5 August 1901|
Luzarches, Val-d'Oise, France
5 February 2000 (aged 98)|
Antibes, Alpes-Maritimes, France
Born at Luzarches in Val-d'Oise, Autant-Lara was educated in France and at London's Mill Hill School during his mother's exile as a pacifist. Early in his career, he worked as an art director and costume designer; his best-known work in this vein was possibly for Nana (1926), a silent film directed by Jean Renoir. Autant-Lara also acted in the film.
As a director, he frequently created provocative movies, saying "if a film does not have venom, it is worthless". In the 1960s, he turned his back on the New Wave movement, and from then on he had no popular successes.
On 18 June 1989, he came to public notice again, controversially, when he was elected to the European Parliament as a member of the National Front and the oldest member of the assembly. In his maiden speech, in July 1989, he caused a scandal by expressing his "concerns about the American cultural threat", provoking a walkout by the majority of the deputies.
In an interview granted to the monthly magazine Globe in September 1989, he accused ex-President of the European Parliament and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil of playing "ethnic politics" to try and "infiltrate and dominate", saying that "If they try to speak to me about genocide, I say they missed mother Veil!" He also described Nazi gas chambers as a "string of lies". Justice Minister Pierre Arpaillange described the remarks as "racial insults, racial slandering and incitements to racial hatred". The resulting scandal led to his resignation as European deputy. Moreover, the members of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, of which he was a vice-president for life, voted to prohibit him from taking his seat thenceforth.
- 1931 : Buster se marie (French adaptation of Buster Keaton film Parlor, Bedroom and Bath) [co-directed with Edward Brophy]
- 1933 : Ciboulette; (film version of the operetta Ciboulette)
- 1937 : The Courier of Lyon [co-directed with Maurice Lehmann]
- 1939 : Fric-Frac
- 1939 : The Mysterious Mr. Davis
- 1942 : Le mariage de Chiffon
- 1942 : Lettres d'amour
- 1943 : Love Story (Douce)
- 1946 : Sylvie et le fantôme (Sylvie and the Phantom)
- 1947 : Le Diable au corps (Devil in the Flesh)
- 1949 : Occupe-toi d'Amélie (Keep an Eye on Amelia)
- 1951 : The Red Inn (L'Auberge rouge) [also screenwriter]
- 1952 : The Seven Deadly Sins (Les sept péchés capitaux; segment "L'Orgueil/Pride") [also screenwriter]
- 1953 : Le Blé en herbe (The Game of Love)
- 1953 : Le Bon Dieu sans confession [also screenwriter]
- 1954 : Le Rouge et le noir (The Red and the Black )
- 1955 : Marguerite de la nuit (Marguerite of the Night)
- 1956 : La Traversée de Paris (Four Bags Full)
- 1958 : The Gambler (Le joueur)
- 1959 : En cas de malheur (Love Is My Profession)
- 1959 : The Green Mare (La jument verte)
- 1960 : The Regattas of San Francisco (Les régates de San Francisco)
- 1960 : Le bois des amants (Between Love and Duty)
- 1961 : Tu ne tueras point (Thou Shalt Not Kill)
- 1961 : Le Comte de Monte-Cristo (The Story of the Count of Monte Cristo)
- 1961 : Vive Henri IV... vive l'amour!
- 1963 : Enough Rope (Le meurtrier)
- 1964 : Le Magot de Josefa (Josefa's Loot)
- 1965 : Humour noir (Black Humor; segment "La Bestiole")
- 1965 : A Woman in White (Journal d'une femme en blanc)
- 1967 : Le Plus vieux métier du monde (The Oldest Profession; segment "Aujourd'hui")
- 1967 : Le Franciscain de Bourges
- 1969 : Les Patates
- 1977 : Gloria
In addition, he was director of at least five other films produced between 1923 and 1936.
This article is based on the equivalent French-language Wikipedia article (retrieved November 30, 2005).