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Maigret: Films and Television

Filmography: Detailed listings of Films and Television Series

Gallery: Movie Posters of Simenon films

 

Resources

 

The best film references are in French, the newest and largest of which is Simenon Cinéma, by Michel Schepens and Serge Toubiana (Textuel, Paris, 2002, 350 pp), featuring full-page images of 142 posters of Simenon films (p. 24-312). It includes an illustrated Bibliography with illustrations of dustjackets of the first editions and a selection of covers of the novels made into films (p. 316- 331), and an illustrated Filmography of the 142 posters for the 53 films with some technical information on the films (p. 342-347).

Claude Gauteur is apparently the expert on Simenon and Cinema, but his most recent work, D'après Simenon: Simenon et le cinéma, Omnibus, 2001, 250pp, doesn't have much to recommend it as a reference. Poorly organized, poorly indexed, murky b/w illustrations, unorderded incomplete bibliography, anecdotal... and he bases the (sparse) information on foreign films and television on Haining (below).

In his 1990 Simenon au cinéma from Didier/Hatier, 128pp, the second half (following a series of essays) includes a page for each of the films, with a large scene image and short commentary. At the back is a filmography with extensive cast lists, and a bibliography.

There's a link to my translation of a Gauteur article from La Revue du Cinéma below, "Simenon by Simenon."
Gauteur's smaller 64pp booklet, Simenon à l'écran accompanied the "Tout Simenon" series published in 1991.

Those interested in reading about Maigret films in English might want to try to locate Peter Haining's 1994 The Complete Maigret. It's about the Maigret films and tv series, not the books themselves, as the title might suggest. (The Filmography on this site, now significantly augmented with revised listings and various indexes, was originally based on material from this book.)

Unfortunately, there are many errors in the Haining text, which have been detailed in the Forum. (Too bad it's untrustworthy, because it's an attractive and enjoyable book.) Here's a summary of the known problems with the text. Please let me know of any additions and corrections.


Haining, Peter [1940-]. 1994. The complete Maigret: from Simenon's original novels to Granada's much acclaimed TV series. 127 pp, 25 cm, [Granada Television], ill. (some col.). filmography: p. 116-127. index. London. Boxtree.

Simenon au cinéma
Simenon on Screen

Le Cinéma français. 1930-1960
under the direction of Philippe de Comes and Michel Marmin
with the assistance of Michèle Caillot and Raymond Chirat
Paris: Editions Atlas, 1984
pp 118-120

Simenon par Simenon
Simenon by Simenon

Claude Gauteur

La Revue du Cinéma
n° 454, novembre 1989
Dossier, pp 67-72

SIMENON ON THE SCREEN

Has Not Been So Successful As
He Has Been In Print

By JACK EDMUND NOLAN

Films in Review
August-September 1965
pp 419-437


Maigrets

Jean Gabin
Jean Gabin (1957, 1959, 1963)

Jean Gabin

appeared as Maigret in Maigret Tend un Piège, 1957, (released in UK and US as "Inspector Maigret"), Maigret et l'Affaire Saint Fiacre, 1959, and Maigret Voit Rouge, 1963, (Maigret, Lognon et les gangsters). Besides these three Maigrets, he appeared in seven other Simenon screen adaptations.
Maigret tend un piège
Maigret tend un piège

BBC's Maigret, 1960-1969

Rupert Davies

(b. Wales, 1916), was not quite the original BBC Maigret: After the first (1959) episode Basil Sydney had to leave the series due to injury; Davies played Maigret for the remaining 51 episodes from 1960 through 1963, becoming more or less synonymous with the role. Simenon once gave him a novel inscribed, "At last I have found the perfect Maigret."
Rupert Davies
Rupert Davies (1960-69)

Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon (1992-93)

Granada TV's Maigret, 1992-1993

Michael Gambon

(b. Dublin, 1940) was cast as Maigret by Granada Television as for their 12 1992-93 productions. Gambon had achieved fame as Philip Marlow in Dennis Potter's "The Singing Detective" (1986), with a viewing audience of over 8 million, nomination as Best TV Drama of the Year, and a BAFTA award for Gambon.

French TV's Maigret, 1965-1990

Jean Richard

(France) who portrayed Maigret on French television in numerous episodes from 1965 on into the 80s, was criticized by Simenon:
"Jean Richard may be Maigret for a lot of French people because of all those television films, but for me he is quite honestly the worst. He is very bad. He acts as if he has seen too many American films with gangsters and gigolos. He will arrive at an old lady's or wherever wearing his hat and not take it off. He doesn't say 'Good-morning' but just 'Commissaire Maigret'. He goes on smoking and keeps his hat on all the time he's there - and he leaves in the same way. That shocked me. A Divisional Commissaire does have a certain amount of education. He knows that you don't visit people with your hat on and smoking a pipe."

in: Fenton Bresler, The Mystery of Georges Simenon, Beaufort, 1983, pp 217-218 (Chapter 18). [In French: L'énigme Georges Simenon, Balland, 1983, pp 122-123.] It also appears in Claude Gauteur's article in La Revue du Cinéma, n° 454, November, 1989, reprinted here en français, in English.

The exact number of Jean Richard episodes isn't clear, but between 88 and 92.

Jean Richard
Jean Richard (1965-1990)

Bruno Cremer
Bruno Cremer (1991-present)

France 2's Maigret, 1991-present

Bruno Cremer

the current French Maigret, by September 2003, had portrayed him in about 50 episodes. (Jean Richard, above, is the record holder, with around 90.)
Jacques-Yves Depoix has devoted a website to his series, Bruno Cremer est Maigret, in French.

Charles Laughton (1949)
Charles Laughton (1949)
Richard Harris, Barbara Shelley
Richard Harris, Barbara Shelley (1988)

Harry Baur (1933)
Harry Baur (1933)
Gino Cervi
Gino Cervi (1962-73)
Michel Simon (1952)
Michel Simon (1952)

Pierre Renoir (1932)
Pierre Renoir (1932)
Abel Tarride (1932)
Abel Tarride (1932)
Albert Prejean (1944)
Albert Prejean (1942, 1943, 1944)


Photo of various Maigrets
Unveiling the statue of Maigret at Delfzijl, September, 1966.
Georges Simenon (2nd from left) with four television Maigrets:
Rupert Davies (GB), Heinz Ruhmann (Germany),
Gino Cervi (Italy). Jan Teuling (Holland).
Photo of various Maigrets

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