Pierre Braunberger produced
his first film in 1920 and his last in 1990... Seventy years devoted to
cinema, during which he produced 80 feature films and 320 shorts.
Braunberger was born in Paris in 1905 into a family of doctors.
At age seven, he saw an episode of Feuillade's Fantomas and decided he wasn't going to be a doctor but to work in films. After World War I, he produced and directed his first film in Germany, Francfort-on-Main. He was all of 15.
He worked in Berlin, then in London for the Brockliss company.
In 1923, he went to the United
States. In New York he worked for several weeks at Fox, then, passing
himself off as a production manager, went to work for Fernand H. Adam
where he supervised films starring Frank Merrill.
During a shooting in Los Angeles, he managed to meet Irving Thalberg and land a job at Metro as one of his assistants. He remained there 18 months, during which time he came into contact with the major directors of the period. But he wanted to work in France. He returned to Paris and made the acquaintance of Jean Renoir. Quick to realize Renoir's brilliant potential, Braunberger would produce several of his films, among them Catherine, Tir au flanc and Une partie de campagne.
In 1929, he took over the Pantheon cinema, the first theater to show sound films in their original versions.
Braunberger produced the first French talkie, La Route est belle, which enjoyed a major commercial success, and equipped the Billancourt studios for sound.
In association with Roger Richebé, he launched such major actors as Raimu, FERNANDEL, Michel Simon, Saturnin Fabre and Simone Simon.
After the war, he started from scratch and began to scout and produce such talented new directors as François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Jean-Pierre Melville, Jean Rouch, François Reichenbach, Jacques Rivette, Lucien Clergue, Gérald Calderon, Gérard Pires, Claude Lelouch, Chris Marker, Eric Rohmer; and such actors as Gérard Depardieu, Patrick Deware, Miou-Miou, Marléne Jobert and Jean-Paul Belmondo.
Revolutionary technical innovations made the filmmaking process less restrictive: this was the "new wave," of which Braunberger was one of the driving forces.
Braunberger was also a great aficionado - in 1950, he made one of the best films about bullfighting, La Course de taureaux.
Braunberger's filmography impresses in its volume and its diversity. He was always on the lookout for new talents and new tendencies.
But what characterized him best was the evident pleasure he took in his profession and his now-legendary gourmandise.
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