Today's Birthdays

one click shows all of today's celebrity birthdays

Browse All Birthdays

43,625    Actors
27,931    Actresses
4,867    Composers
7,058    Directors
842    Footballers
221    Racing drivers
925    Singers
9,111    Writers

Get FamousLikeMe on your website
One line of code gets FamousLikeMe on your website. Find out more.

Subscribe to Daily updates

Add to Google

privacy policy

Famous Like Me > Director > R > Jean Renoir

Profile of Jean Renoir on Famous Like Me

Name: Jean Renoir  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 15th September 1894
Place of Birth: Paris, France
Profession: Director
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Jean Renoir

Jean Renoir (September 15, 1894 – February 12, 1979), born in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France was a film director.

Renoir was the second son of Aline Victorine Charigot and one of the world's most famous painters, Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Life and work

When Jean Renoir was a child he moved with his family to the south of France. He and the rest of the Renoir family were the subject of many of his father's paintings. As a young man, his father's financial success ensured that Jean was educated at the best of schools. However, his education was interrupted when World War I broke out and he joined the army, serving first as a cavalryman and later as a pilot. He was injured in action, which left him with a permanent limp. After the War, Jean Renoir worked as a ceramic artist but soon became fascinated by the developments in motion pictures, particularly by the works of D. W. Griffith and Charlie Chaplin, whom he knew for several years only by his French name, Charlot.

In 1925, Renoir directed the first of several silent films, most of which starred his first wife, Catherine Hessling. Associated with the Popular Front in the mid thirties, several films such as "Le Crime de Monsieur Lange" reflected the movement's politics. In 1937 he directed what many see as his first masterpiece, "La Grande Illusion." This film was banned as French propaganda in Germany by the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. It was also later banned in Italy by Mussolini after having won the "Best Artistic Ensemble" award at the Venice Film Festival. This was followed by another cinematic success: "La Bête Humaine" (The Human Beast), a film based on the novel by Emile Zola and starring the immensely popular Jean Gabin.

In 1939, Renoir directed "La Règle du Jeu" (The Rules of the Game), a tragi-comedy about the decadence of upper-class French society. Renoir himself acted in the film in the character of the mercurial Octave. The film was initially judged to be too gloomy and was greeted with derision by a Parisian crowd on its premiere; the French government banned it. In the light of the events of the Second World War, however, the violence and amorality of French ruling classes depicted in the film have given it a prescience and power that its first audiences perhaps chose not to see. In later decades it came to be recognized as one of the greatest films of all time.

The young Jean Renoir with Gabrielle Renard in a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

When World War II came, the 45-year-old Renoir joined the Film Service of the French army. With the German invasion and Occupation in 1941, he fled France to the safety of the United States where he worked in the film industry in Hollywood, California. In 1943, he produced and directed an anti-Nazi propaganda film: "This Land Is Mine," starring Maureen O'Hara and Charles Laughton. Two years later he made "The Southerner," a film regarded as his best work in America and one for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Directing. In 1946, Renoir became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

In 1962, Jean Renoir wrote a biography titled: Renoir, My Father. In 1975 he received an Academy Award for his lifetime contribution to the motion picture industry and that same year a retrospective of his work was shown at the National Film Theatre in London. In 1977, the government of France awarded him with the Legion of Honor. His life story titled My Life and My Films was published in 1974. In it, he talks about the profound influence of Gabrielle Renard, the woman seen here in the portrait by his father. Renard was a cousin of his mother and the family nanny who helped raised Jean from birth and who introduced him to the world of the cinema.

Jean Renoir died in Beverly Hills, California on February 12, 1979. His body was returned to France to be buried beside his family in the cemetery at Essoyes, Aube, France.

Jean Renoir has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6212 Hollywood Blvd.


Some of his significant films are:

  • La Chienne (The Bitch) (1931)
  • Boudu Sauvé des Eaux (Boudou Saved from Drowning) (1932)
  • Le Crime de Monsieur Lange (1936)
  • La Grande Illusion (1937)
  • La Bête Humaine (The Human Beast) (1938)
  • La Règle de Jeu (Rules of the Game) (1939)
  • This Land Is Mine (1943)
  • The Southerner (1945)
  • French Can Can (1955)

External link

  • Grand Illusion & The River
  • Jean Renoir at the Internet Movie Database
  • Senses of Cinema: Great Directors Critical Database

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Jean Renoir