Jules Dassin


Director
Jules Dassin

About

Also Known As
Perlo Vita, Julius Dassin
Birth Place
Middletown, Connecticut, USA
Born
December 18, 1911
Died
March 31, 2008

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 interna...

Photos & Videos

Thieves' Highway - Movie Posters
The Canterville Ghost - Movie Poster
Never on Sunday - Movie Poster

Family & Companions

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

Notes

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

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.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Circle of Two (1981)
Director
A Dream of Passion (1978)
Director
The Rehearsal (1974)
Director
Promise at Dawn (1970)
Director
Survival 1967 (1968)
Director
Uptight (1968)
Director
10:30 P.M. Summer (1966)
Director
Topkapi (1964)
Director
Phaedra (1962)
Director
The Law (1960)
Director
Never on Sunday (1960)
Director
He Who Must Die (1957)
Director
Rififi (1954)
Director
Half Angel (1951)
Director
Night and the City (1950)
Director
Thieves' Highway (1949)
Director
The Naked City (1948)
Director
Brute Force (1947)
Director
A Letter for Evie (1946)
Director
Two Smart People (1946)
Director
The Canterville Ghost (1944)
Director
Young Ideas (1943)
Director
Reunion in France (1942)
Director
The Affairs of Martha (1942)
Director
Nazi Agent (1942)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Buzz (2006)
Keine Zufallige Geschichte (1983)
Phaedra (1962)
Christo
Never on Sunday (1960)
Homer
Rififi (1954)
Cesar--Le Milanais

Writer (Feature Film)

Night And The City (1992)
Story By
A Dream of Passion (1978)
Screenplay
Promise at Dawn (1970)
Screenwriter
Uptight (1968)
Screenwriter
10:30 P.M. Summer (1966)
Screenwriter
Phaedra (1962)
Screenwriter
The Law (1960)
Writer
Never on Sunday (1960)
Screenwriter
He Who Must Die (1957)
Screenwriter
Rififi (1954)
Screenwriter
Rififi (1954)
Adaptation

Producer (Feature Film)

A Dream of Passion (1978)
Producer
Promise at Dawn (1970)
Producer
Uptight (1968)
Producer
Survival 1967 (1968)
Producer
10:30 P.M. Summer (1966)
Producer
Topkapi (1964)
Producer
Phaedra (1962)
Producer
Never on Sunday (1960)
Producer

Music (Feature Film)

Bittersweet Place (2005)
Music

Production Companies (Feature Film)

Promise at Dawn (1970)
Company
Uptight (1968)
Company

Title Design (Feature Film)

Rififi (1954)
Subtitles (2000 Re-Release)

Life Events

1936

First role with the ARTEF (Yiddish Proletarian Theater) company in New York City

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

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)

Photo Collections

Thieves' Highway - Movie Posters
Thieves' Highway - Movie Posters
The Canterville Ghost - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for MGM's The Canterville Ghost (1944), starring Charles Laughton and Margaret O'Brien. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Never on Sunday - Movie Poster
Here is the American-release One-Sheet Movie Poster from the Greek film Never on Sunday (1960), by Jules Dassin. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Night And The City (1950) - They're Hand-Dipped Hustler Harry (Richard Widmark) cruising London to the Silver Fox, where we meet his snarky employers Helen (Googie Withers), who's briefing new girls, and Phil (Francis L. Sullivan), early in Jules Dassin's celebrated Night And The City, 1950.
Thieves' Highway (1949) - I'm The Friendly Type Weary trucker Nick, at the San Francisco produce market (director Jules Dassin shooting on location), aiming not to get shafted on his first delivery, doesn’t know what to make of Rica (Valentina Cortese, her first scene), in Thieves’ Highway, 1949, from A.I. Bezzerides’ novel and screenplay.
Thieves' Highway (1949) - The Chinese Have Small Feet During his big fat Greek-American return to California, ship mechanic Nick (Richard Conte), with his mom, dad (Tamara Shayne, Morris Carnovsky) and probably-fianceè Polly (Barbara Lawrence), discovers bad news that had been kept from him, early in Jules Dassin’s Thieves’ Highway, 1949.
Thieves' Highway (1949) - I Got Plenty Of Shirts Location shooting at the San Francisco produce market, for which the movie is famous, novice trucker Nick (Richard Conte) jousts with dealer Figlia (Lee J. Cobb), not revealing he’s seeking revenge for injuries to his father, Edwin Max and George Tyne the henchmen, in Thieves’ Highway, 1949.
Rififi (1954) - Break-In Just a portion of the roughly half-hour dialogue -free heist sequence, Tony (Jean Servais), Mario (Robert Manuel), Jo (Carl Mohner) and Cesar (Jules Dassin, the director, with mustache) from Rififi, 1954.
Rififi (1954) - No Cash No Cards Opening scene, veteran crook Tony (Jean Servais) coming up short in a card game, calls on loyal friend Jo (Carl Mohner) for a stake, in blacklisted American director Jules Dassin's acclaimed Paris crime caper, Rififi, 1954.
Rififi (1954) - They Let Me Out Newly paroled Tony (Jean Servais), who took the fall for a jewel heist, finds his old girlfriend Mado (Marie Sabouret) well cared-for in a Paris night club, with shocking brutality, early in director Jules Dassin's Rififi, 1954.
Rififi (1954) - Le Rififi Magali Noël performs, song by Philippe Gerard and Jacques LaRue, Jules Dassin directs, and also appears, as safecracker Cesar, at the table with Robert Manuel as Mario, who introduces him to ex-con Tony (Jean Servais) who’s rejoined the jewelry heist scheme, one of the few less intense scenes, in Rififi, 1954.
Night And The City (1950) - The City Is London Opening scenes, Harry (Richard Widmark) in flight then joining girlfriend Mary (Gene Tierney), neither of them making any pretense of being English, in Jules Dassin's celebrated original Night And The City, 1950.
Night And The City (1950) - Real Greco-Roman Shady up and coming London wrestling promoter Harry (Richard Widmark) receives angry big-time rival Kristo (Herbert Lom) and his lawyer (Aubrey Dexter), then springs his new partner and secret weapon (Stanislaus Zybyszko), in Jules Dassin's Night And The City, 1950.
Night And The City (1950) - I Do Have A Need Gene Tierney (as "Mary") lip-synching a tune by Noel Gay, as twisted club owners Phil and Helen (Francis L. Sullivan, Googie Withers) chat, when her hustler boyfriend Harry (Richard Widmark) arrives elated at his latest scheme, in Jules Dassin's Night And The City, 1950.
Naked City, The (1948) - Story Of The City Producer Mark Hellinger's narration boasts the virtues of the picture "you're about to see," leading to the murder by Ted de Corsia and Walter Burke in the famous opening of The Naked City, 1948.

Trailer

Family

Julie Dassin
Daughter
Actor. Mother, Beatrice Launer.
Joey Dassin
Son
Mother, Beatrice Launer.
Rickey Dassin
Son
Mother, Beatrice Launer.

Companions

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

Bibliography

Notes

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