Le Movie-Star

I first became aware of French actor Alain Delon’s work through the Proust adaptation “Swann In Love,” opposite Jeremy Irons. Recently I watched him in “The Leopard;” it was probably my third viewing and each time the movie climbs the ranks of my all-time favorites. If you feel like an “old relic,” as our contributor BC calls himself, and haven’t seen the film, I highly recommend it. It’s directed by one of my favorite filmmakers, Luchino Visconti, who brought his aristocratic pedigree to his art, and stars the American actor Burt Lancaster as the lead. It was a surprising casting decision, but the rest, as they say, is cinematic history. Lancaster is a patrician leopard who cannot change his spots, even as the world radically transforms around him.

As for Delon, he proves once again that nothing goes with a buttondown shirt like being young and handsome.

I should also mention that Delon stars in “Purple Noon,” the French version of “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” Enjoy your Bastille Day weekend. We’ll close our series of French posts tomorrow with something Moliere would appreciate. — CC

10 Comments on "Le Movie-Star"

  1. Alain Delon’s wardrobe in “Purple Noon” is tres chic; probably the best male wardrobe in the history of film.

    His rowing blazer, brown batik print shirt, and Uber-chic white jacket all deserve a Cesar award. Catch the US trailer here:

  2. Old School Tie | July 13, 2019 at 5:19 pm |

    What? Better than Roger Moore in Live and Let Die?

  3. Boop McSnoot | July 13, 2019 at 9:13 pm |

    “Lancaster is a patrician leopard who cannot change his spots, even as the world radically transforms around him.” I would argue that this isn’t true – while Fabrizio certainly becomes a relic in a changing world, what sets him apart from the rest of his class is that he can see this change happening, and while he doesn’t completely transform to meet it the way Tancredi does, the poignancy of the story is his struggle to balance a desire to preserve the old ways and a painful knowledge that to do so in the short-term means to also facilitate their eventual erasure.

  4. whiskeydent | July 13, 2019 at 11:49 pm |

    Better than Mike Myers in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery?

  5. Probably Alain Delons`s most elegantly stylish movie is Monsieur Klein by Joseph Losey in which he plays an art dealer in German occupied Paris, in many respects one of the best films of the 70ies. I would also recommend Death of a Corrupt Man by Georges Lautner from 1977.

  6. Happy Bastille Day to everybody. Check out this SNL sketch: https://youtu.be/foR9wXOYxzc

  7. Officer Trad | July 17, 2019 at 11:49 am |

    Check out Le Samouraï. Thank me later.

  8. Vern Trotter | July 17, 2019 at 9:51 pm |

    I still vote for John Kerr in Tea and Sympathy as the best Ivy wardrobe. Nothing French though. Unless the kisses with Deborah Kerr.

  9. Michael J. Lotus | April 14, 2020 at 3:47 pm |

    Delon was in one of my childhood favorites, Lost Command, with Anthony Quinn, and the beautiful Claudia Cardinale.

  10. One of his best, but not much remembered films, is Joseph Losey’s
    Mr Klein (1976,) set in occupied Paris during World War 2.


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