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Movie Poster of the Week: The films of Jean Grémillon

The career of France’s least-known great auteur in posters.

Above: 2-panel poster for Remorques aka Stormy Waters (Jean Grémillon, France, 1941). Poster by Henri Monnier.

I’ve posted a couple of gorgeous posters for the films of Jean Grémillon in other contexts, but now that the unsung auteur is getting his due with a month-long retrospective at the Museum of the Moving Image, I thought it was time to look at his entire oeuvre in posters. Grémillon has been written about often and eloquently in these pages by David Cairns, and the Notebook has just published the first part of a translation of a terrific 1978 article on the director, so I feel there’s little I can add in the way of exegesis. But I have managed to gather posters for thirteen of his feature films which I present in chronological order from 1928 to 1953. My favorite, beyond that stunning Daïnah la métisse which I’ve written about before, is the René Péron two-sheet for Guele d’amour which you should click on to see it in all its glory. But I’m also partial to the various designs for Remorques—does anyone look better in posters than Jean Gabin?—and especially that rope lettering in the poster by Duccio Marvasi.

Above: Maldone aka Misdeal (Jean Grémillon, France, 1928).

Above: La Petite Lise aka Little Lise (Jean Grémillon, France, 1930).

Above: Daïnah la métisse (Jean Grémillon, France, 1931). Poster by Ram Richman.

Above: Pour un sou d’amour aka For One Cent’s Worth of Hope (Jean Grémillon, France, 1932).

Above: Les Pattes de mouche (Jean Grémillon, France, 1936). Poster by Marino.

Above: Gueule d’Amour aka Lady Killer (Jean Grémillon, France, 1937). Poster by Constantin Belinsky.

Above: Gueule d’Amour aka Lady Killer (Jean Grémillon, France, 1937). Poster by René Péron.

Above: Gueule d’Amour aka Lady Killer (Jean Grémillon, France, 1937). Poster by Henri Faivre.

Above: L’étrange monsieur Victor aka The Odd Mr. Victor (Jean Grémillon, France, 1937). Poster by Henri Faivre.

Above: Remorques aka Stormy Waters (Jean Grémillon, France, 1941). Art by Henri Monnier.

Above: Remorques aka Stormy Waters (Jean Grémillon, France, 1941). Poster by Duccio Marvasi. 

Above: Remorques aka Stormy Waters (Jean Grémillon, France, 1941). Poster by Atelier Derouet.

Above: Lumière d’été (Jean Grémillon, France, 1943). 

Above: Lumière d’été (Jean Grémillon, France, 1943). Poster by Jean Jacquelin.

Above: Le Ciel est a vous aka The Woman Who Dared (Jean Grémillon, France, 1944). Poster by Constantin Belinsky.

Above: Le Ciel est a vous aka The Woman Who Dared (Jean Grémillon, France, 1944). Poster by Jean René Poissonie. 

Above: Le Ciel est a vous aka The Woman Who Dared (Jean Grémillon, France, 1944). Poster by Jean Colin.

Above: Pattes Blanches aka White Shanks (Jean Grémillon, France, 1949). Poster by René Péron.

Above: L’étrange madame X aka The Strange Madame X (Jean Grémillon, France, 1950). Poster by Boris Grinsson.

Above: L’Amour d’une Femme aka The Love of a Woman (Jean Grémillon, France, 1953). Poster by Constantin Belinsky.

Many thanks to Dominique Besson for providing many of these posters. As well as being one of the premiere dealers in old French posters, Besson has recently opened in Paris what may be the only gallery devoted to Mondo posters outside the USA.

“… does anyone look better in posters than Jean Gabin?” No.

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