Saint-Ex

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For the live stage musical production, see Antoine de Saint-Exupéry -Popular culture: Theatre.
Saint-Ex
Saint-Ex (1996).png
Directed by Anand Tucker
Produced by Jake Lloyd
Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce (screenplay)
Based on The Looters (novel) 
by John H. Reese
Starring Bruno Ganz
Miranda Richardson
Janet McTeer
Music by Barrington Pheloung
Cinematography David Johnson
Edited by Peter Webber
Production
company
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Majestic Films International
The Oxford Film Company
Distributed by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Release dates
  • 17 November 1996 (1996-11-17)
Running time
82 min.
Language English

Saint-Ex is a 1996 British film biography made for direct release to television by the British Broadcasting Corporation. The story documents the life of French author-aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in the form of a "tone poem".[1] The film was directed by Anand Tucker and stars Bruno Ganz, Miranda Richardson and Janet McTeer. The screenplay was by Frank Cottrell Boyce, while the writer's sons, Aidan and Joseph, portrayed the Saint-Exupery brothers, Francois and Antoine, as children.

Plot[edit]

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Bruno Ganz), growing up in an aristocratic French family, chooses to become a pilot. To the dismay of his family, young Antoine leaves to take a job flying airmail overseas.

Antoine marries beautiful Consuelo (Miranda Richardson), and they set up house in Casablanca. The constant strain on their marriage from his dangerous flights results in Consuelo leaving and going to Paris. Antoine goes after her, they reconcile, but he refuses to give up flying even when he is almost killed when he crashes in an attempt to break the Paris-Saigon air record.

By the late 1930s, Antoine becomes a successful airmail pilot flying in Europe, Africa and South America. During this period, he became a writer, with his most famous work being The Little Prince.

At the outbreak of World War II, Antoine joins the French Air Force (Armée de l'Air), but after France was defeated, he joins the Free French Air Force in North Africa. In July 1944, while flying a F-5 Lightning on a reconnaissance mission over the Mediterranean, Antoine mysteriously disappears.

Cast[edit]

  • Bruno Ganz as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Miranda Richardson as Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry
  • Janet McTeer as Genevieve de Ville-Franche
  • Ken Stott as Prevot
  • Katrin Cartlidge as Gabrielle de Saint-Exupéry
  • Brid Brennan as Simone de Saint-Exupéry
  • Eleanor Bron as Marie de Saint-Exupéry
  • Karl Johnson as Didier Daurat
  • Daniel Craig as Guillaumet
  • Dominic Rowan as Aeropostal Clerk
  • Anna Calder-Marshall as Moisy
  • Joe Cottrell Boyce as Young Antoine
  • Aidan Cottrell Boyce as Francois
  • Nicholas Hewetson as French Pilot
  • Alex Kingston as Chic Party Guest

Production[edit]

Saint-Ex was filmed and distributed in the United Kingdom. The film was director Anand Tucker's feature film debut,and combines elements of biography, documentary and dramatic re-creation.[2] The use of period documentary interviews in black-and-white is interspersed with live action and computer generated effects in colour.[3]

Reception[edit]

Saint-Ex was reviewed by Derek Elley for Variety: "Reach falls short of ambition in 'Saint-Ex,' an intriguing attempt to create a cinematic tone-poem to legendary French flyer-cum-novelist Antoine de Saint-Exupery that only rarely gets both wheels off the ground. Despite some striking visuals and an evident desire to take a fresh look at the biopic genre, the movie remains strangely uninvolving for much of the time and isn't helped by a miscast Bruno Ganz as the titular aviator. Theatrical prospects look fog-bound."[3]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Brennan, Sandra. "Overview: 'Saint-Ex'." The New York Times. Retrieved: 17 December 2015.
  2. ^ Allon et al. 2001, p. 334.
  3. ^ a b Elley, Derek. "Review: ‘Saint-Ex’." Variety, 24 November 1996. Retrieved: 17 December 2015.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Allon, Yoram, Del Cullen and Hannah Patterson. Contemporary British and Irish Film Directors: A Wallflower Critical Guide (Wallflower Critical Guides). London: Wallflower, 2001. ISBN 1-9-0336-422-1.

External links[edit]