|Born||September 25, 1908
Orange, Vaucluse, France
|Died||June 22, 1977
Poissy, Yvelines, France
Jacqueline Audry (September 25, 1908 – June 22, 1977) was a French film director who started making films in post-World War II France and specialised in literary adaptations. She was the first commercially successful woman director of post-war France.
Audry was born in Orange, Vaucluse, France. There were few opportunities for female directors under Nazi occupation. Audry worked as an assistant to directors Jean Delannoy, G. W. Pabst and Max Ophüls and in 1943, directed a short film of her own, Le Feu de paille, with the help of the Centre Artistique et Technique des Jeunes du Cinéma (now La Femis). The end of World War II and the liberation of France provided increased opportunities for women, but they still faced prejudice in the film industry.
Audry's first feature film was Les Malheurs de Sophie in 1946. This was based on the popular novel of the same name by the Comtesse de Ségur. No copies of this film, which was censored for its "politically inappropriate" riot scenes, exist. Unable to raise funds for her next film, she had to wait three years before making Sombre dimanche. In the 1940s and 1950s, she directed three films based on Colette novels; Gigi, Minne and Mitsou, all three with actress Danièle Delorme. Mitsou, which featured sex outside of marriage, was heavily censored.
In 1951, Audry directed Olivia, based on Dorothy Bussy's 1950 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. Set in an all-girls boarding school, Olivia depicts a lesbian love story between a schoolgirl and her headmistress. At the time, the film was very controversial and was censored in the United States and the United Kingdom. Edwige Feuillère was nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Foreign Actress for her part as Mlle. Julie, the headmistress. The film has been called a "landmark of lesbian representation". She frequently collaborated with her sister, the novelist and screenwriter Colette Audry.
Audry's film style was traditional and at odds with the French New Wave. Her films had a feminist slant however. Many of them had central female characters and they often gave a radical view of gender roles and female sexuality. Audry died at Poissy, Yvelines, France, in a road accident.
- 1946: Les Malheurs de Sophie (fr)
- 1948: Sombre Dimanche (fr) (Gloomy Sunday)
- 1949: Gigi
- 1950: Minne (fr)
- 1951: Olivia (US title: The Pit of Loneliness)
- 1954: Huis clos (No Exit)
- 1956: Mitsou
- 1958: School for Coquettes
- 1959: Le Secret du chevalier d'Éon (fr)
- 1962: Les Petits Matins (fr)
- 1967: Bitter Fruit (fr)
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