A short life

Phil Powrie and Éric Rebillard

in Pierre Batcheff and Stardom in 1920s French Cinema

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780748621972
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651191 | DOI:
A short life

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Pierre Batcheff was labelled the best French actor of the period 1925–1929 by Georges Sadoul in 1975. He was one of the foremost jeunes premiers of the 1920s, a term normally taken to refer to handsome young actors who played young lover roles. His biography is striking for his rapid rise to stardom and the fact that he was, unlike many of his peers, an unwilling star. He considered the majority of the films he acted in to be no more than hack work, and longed to become a director. His desire to be more than just a commercial star increased following Un Chien andalou, for which he collaborated closely with Luis Buñuel. Not long afterwards, he met Jacques Prévert and his entourage, with whom he planned screenplays for films that he might direct. This chapter outlines the major elements of Batcheff's life as an unwilling star. It looks at his origins and childhood, his rise to stardom, his transition from the mainstream to the avant-garde, his association with the lacoudems, and his early death.

Keywords: Pierre Batcheff; films; Luis Buñuel; Un Chien andalou; childhood; stardom; avant-garde; lacoudems; death; Jacques Prévert

Chapter.  10390 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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