Jean-Claude Brialy 1933-2007

R.I.P. Jean-Claude Brialy 1933-2007

I was planning on finally wrapping up my delayed week of celebrating all things French today, but after reading the news that the great French actor Jean-Claude Brialy had passed away I felt compelled to write something about him. Oddly enough my first thoughts went right to Alain Delon since Brialy and Delon were longtime friends. Brialy even encouraged Delon to get into acting. In 1957 Brialy took Alain Delon to Cannes with him where Delon was “discovered.” Besides Jean-Paul Belmondo, Delon made more films with his friend Jean-Claude Brialy than any other actor he worked with. I think it’s fair to say that if Delon and Brialy had not become friends, Delon may have never started acting.

It seems like a lot of great cinema icons are passing away this year. I suppose age is a factor and I sadly suspect that before 2007 is over many others will probably follow.

Jean-Claude Brialy, Alain Delon, Sacha Distel, Romy Schneider
& Jean Pierre Cassel (1961). Sadly, besides Delon,
everyone in this photo has now passed on.

Brialy had an amazing career in film and made many great movies. During his long career he worked with many great directors including Louis Malle, François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Agnès Varda, Julien Duvivier, Luis Buñuel, Roger Vadim, Eric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol, Claire Denis and Lucio Fulci. A few highlights from his impressive filmography include:

Tous peuvent me tuer (a.k.a. Everybody Wants to Kill Me, 1967)
Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (a.k.a. Elevator to the Gallows, 1958)
Christine (1958)
Les Quatre cents coups (a.k.a. The 400 Blows, 1959)
Paris nous appartient (a.k.a Paris Belongs to Us, 1960)
Une histoire d’eau (a.k.a A Story of Water, 1961)
Une femme est une femme (a.k.a. A Woman is a Woman, 1961)
Cléo de 5 à 7 (a.k.a. Cleo From 5 to 7, 1961)
Vie privée (a.k.a. A Very Private Affair, 1962)
La Chambre ardente (a.k.a. The Burning Court, 1962)
Les Diable et les dix commandements (a.k.a. The Devil and the Ten Commandments, 1962)
Château en Suède (a.k.a Nutty, Naughty Chateau, 1963)
La Ronde (a.k.a. Circle of Love, 1964)
Le Roi de coeur (a.k.a. King Of Hearts, 1966)
Operazione San Pietro (a.k.a Operation St. Peter’s, 1967)
La Mariée était en noir (a.k.a. The Bride Wore Black, 1968)
Le Genou de Clair (a.k.a. Claire’s Knee, 1970)
Le Fantôme de la liberté (a.k.a. Phantom of Liberty, 1974)
Catherine et Cie (a.k.a. Catherine & Co, 1975)
Le Juge et l’assassin (a.k.a. The Judge & the Assassin 1976)
L’ Année sainte (a.k.a. Holy Year, 1976)
La Chanson de Roland (a.k.a. The Song of Roland, 1978)
La Nuit de Varennes (a.k.a. That Night in Varennes, 1982)
La Ragazza di Trieste (a.k.a. The Girl from Trieste, 1982)
Mortelle randonnée (a.k.a. Deadly Circuit, 1983)
Inspecteur Lavardin (Inspecteur Lavardin, 1986)
S’en fout la mort (a.k.a. No Fear, No Die, 1990)
La Reine Margot (a.k.a. Queen Margot 1994)
Il Mostro (a.k.a. The Monster, 1994)

4 thoughts on “Jean-Claude Brialy 1933-2007

  1. I really hate to hear this. Brialy was a real favorite and one of the great icons of French cinema. It reminds me that that many more heroes from my youth are going to probably pass away in my lifetime. It feels like it has just been one great after another leaving us this year.
    I will be posting a tribute to Brialy tomorrow…thanks for posting this.
    Really sad news, he will be missed.

  2. Very moving “hommage” to the actor and director. It is funny and in the same way a little bit sad that you remember him for the best of his work in the moment that in France he is mostly remembered for being “the friend of the VIP”, a really superficial image, Cannes, the stars and so on…

    Thanks for the beautiful picture.

  3. It’s sad to hear that Brialy’s work as an actor is now overshadowed by his celebrity in France. In America it seems like he’s still hardly known here which is a shame really.

    Thanks for the comments Jeremy and Vincent!

  4. Oh my god, I am speechless. What sad news. I have adored Brialy for years and am shocked to hear that he’s gone. 😦

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