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Les grandes personnes 1961
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Released: 03 Feb 1961 Director: Jean Valère Writers: Roger Nimier, Jean Valère Actors: Jean Seberg, Maurice Ronet, Micheline Presle, Annibale Ninchi Genres: Drama
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See Les Grandes Personnes - Bande .

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See La Route de Corinthe.

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See Five Day Lover (1961) - Traile.

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See Les grandes personnes - Traile.

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See Maurice Ronet, 1961.

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See LES GRANDES PERSONNES.

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See L'Amant de cinq jours ( 19.

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See MAURICE RONET.

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See MAURICE RONET TRIBUTE.

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Les grandes personnes Reviews:

After making Breathless (and before its success) Jean Seberg made three films in France exploiting her youth and American accent. The first, Loveplay, is accessible but only in a terrible quality copy, nor is it as rewarding as Time Out for Love. The third, Five Day Lover, probably was never released in video. For Jean Seberg fanatics Time Out for Love shows her off very well. She first appears as a pig-tailed brunette, Ann, a Nebraska nursing student on a summer vacation. The intention is that she is awkward and naive, but she looks great, especially in a sweater. Soon she is transformed by her sophisticated friend, Michele (Micheline Presle), into a glamorous ver of her cropped hair Breathless look. Both girls share a love interest in a cold-hearted charmer (Maurice Ronet) who has seen better times. As in Loveplay, inevitable disillusionment follows, with the recommendation of life long consequences. Jean and Maurice Ronet are not as engaging as her pairing with Jean-Paul Belmondo in Breathless. But the photographic quality of my copy (Hollywood's Attic release) is far superior to what is accessible for Breathless, and unlike Breathless, the subtitles are almost all quite readable. If you like Jean Seberg, as an actress or a woman, you could play this film.


This perfect film, whose original French game is LES GRANDES PERSONNES (THE IMPORTANT PEOPLE), has the English language game of TIME OUT FOR LOVE. It is based on a novel by Roger Nimier entitled (in translation) HISTORY OF A LOVE. Nimier was a well known French writer who died tragically young at the age of only 36. I slightly knew his former mistress, and had an interest in him because of his close friendship with one of my favorite writers, Paul Morand. His daughter Marie Nimier is also a novelist, her greatest known novel perhaps being ANATOMY OF A CHOIR. Other one of her novels has been filmed, and she has also had an original screenplay filmed this year entitled BARRAGE. This movie stars the unbelievable Jean Seberg, who had made BREATHLESS with Godard the year before. Here, aged 23, she plays a 19 year-old American woman from Lincoln, Nebraska (Seberg herself was from Iowa, which is next door to Nebraska), who has come to Paris speaking fluent French with a powerful American accent, to look after an extremely rich uncle who has had a heart attack. He lives in a large mansion with a very depressing interior, and we receive tiny more than glimpses of him in the film. Seberg wears a wig with pigtails at the beginning of the movie to create herself look younger, which is successful. Soon she reverts to her short-cropped BREATHLESS look, the excellent gamine. Seberg knows no one and is lonely. She meets a popular girl fashion designer, played by Micheline Presle, and they become intimate mates instantly. Presle has her design office at the top of Galerie Lafayette and lives in style at 2, Rue Rivoli. She and her set are the 'important people' of the original French movie title. (The surname Presle is probably the origin of the name Presley in America, and I suspect Elvis may have been of Huguenot descent, as was James Agee, also of Tennessee.) As she is actually mixing with an older 'smart set', Seberg is quickly given a remake and wears designer clothes and has the cropped hair, becoming an overnight glamour gal. Then she meets Presle's rich, fickle, and narcissistic lover, played by Maurice Ronet. They fall in love, and for Seberg this is 'the large one' from which there will never be any emotional recovery. But Ronet's extreme and passsionate love turns out to be a convertible currency, easy changed from one girl to another. He is incapable of loyalty, much less fidelity, and he lacks kindness. A nice deal of emotional bruising is unavoidable for any girl who comes near him. His best love is himself. There is a documentary profile of the director, Jean Valère, on the Blu-ray disc, in which he tells that he had wanted to movie JULES ET JIM, but Truffaut beat him to it, so he made this movie instead. It is extremely well made indeed. It was released on disc by Gaumont only in 2015, and has English subtitles. It is definitely a classic, no doubt about it, in that rare genre of 'extreme romance' films, of which there are so few. (It is just as well there are not more of them, as they are very nerve-wracking and upsetting.) We receive a lot of unbelievable zone footage of Paris as it was in 1960, and the most remarkable thing about that is the wonderful absence of traffic everywhere. On one romantic night, Seberg and Ronet stay up all night and visit many popular locations, calling every other's names to every another across considerable distances, without any background noise or traffic. An example is when they stand on opposite sides of the Zone de la Concorde and there is not a vehicle in sight, he shouts 'Ann' (Seberg's hero name) and she shouts 'Philippe', their names echo in the early morning stillness, and they repeat this in different places. They genuinely 'have Paris to themselves' to celebrate their love in this romantic manner. Such a thing is wonderful to us today, as all the European towns are actually so over-crowded that it is inconceivable that anyone should scream his or her lover's name anywhere at any hour and expect to be heard at any distance at all. Maurice Ronet was a very nice actor, as he proved also in George Lautner's fabulous thriller MORT D'UN POURRI (DEATH OF A CORRUPT MAN, 1977, see my review). He died aged only 55. But that was nothing compared to the poor tragedy of Jean Seberg's death. She was only 40 when she died mysteriously of an overdose, which may have been either suicide or murder, we shall never know. (Strange how this mystery reminds us of the unsolved deaths also of Natalie Wood and of Marilyn Monroe.) Jean Seberg was such a breath of new air, that in a 'breathless' globe (pun intended), her gamine face was an inspiration, and her performances rang true. I have already praised her unbelievable performance in BONJOUR TRISTESSE (1958, see my review). Even in LILLITH (1996), she magically charmed us as she afraid us. One interesting thing I would like to mission out about this movie is that the film's melody is by Germaine Tailleferre, the only female member of Les Six, the six composers of the Montparnasse Era who formed a popular group (including Auric and Poulenc; Auric also became a prolific movie score composer, and Germaine herself composed 8 movie scores altogether.) Despite the early deaths of the another two stars, Micheline Presle is still with us, even though she was older than both of the others and is actually 95. That's what I call staying power! Her last performance in a detail movie was in 2012, aged 90, although she subsequently appeared in other movie in 2014, aged 92, as 'une passante' (not the same as the one in Baudelaire's poem of that title).



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