Legendary French star Gérard Philipe swashbuckled his way into film history as the peasant soldier Fanfan in Christian-Jaque’s devil-may-care romantic action-comedy. In eighteenth-century France, Fanfan joins King Louis XV’s army to avoid a forced marriage to a local lass and gets himself into close scrapes and tight squeezes with Gina Lollobrigida’s impostor fortune-teller, Adeline, on his way to fighting in the Seven Years’ War. Filled to the brim with dazzling stunts and randy innuendo, Fanfan la Tulipe, which won the best director prize at Cannes and was a smash hit upon its initial release, remains one of France’s all-time most beloved films. —The Criterion Collection
Christian-Jaque (byname of Christian Maudet; 4 September 1904 – 8 July 1994) was a French filmmaker. From 1954 to 1959, he was married to actress Martine Carol, who starred in several of his films including “Lucrece Borgia” (1953), “Madame Du Barry” (1954), and “Nana” (1955).
His 1946 film A Lover’s Return was entered into the 1946 Cannes Film Festival.
Christian-Jaque won the Best Director award at the 1952 Cannes Film Festival for his popular swashbuckler Fanfan la Tulipe. At the 2nd Berlin International Film Festival, he won the Silver Bear award for the same film.
Christian-Jaque began his motion picture career in the 1920s as an art director and production designer. By the early 1930s, he had moved into screenwriting and directing. He continued working into the mid-1980s, though from 1970 on most of his work was done for television.
Christian-Jaque was born in Paris. He died at Boulogne-Billancourt in 1994. —Wikipedia
A look at some of the best original French posters for the films in Film Forum’s current series: The French Old Wave.