGM before hitting his stride with several brilliantly understated features for producer Val Lewton at RKO: "Cat People," "I Walked With a Zombie" (1942), and "The Leopard Man" (1943).

Tourneur inherited his father's gift for atmospheric, evocative compositions and put it to good use in westerns ("Canyon Passage" 1946), films noirs ("Out of the Past" 1947) and thrillers ("Berlin Express" 1948). His films from the mid-1950s, for various studios, were less effective, though the British-made "Curse of the Demon" (1957) marked a notable return to his earlier form.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

The Comedy of Terrors (1963)
Director
Fury River (1961)
Director
The Giant of Marathon (1960)
Director
Timbuktu (1959)
Director
Mission Of Danger (1959)
Director
Frontier Rangers (1959)
Director
The Fearmakers (1958)
Director
Curse of the Demon (1957)
Director
Nightfall (1957)
Director
Great Day in the Morning (1956)
Director
Stranger on Horseback (1955)
Director
Wichita (1955)
Director
Appointment in Honduras (1953)
Director
Way of a Gaucho (1952)
Director
Anne of the Indies (1951)
Director
Circle of Danger (1951)
Director
Stars in My Crown (1950)
Director
The Flame and the Arrow (1950)
Director
Easy Living (1949)
Director
Berlin Express (1948)
Director
Out of the Past (1947)
Director
Canyon Passage (1946)
Director
Days of Glory (1944)
Director
Experiment Perilous (1944)
Director
I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
Director
The Leopard Man (1943)
Director
Cat People (1942)
Director
Doctors Don't Tell (1941)
Director
Phantom Raiders (1940)
Director
Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939)
Director
They All Come Out (1939)
Director
Marie Antoinette (1938)
2nd Unit Director
A Tale of Two Cities (1935)
Revolutionary War seq Arrangements by
Filles de la Concierge, Les (1934)
Director
Pour etre aime (1933)
Director
Tout ca ne vaut pas l'amour (1931)
Director

Editing (Feature Film)

Le Voleur (1934)
Editor
Deux Orphelines, Les (1933)
Editor
Au Nom de la Loi (1932)
Editor
Gaietes de l'Escadron, Les (1932)
Editor
Partir (1931)
Editor
Accusee, Leven-vous (1930)
Editor

Director (Special)

The Code of Jonathan West (1960)
Director

Director (Short)

The Magic Alphabet (1942)
Director
The Incredible Stranger (1942)
Director
Yankee Doodle Goes to Town (1939)
Director
The Face Behind the Mask (1938)
Director
"What Do You Think?" Tupapaoo (1938)
Director
The Ship That Died (1938)
Director
What Do You Think? (Number Three) (1938)
Director
Strange Glory (1938)
Director
The Man in the Barn (1937)
Director
The King Without a Crown (1937)
Director
Romance of Radium (1937)
Director
What Do You Think? (1937)
Director
The Boss Didn't Say Good Morning (1937)
Director
The Rainbow Pass (1937)
Director
The Grand Bounce (1937)
Director
Master Will Shakespeare (1936)
Director
The Story of "The Jonker Diamond" (1936)
Director
Harnessed Rhythm (1936)
Director
Killer-Dog (1936)
Director

Life Events

1914

Moved to USA with father; grew up in CA

1923

Began working as office boy at MGM

1924

Signed as actor with MGM; first film, "Scaramouche"

1928

Returned to Paris with father; worked as his editor

1931

Directed first feature, "Un Vieux Garcon"

1935

Moved back to USA; began working on shorts and as second unit director at MGM

1935

Met Val Lewton when both worked as special unit directors for Jack Conway on "A Tale of Two Cities" (together they staged the "storming of the Bastille" sequence for that film)

1936

Directed over 20 short sujects for MGM

1939

First US feature as director, "They All Came Out"

1942

Joined RKO where he began directing for producer Val Lewton; helmed "Cat People"

1966

Retired to France

Photo Collections

Out of the Past - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several Behind-the-Scenes photos taken during production of the classic Film Noir, Out of the Past (1947).
Berlin Express - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from RKO's Berlin Express (1948), starring Merle Oberon, Robert Ryan, and Paul Lukas. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
I Walked with a Zombie - Movie Posters
Here are a few original American movie posters for Val Lewton's I Walked with a Zombie (1943).
Out of the Past - Pressbook
Here is the campaign book (pressbook) for RKO's Out of the Past (1947). Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
Cat People - Behind-the-Scenes Photo
Here is a photo taken behind-the-scenes during production of RKO's Cat People (1942), directed by Jacques Tourneur and starring Simone Simon.
Out of the Past - Movie Posters
Here are a few movie posters from the classic Film Noir, Out of the Past (1947).
Curse of the Demon - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Curse of the Demon (1957, aka Night of the Demon). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Leopard Man - Scene Stills
Here are a number of scene stills from Val Lewton's The Leopard Man (1943).

Videos

Movie Clip

Cat People (1942) - That's What Makes Me Dangerous Increasingly troubled newlywed immigrant Irina (Simone Simon) is unaware that friend Alice (Jane Randolph) has nothing but benevolent intentions toward her worried husband Oliver (Kent Smith), thus a famous sequence from director Jacques Tourneur, in the original Cat People, 1942.
Wichita (1955) - My Name's Earp, Wyatt Earp Having been spied in silhouette in the opening scene, the star (Joel McCrea) introduces himself to the cattlemen, Walter Sande as the boss Wallace, Robert Wilke as Ben Thompson, Rayford Barnes as gun-curious Clements and Lloyd Bridges as Gyp, in Wichta, 1955, from producer Walter Mirisch, original story and screenplay by Daniel B. Ullman.
Wichita (1955) - Pretty Good Sized Man Packed scene after the opening of the railroad, Joel McCrea as visitor Wyatt Earp is making a deposit (Sam Peckinpah his teller!) when railroad chief McCoy (Walter Coy) arrives with wife, daughter, reporter Bat Masterson and the mayor (Mae Clarke, Vera Miles, Keith Larsen, Carl Benton Reid), and trouble ensues, George Sherwood the risk-averse sheriff, in Wichta, 1955.
Wichita (1955) - Babylon On The Arkansas River None of the principals appear here, as two guys we haven’t seen (Peter Graves and John Smith, whom we’ll learn play the brothers of the star, Joel McCrea as Marshal Wyatt Earp) arrive, meeting the bartender (William Newell) and the scheming saloon owner Black (Edgar Buchanan), in Wichta, 1955.
Stars In My Crown (1950) - Sharing The Parson's Heart Rejoining narration in the voice of the mature John (Dean Stockwell), exposition on the circumstances of his living with preacher Josiah Gray (Joel McCrea) and his wife and church organist Harriet (Ellen Drew), Jacques Tourneur directing in the MGM version of the novel by Alabama’s Joe David Brown, Stars In My Crown, 1950.
Stars In My Crown (1950) - I'm Always A Boy In Walesburg With narration by Marshall Thompson, the screenplay derived from the somewhat autobiographical novel by Alabamian Joe David Brown, we meet Dean Stockwell as young John, Joel McCrea the preacher, plus Polly Bailey, Amanda Blake, Adeline de Walt Reynolds, Wilson Wood, Ed Begley and Arthur Hunnicutt, in MGM’s Stars In My Crown, 1950.
Stars In My Crown (1950) - I'm Not Interested In Souls Southern gun-toting preacher Gray (Joel McCrea) is called to the bedside of a parishoner, crossing paths with James Mitchell (known-best for theater and as Palmer Courtland on All My Children) as Dr. Harris Jr., who plans to leave his hometown, because the locals don’t trust his modern methods, in the face of a typhus outbreak, in Stars In My Crown, 1950.
Easy Living (1949) - I Just Follow My Heart Of Gold First scene for Lucille Ball as football team secretary Anne, getting hustled for a loan by quarterback Pete (Victor Mature) who passed out during practice earlier that day, and for Lizabeth Scott as his wife Liza, whose motives are iffy, Lloyd Nolan everybody’s boss, in Easy Living, 1949.
Easy Living (1949) - Great Exploitation Star quarterback Pete (Victor Mature), whom we know has been feeling off today, has just met photographer Argus (Paul Stewart) as he joins fellow “New York Chiefs” (on location at with the Rams at L-A’s old Wrigley Field), Jack Paar as reporter Scoop, Lloyd Nolan the owner, early in Easy Living, 1949.
Easy Living (1949) - On The Dotted Line In Black And White Having separated earlier due to conflicting parties, troubled quarterback Pete (Victor Mature), passed over for a coaching job, is suspicious when ambitious interior designer wife Liza (Lizabeth Scott) gets home from what we know was a flirtatious visit with a rich potential client, in Easy Living, 1949.
Easy Living (1949) - I Like You Chubby Opening neglects to mention the profession of Tim (Sonny Tufts) and visiting Pete (Victor Mature), whom his wife Penny (Jeff Donnell) is very happy to receive at their New York apartment, in the not-very athletic football drama Easy Living, 1949, co-starring Lizabeth Scott and Lucille Ball.
Curse Of The Demon (1957) - Doth Walk In Fear And Dread American scientist Holden (Dana Andrews), lured to dinner with schoolteacher Joanna (Peggy Cummins), whose scientist uncle was killed by the devil cult, still won't believe there's magic afoot, in director Jacques Tourneur's Curse Of The Demon, 1957.

Trailer

Comedy Of Terrors, The (1964) -- Original Trailer Perhaps candid but flattering to no one, from American Internatinal Pictures, the original trailer for the horror spoof The Comedy Of Terrors, 1964, with Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and even Basil Rathbone!
Great Day In The Morning - (Original Trailer) The Civil War triggers unrest in Colorado. Starring Robert Stack, directed by Jacques Tourneur.
Fury River - (Original Trailer) Major Robert Rogers searches for the northwest passage through the U.S. during the French and Indian War in Fury River (1959).
Experiment Perilous - (Original Trailer) A small-town doctor (George Brent) tries to help a beautiful woman (Hedy Lamarr) with a deranged husband (Paul Lukas).
Berlin Express - (Re-issueTrailer) Allied agents fight an underground Nazi group in post-war Europe in Jacques Tourneur's Berlin Express (1948) starring Robert Ryan, Merle Oberon and Paul Lukas.
Tale of Two Cities, A (1935) - (Re-issue Trailer) Ronald Colman stars in A Tale of Two Cities (1935), Charles Dickens' classic story of two men in love with the same woman during the French Revolution.
I Walked With A Zombie - (Original Trailer) A nurse in the Caribbean resorts to voodoo to cure her patient in the horror classic I Walked With A Zombie (1943).
Stars in My Crown - (Original Trailer) A parson (Joel McCrea) uses six-guns and the Bible to bring peace to a Tennessee town in Stars in My Crown (1950).
Marie Antoinette - (Wide Release Trailer) Norma Shearer stars in Marie Antoinette (1938), a lavish film biography of the French queen whose rule alienated the citizens of France.
Phantom Raiders - (Original Trailer) Detective Nick Carter (Walter Pidgeon) tries to stop enemy agents from sabotaging the Panama Canal.
Cat People (1942) - (Re-issue Trailer) A newlywed fears that an ancient curse will turn her into a bloodthirsty beast in Cat People (1942), directed by Jacques Tourneur and produced by Val Lewton.
Days Of Glory - (Original Trailer) Russian freedom fighters battle Nazi oppressors, in the original trailer for Days Of Glory, 1944, Gregory Peck starring in his first Hollywood film, directed by Jacques Tourneur.

Family

Maurice Tourneur
Father
Director. Born February 2, 1876, died August 4, 1961.
Fernande Petit
Mother
Stage actor.

Companions

Christianne Tourneur
Wife
Actor.

Bibliography

"Jacques Tourneur"
Michael Henry (1974)