Family & Companions
A boyish-looking lead of two early Claude Chabrol classics, "Le Beau Serge" (1958) and "Les Cousins" (1959), Gerard Blain made a credible transition to writing and directing in the early 1970s. As a youth, he first appeared in films as an extra in Marcel Carne's classic "Les enfants du paradis/The Children of the Paradise" (1943) as well as in stage productions. After serving in a parachute regiment in the French army, Blain started his acting career in earnest in the mid-50s. The two Chabrol films established him: "Le Beau Serge/Handsome Serge" found him cast as Jean-Claude Brialy's drastically-changed school chum while in "Les Cousins/Cousins" he was Brialy's country relation. The actor went on to appear in several Italian-French co-productions, including "Il Gobbo," "I Delfini" and "Via Margutta" (all 1960), before extending his international presence as John Wayne's sidekick in the English-language "Hatari!" (1962). Blain settled back into French filmmaking in 1964 with "La Bonne Soupe/Careless Love."
Once dubbed 'The French James Dean', he began to depart from type playing a gangster caught by Dennis Hopper in Wim Wenders' "Der Amerikanische Freund/The American Friend" (1977). As he approached middle age, Blain moved behind the camera as a screenwriter and director of minimalist, neutrally observed features that nonetheless displayed a passion in its humanity. His first effort was "Les Amis/The Friends" (1971) and went on to act, write and direct "Le Pelican" (1973). His work in the 80s included "Le Rebelle" (1980), but he received more notice for "Pierre et Djemilia" (1987), a tale set in a northern industrial town that focused on a the star-crossed relationship between a teenage Frenchman and the 14-year old Algerian with whom he falls in love. More recently, Blain wrote, directed and starred in "Jusqu'au bout de la nuit/Until the End of the Night" (1994), about a rebellious man and his disastrous romantic relationship.
Director (Feature Film)
Cast (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Began professional career as extra in Marcel Carne's "The Children of Paradise/Les Enfants du paradis"
Made stage debut in Marcel Pagnol's "Topaze"
Film acting debut, "Avant le deluge"
Had first major role, "Voici le Temps des Assassins/Murder a la Carte"
Starred in "Le Beau Serge/Handsome Serge" and "Les Cousins/The Cousins"
Co-starred in the English-language "Hatari!"
Feature screenwriting and directing debut, "Les amis/The Friends"
Starred in Wim Wenders' "The American Friend"
Directed and co-wrote "Pierre et Djemila"
Directed, wrote and starred in "Jusqu'an bout de la nuit/Until the End of the Night"
Made final film, "Ainsi Soit-il"