Jean Gabin (Hardback)
The Actor Who Was France
When one thinks of the quintessential Frenchman, one likely pictures Jean Gabin (1904-1976). The son of music hall performers, the Paris-born actor grew up in the entertainment business. His onscreen debut in the 1930's marked the beginning of many memorable roles in films such as La Grande Illusion (1937) and Émile Zola's La Bête Humaine (1938). His performances would earn him international recognition and establish his reputation as one of the greatest stars of film noir.
Pausing his performances on screen, Gabin joined the Allied struggle of WWII. Serving under General Charles De Gaulle in the Free French Forces as a tank commander, Gabin was awarded several medals for his service. Upon his return to acting after the war, he became the embodiment of the uniquely French spirit – a persona that would define his future roles.
In Jean Gabin: The Actor Who Was France, Joseph Harriss tells the story of this French icon. This well-researched biography documents Gabin's life from his start as a reluctant singer and dancer in Parisian music halls to his rise to film superstardom. Harriss recounts the actor's multi-faceted persona, including his famously fiery temper, his tumultuous love affairs – including a six-year relation with the German star Marlene Dietrich – and his military valor. With this enthralling work, film enthusiasts can gain an appreciation of France's quintessential movie star and his lasting impact on world cinema during its Golden Age.