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Le Soir magazine
February 12, 2003

The Simenon Year

Simenonville remembers
Simenon in Paris
A star never honored
An immense œuvre
Simenon in the Pléiade
Treasures of the Simenon Collection
Intimate Memoirs of a son
His final residence
A life of breaks and changes
On the festival menu
The Simenon Production
They all played Maigret
At the movies, 57 films

original French

At the movies, 57 films

"Monsieur Hire" with Michel Blanc, "[The Watchmaker of Saint-Paul]" with Philippe Noiret, "[In Case of Emergency]" with Brigette Bardot, "Strangers in the House" with Raimu... all these successes of the 7th Art have one author in common: Georges Simenon.


"Monsieur Hire" with Michel Blanc

His novels were abundantly adapted to the cinema. By the great directors: Henri Decoin ("[The Trial of Bèbè Donge]"), Claude Chabrol ("[The Hatter's Ghosts]", "Betty"), Marcel Carné ("La Marie du port"), Pierre Granier-Deferre ("The Cat" with Simone Signoret), and others, more recent, like Patrice Leconte and Bertrand Tavernier. An inexhaustible source of plots and characters (without forgetting the atmosphere), Simenon's somber and human narratives seduce the large screen. They present everyday lives with an often tragic destiny. The camera scrutinizes their souls like the author on his pages.


"[The Hatter's Ghosts]" with Michel Serrault

A sustained collaboration would develop between the writer and Jean Gabin. We see him as Maigret and no less than 9 full-length films, including Jean Delannoy's "Le baron de l'écluse" in 1960.


"The Cat" with Jean Gabin

Simenon would be adapted during the war, on agreement with occupying forces, then in America, but it was French cinema which would earn him his popularity. As for Jules Maigret (everyone forgets his first name), he appears on screen in 1932, three years after his literary debut, in Jean Renoir's "[Maigret at the Crossroads]". The Simenon universe will embrace realistic and psychologising cinema, between interiority and tension, with climates dear to the author. An unwished-for collaboration but remarkably faithful, which left films which have become great classics.

Bernard Meeus

tr: ST 2/07

Le Soir magazine
February 12, 2003

The Simenon Year

Simenonville remembers
Simenon in Paris
A star never honored
An immense œuvre
Simenon in the Pléiade
Treasures of the Simenon Collection
Intimate Memoirs of a son
His final residence
A life of breaks and changes
On the festival menu
The Simenon Production
They all played Maigret
At the movies, 57 films


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