Claude Jutra

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Claude Jutra
Born (1930-03-11)March 11, 1930
Montreal, Quebec
Died November 5, 1986(1986-11-05) (aged 56)
Montreal, Quebec
Occupation Film director
Years active 1949 - 1985

Claude Jutra (French pronunciation: ​[klod ʒytʁa]; March 11, 1930 - November 5, 1986) was a Canadian actor, film director and writer.

The Prix Jutra, and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television's Claude Jutra Award, are named in his honor because of his importance in Quebec cinema history.

Life and career[edit]

Claude Jutra was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec and studied to be a doctor before turning to his first love, the cinema. In 1954 he went to work at the National Film Board of Canada where he trained in all facets of filmmaking. In 1958 he went to France to work with François Truffaut and Jean Rouch.

With financing and production provided by the National Film Board of Canada, Jutra co-wrote and directed the acclaimed 1971 film Mon oncle Antoine as well as directing several cinema verite shorts such as Wrestling and The Devil's Toy. He also co-directed with Norman McLaren and starred in the pixilation short A Chairy Tale.

In 1984, he was awarded the Prix Albert-Tessier, given to individuals for an outstanding career in Québec cinema.

Jutra was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in the early 1980s. He died, an apparent suicide, in 1986. His body was found in the St. Lawrence River some months after he disappeared, with a note in his pocket reading "My name is Claude Jutra." (Je m'appelle Claude Jutra)[1]

In 2016, thirty years after Jutra's death, journalist Yves Lever wrote in a book that Jutra was a pedophile[2]. Lever said that "one of Jutra's victim was under 14 years old.[3]" He also maintained that Jutra's pedophilia was known by many people in the industry, but nobody made a big deal out of it[4]. Lever's allegations were not officially proven, as no victims publicly said anything.

Selected films[edit]

As actor[edit]

  • Bonheur d'occasion (1983)
  • Till Death Do Us Part (1982) (TV)
  • Riel (1979) (TV)
  • Two Solitudes (1978)
  • Arts Cuba (1977) (voice)
  • La fleur aux dents (1976)
  • Pour le meilleur et pour le pire (1975)
  • Love on the Nose (1974) (TV)
  • On est loin du soleil (1971)
  • Mon oncle Antoine (1971)
  • Act of the Heart (1970)
  • Préambule (1969) (voice)
  • Le viol d'une jeune fille douce (1968)
  • À tout prendre (1964)
  • A Chairy Tale (1957)

As director[edit]

Jutra made his debut as a director with Le dément du lac Jean-Jeunes - it explored themes that remained throughout his work, a nostalgia for childhood, madness, and troubled waters.

His collaboration with Michel Brault began at this early period. Mouvement perpétuel was influenced by Jean Cocteau's Le Sang d'un poète. L'école de la Peur (1953) was the first téléthéatre made in Quebec. Towards the end of the 1950s he moved to France and François Truffaut, who became a friend, asked him to direct a Cocteau scenario, Anna la Bonne(1959). In 1960 Jutra returned to Canada.


  • Le dément du lac Jean-Jeunes (Short film, 1948)
  • Mouvement perpétuel (Short film, 1949)
  • L'école de la peur (TV movie, 1953)
  • Pierrot des bois (Short film, 1956)
  • A Chairy Tale (Short animated film Co-Directed with Norman McLaren, 1957) (Re-Released in 1963 as part of the anthology film Seven Surprizes)
  • Les mains nettes (1958)
  • Anna la bonne (Short film, 1959), (from a scenario by Jean Cocteau)
  • À tout prendre (1963)
  • Marie-Christine (Short film, 1970)
  • Mon oncle Antoine (1971)
  • Kamouraska (1973)
  • Pour le meilleur et pour le pire (1975)
  • Ada (TV movie, 1977) (Created for TV Series For the Record)
  • Dreamspeaker (TV movie, 1977) (Created for TV Series For the Record)
  • Seer Was Here (TV movie, 1978) (Created for TV Series For the Record)
  • The Patriarch (TV movie, 1978) (Created for TV Series The Beachcombers)
  • The Wordsmith (TV movie, 1979)
  • Surfacing (1980)
  • By Design (1981)
  • Un petit bonhomme de chemin (Unfinished film, 1982)
  • La dame en couleurs (1985)
  • My Father, My Rival (TV movie, 1985)


  • Au service de l’esprit troublé (Short film Co-Directed with Stanley Jackson, 1955)
  • Chantons maintenant (Short film, 1956)
  • Jeunesses musicales (Short film, 1956)
  • Rondo de Mozart (Short film, 1957)
  • Félix Leclerc, troubadour (Short film, 1958)
  • Fred Barry, comédien (Short film, 1959)
  • Le Niger, jeune république (Short film, 1961)
  • La Lutte (Wrestling) (Short film Co-Directed with Marcel Carrière, Claude Fournier and Michel Brault, 1961)
  • Québec-U.S.A. ou l'invasion pacifique (Short film Co-Directed with Michel Brault, 1962)
  • Petit discours de la méthode (Short film Co-Directed with Pierre Patry, 1963)
  • Ciné boum (Short film Co-Directed with Robert Russell, 1964)
  • Comment savoir... (1966)
  • The Devil's Toy (Short film, 1966)
  • Au coeur de la ville (Short film, 1969)
  • Wow (1969)
  • Québec fête juin '75 (Co-Directed with Jean-Claude Labrecque, 1976)
  • Arts Cuba (Short film, 1977)

Awards (Won)[edit]

Canadian Film Awards

Awards (Nominated)[edit]

Genie Awards

Film Festival Award Nominations[edit]

Moscow International Film Festival

Film Festival Wins[edit]

Venice Film Festival

  • (1966) Plate 'Lion of San Marco' Cultural and Educational Film for Comment savoir

Film about Claude Jutra[edit]

Jutra's close friend, filmmaker Paule Baillargeon, directed the feature documentary Claude Jutra: An Unfinished Story in 2002.[7]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Books and thesis

  • CARRIER-LAFLEUR, Thomas, Une philosophie du « temps à l’état pur ». L’autofiction chez Proust et Jutra, Paris : Librairie philosophique J. Vrin, Québec : Les Presses de l’Université Laval (Zêtêsis : Esthétiques), 2010, 215 p.
  • GARNEAU, Michèle, « Pour une esthétique du cinéma québécois », Thèse de doctorat en Littérature comparée, option théorie et épistémologie, Montréal, Université de Montréal, 1997.
  • LEACH, Jim, Claude Jutra filmmaker, Montreal/Kingston/London/Ithaca, McGill-Queen’s University Press (Films Studies), 1999, XII-306 p.


  • BELLEMARE, Denis, « Narcissisme et corps spectatorielle », in Cinémas, vol. nos 1-2, fall 1996, p. 37-54.
  • BRADY, James, « À tout prendre : fragments du corps spéculaire », in Copie Zéro, Revue de cinéma, no 37 (October 1988), p. 23-26.
  • MARSOLAIS, Gilles, « À tout prendre », in Lettres et écritures, Revue des Étudiants de la Faculté des Lettres de l’Université de Montréal, vol. I, no 2 (February 1964), p. 35-41.
  • MARSOLAIS, Gilles, « Au delà du miroir... », in Cinéma : acte et présence, Québec, Éditions Nota bene, 1999, p. 189-203.
  • WAUGH, Thomas, « Je ne le connais pas tant que ça: Claude Jutra », in Nouvelles « vues » sur le cinéma québécois (on line), no 2, summer-fall 2004.
  • SIROIS-TRAHAN, Jean-Pierre, « Le devenir-québécois chez Claude Jutra. Autofiction, politique de l’intime et le je comme faux raccords », in Nouvelles « vues » sur le cinéma québécois (on line), no 11, fall 2010.


  1. ^ CBC Archives entry
  2. ^ "Jutra et les garçons - La Presse+". La Presse+ (in French). Retrieved 2016-02-14. 
  3. ^ "Jutra et les garçons - La Presse+". La Presse+ (in French). Retrieved 2016-02-14. 
  4. ^ "Jutra et les garçons - La Presse+". La Presse+ (in French). Retrieved 2016-02-14. 
  5. ^ "14th Moscow International Film Festival (1985)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-02-09. 
  6. ^ "7th Moscow International Film Festival (1971)". MIFF. Retrieved 2012-12-23. 
  7. ^ Baillargeon, Paule (2002). "Claude Jutra: An Unfinished Story". Retrieved 2009-04-14. 

External links[edit]