Brigitte Bardot


  1. Dany Robin, Julietta, France, 1953.   Jean Marais nearly fled the film on finding “all the fun of the book is missing in the scenario.” Realisateur Marc Allegret called up a pal to re-write it – Roger Vadim. But who would be the “pure and sexy” Julietta. Marais’ lover, American dancer-choreographer George Reich, pointed to a girl on a Paris Match cover… Sometime later at the Lido, he pointed her out for real. There she was. With Vadim. “She’s called Brigitte and she’s my wife… and anyway, Marc signed Dany Robin this afternoon.” The followng year, Marais and BB co-starred in Future vedettes, also directed by Allegret from a script respun by Vadim. When BB and Vadim made their global breakthrough, Et Dieu…crea la femme, 1955, her role was called… Juliette.
  2. Etchika Choureau, I Vinti (The Vanquished), Italy-France, 1953.   For his third film, Italian maestro-to-be Michelangelo Antonioni collated three shorts based on true murders committed by post-war youth in France, Italy and the UK. For the French yarn, he wanted BB but his producers refused  an unknown.  Hah! The  blonde Choureau  had  made one film only (to BB’s five) and was four years away from her brief Hollywood sojourn: Darby’s Rangers and Layfayette Escadrille. After 15 more  films, her career was over by 1965 while BB retired in 1973.

  3. Odile Versois, A Day To Remember, 1953. 
    London producer Betty Box introduced Bardot to the UK public in Doctor At Sea, 1955. But she had tried to import her earlier…     “I saw her very first film, Le trou normand, while on holiday near Monte Carlo in 1954,” she told me at Pinewood Studios in the mid-60s..    “She was a captivating creature…  playing a schoolgirl… and she won me over immediately and I tried to get her for Remember. But she was studying at ballet school and could not leave before her exams. Then we went to see her again the following year. By this time she was engaged to Roger Vadim.” And soon taking up the five film contract first offered by producer Raoul Levy to Odile’s sister, Marina Vlady: Les bijoutiers du clair de lune, En cas de malheur, Babette s’en va-t-en guerre, La verité. With which, BB conquered the planet.

  4. Nicole Berger, Le Printemps, l’Automne et l’Amour, France-Italy, 1955.     “Here’s where I made the stupidest mistake of my career,” admitted réalisateur Gilles Grangier. “Fernandel  required a very special partner. My producer suggested Brigitte… and I refused her!”  Her replacement later played the maid of BB and  Grangier’s usual star, Jean Gabin, in En cas de malheur (US: Love is my  Profession), 1957.  The comic’s son, Franck Fernandel, nearly had Brigitte co-starring in his  film, Cherchez l’idole.1963.
  5. Rosanna Podesta, Helen of Troy, 1955.     Dumb Hollywoodians – yes, director Robert Wise included – rejected the androgynous French find, making her Andraste as a consolation. BB glowed while Podesta simpered.

  6. Etchika Choureau, L’Impossible Monsieur Pipelet, France, 1955.   All change for André Hunebelle’s film. First, Choureau (soon to be nicknamed The Sneeze by Hollywood flacks) took over as Michel Simon’s daughter, Jacqueline, from BB. Then, Louis de Funès replaced Nöel Roquevert when he replaced a busy Saturnine Fabre as The Colonel, and Gaby Morlay succeeded Jane Marken as Jacqueline’s mother. A mutt named  Gangster remained as… The Dog.
  7. Michèle Giradon, La Mort en ce jardin, France-Mexico, 1956. Spanish maestro Luis  Buñuel ended his Mexican exile  by setting Spain in Mexico with Spaniards portrayed by a French cast: Georges Marchal Simone Signoret, Charles Vanel and Michel Piccoli in the first of his six Buñuel  classics. Among them all was Vanel’s deaf mute daughter, offered to BB and played by the future Brandy of  Howard Hawks’ Hatari!   Michèle won 36 credits before her sad sujcide in 1975 at age 36.
  8. Bernadette Lafont, Les mistons, France, 1956.      Auteur François Truffaut’s debut – an 18 minute short (25 in Japan!) had the titular under-12 brats spying on Lafont’s skirts billowing on her bike, during tennis or making out with Gérard Blain (her real-life husband, who was against her acting as her place was in the kitchen). Lafont almost agreed: Surely Bardot would be better? “Incapable,” retorted Truffaut.  Within a year he was hailing BB – “magnifique” – in Et Dieu…crea la femme. (Weren’t we all!).
  9. Françoise Arnoul, Sait-on jamais? (US: No Sun In Venice), 1956.     Until UK/US clergy and other headline-seekers created la scandale success of God Created Woman, BB’s big break was a flop at home and producer Raoul Levy quickly dropped her from her husband’s second film, passing it to the star of the (half) hour.
  10. Jean Seberg, Bonjour tristesse, 1957. It was in inevitable that BB would be wanted for the decadent young Cécile in the celebrated, career-making first novel of Françoise Sagan,18 at the time. Cécile  was 17, Seberg was 19 and Bardot, 20.  Tragically, the producer-director-ogre Otto Preminger was 52 and totally out of touch with the book and, worse, the film.

  11. Mylène Demongeot, Sois belle et tais-toi/Be Beautiful and Shut Up, France, 1958.        A Marc Allegret script, adapted by Vadim, for his wife and Henri Vidal, then re-adapted for a BB Mk II into a mindless, 88-minute frolic with, in supporting roles… Belmondo and Delon.
  12. Gina Lollobrigida, La legge (US:The Law and Where the Hot Wind Blows!), Italy-France,  1958.  Brigitte, Carrol Baker – Bébé and Baby Doll – and Sophia Loren’s double, Scilla Gabel had rejected the role! The source novel was a Goncourt Prize–winning novel by French Roger Vailland. The role was a flirtatious virgin maid. Frenchmen Pierre Brasseur and Yves Montand were in the lumpen mix with Greek Melina Mercouri. La Lollo only had thighs for Marcello Mastroianni. Well, he was Italian, too. BB and MM made the much better Vie privée (UK/US: A Very Private Affair) in 1961.
  13. Anna Karina, Une femme est une femme, France, 1960.      Brigitte was out when New Wave icon Jean-Luc Godard fell for the lovely Danish model. And wed her, 1961-1967.
  14. Sue Lyon, Lolita, 1960.  
  15. Annie Girardot, Rocco e I suoi fratelli (UK/US: Rocco And His Brothers),  Italy-France, 1960.      Luchino Visconti Visconti’s first producer wanted BB (or PP, Pascale Petit) – one of the reasons the maestro  quit and persuaded Goffredo Lombardo to produce… with Visconti’s choice of Girardot.  She gave the film’s best performance as Nadia, the hooker  falling for two of the brothers and, in real life,  marrying one  of them, Italian actor (and future politico) Renato Salvatore. 
  16. Annie Girardot, La proie pour l’ombre (US: Shadows of Adultery), France, 1960.     For his third feature, Alexandre Astruc debated over Bardot or Jeanne Moreau for Anna – caught between two former BB co-stars, Daniel Gelin and Christian Marquand. Mais non! Moreau was too intellectual, BB too young.  (They would, of course, co-star in Louis Malle’s Viva Maria in 1964). Paris critic turned auteur Astruc was, according to  Jean-Luc Godard, “le tonton de la Nouvelle Vague”… the New Wave’s Uncle. Ten  years later, Bardot and Giradot co-starred in Les novices – as naked nuns.
  17. Leslie Caron, Fanny, 1961.    Brigitte and Leslie had attended the same Paris dance school. In fact, BB’s then lover, Roger Vadim, told me he had suggested Caron to Gene Kelly for An American In Paris, ten years earlier. (Gene Kelly’s then wife, Besty Blair, said Caron was due to  another American in Paris: Eddie Constantine). Due to Vadim, both BB and Caron were seen by realisateur  Marc Allegret for his (unmade) Vadim script: Les Lauriers sont Coupés (The Laurels are Cut) in 1950.  They were also both up for The Thomas Crown Affair, 1967.  
  18. Elizabeth Taylor, Cleopatra, 1960
  19. Joan Collins, The Road To Hong Kong, 1961.     Dorothy Lamour was too matronly for her usual sarong girl in the seventh and final Hope-Crosby Road movie. Used to getting any pin-up to join his Christmas shows for the US forces Hope tried Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren, BB.  Lost ’em all.
  20. Irina Demick, The Longest Day, 1961.   Not much room for women (or even The Girl) in Darryl F Zanuck’s star-packed mighty re-staging of D-Day – the June 6, 1944 Normandy landings of more than 156,000 Allied troops, played by everyone from Sean Connery to John Wayne, with paratrooper Red Buttons  hanging from a church spire and Richard  Burton  taking time off from Cleopatra (and Liz) to do his bit… in the champagne comfort of a Paris studio.  But Brigitte and Marina Vlady rejected the scant screen time of the French resistance girl – which went (as they knew it would) to Zanuck’s latest in a long line of French mistresses.  

  21. Claudia Cardinale, The Pink Panther, 1962.
  22. Catherine Deneuve,  La vice et la vertu (Vice and Virtue),  France-Italy, 1962.  Usually when Vadim needed her to bail him out, BB came running… Not this time and the role went to his BB Mk III – the only one of the  make-overs  who remained a working star longer than Brigitte, herself. The jdea was, alas,  bolder than execution of it –  turning  the Marquis de Sade characters into Nazi  fficers during the German Occupation of France Roger Vadim.  Deneuve’s firest major role led to her second…
  23. Catherine Deneuve, Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (US:The Umbrellas of Cherbourg), France-West Germany, 1963.  Auteur Jaccques  Demy saw  Le vice et la vertu – and he, too, had found a  pefect substitute (well, almost()  for Brigitte Bardot.
  24. Claudia Cardinale, Circus World, 1963. Print  the legend…  BB refused  to be the daughter of John Wayne and Rita Hayworth in Henry Hathaway’s rambling circus epic.  Good call because this was not a patch on Burt  Lancaster’s Trapeze, 1955.
  25. Mylène Demongeot, Cherchez l’idole, France-Italy, 1963.  Michel Boisrond hadn’t worked with Bébé since… Cette sacrée gamine (UK/US: Mam’zelle Pigalle) in 1955. Now all he could offer was a cameo as herself in  this contrived plot- searching for one of Mylène’s stolen jewels stashed in a pop-star’s new guitar. Yes, but which pop star – Frank Alamo, Johnny Hallyday, Nancy Holloway  Eddy Mitchell, Les Surfs, Sylvie Vartan – all playing their part  pieces, of course. And for a co-star: Fernandel’s son, Franck, about whom the less said the better. 
  26. Shirley MacLaine, Irma La Douce, 1963.    Marilyn proved unavailable and  Billy Wilder  considered Liz Taylor and  BB. “With Bardot, there was the problem of her French accent… wouldn’t match the way Lemmon and anyone else was speaking.”  Nor Wilder,  cum to zat.
  27. Francine Bergé, Judex,  France-Italy, 1963.    For the villainess Diana Monti,  scenarist Jacques Champreux (grandson of the character’s creator, Louis Feuillade) suggested Bardot. This would have made the role bigger, more Irma-Vep-like. The producer was  enthusiastic – until realising a BB fee would also be bigger. Bergé was chosen due to the scandal in Cannes around her film,  les Abysses “Maybe Judex would have been more successful, commercially, with Bardot,”  said Champreux, “but it won a  lot of credibility thanks to Francine. How could you not believe in her? Same thing for Edith Scob.” 
  28. Capucine, The Pink Panther, 1963.
  29. Doris Day, Move Over Darling, 1963.  Alas poor Marilyn died  when dropped from, Something’s  Got To Giveand the Fox suits still wanted to somehow nsave what was now a  doomed movie.  OK, change title, direction and stars.  Dean Martin refused to continue his role, so James Garner co-starred with Hollywood’s ternal mid-age virgin, Doris Day!  Her comfy castimg  insult to MM – and to BB, among the many refusing to ride in Marilyn’s vehicle.
  30. Marisa Mell, French Dressing, 1963.  Ken Russell’s cinema debut, “a weird mix of Fellini, Tati, Mack Sennett and Jean Vigo,” had a tiny British seaside resort copying the Cannes festival.  A newly blonded MM was FF, an Eurosex-bomb, instead of BB. Wise decision. “Until then,” confessed Russell, “I’d used actors like tailor’s dummies in attitudes of inspiration. Now they not only spoke, they spoke to each other. I watched in open-mouthed wonder and astonishment.

  31. Elke Sommer, The Art of Love, 1964.  Brigitte Bardot was supposed to be Dick Van Dyke’s main squeeze, until the black-comedy’s Paris locations  were  cancelled and everything was shot at the Little Europe  area of Universal Studios.  Cheaper, you see… even  with Elke Sommer earning $100,000  instead of BB, Ann-Margret, Britt Ekland or Catherine Spaak.
  32. Michèle Mercier, Angélique, marquise des anges, France, 1964. “One of my rare regrets,” admitted Brigitte. Francis Cosne thought he had it in the bag having produced Une parisienne, Voulez-vous danser avec moi? La Bride sur le cou, Le Repos du guerrier, 1957-1962.  Bardot rejected the bursting bodice romp – Forever Amber meets Barbara Cartland. Then, she actually read the book and found it formidable. Too late. Cosne brought in the clones: Deneuve (too pale), Lisi (too busy), Fonda (too American), Stroyberg (too unknown).  BB (and CC, Claudia Cardinale, were replaced by MM in  the series of five chapitres, 1964-1976, featuring such ex-BB co-stars as Sami Frey, Robert Hossein and  Roger Pigaut.

  33. Virna Lisi, How To Murder Your Wife, 1964.  
    Producer-writer George Axelrod needed an erotic foreign girl with bad English.He waited hours to meet BB in Paris.  “When the audience was finally granted and I kissed the ring,” he told me in London, “she was terribly charming, very, very, very aloof, had no desire to work in America and, to my great chagrin, had never heard of me. That’s what blew it!  She’d noticed immediately the man’s part was bigger and said she was unavailable until September. As we were due to shoot in July, I asked about her schedule. ‘My lover and I will be through in September and I’ll then be available for a film.   It’s absolutely real!”  Having already helped make Marilyn and invented Mansfield, Axelrod and his wife renovated Lisi into a blonde bébé.

  34. Claudine Auger, Thunderball, 1965.
  35. Mireille Darc, Galia, France-Italy, 1965.     Galia was – you’ll never guess! – a free spirit, treating men and sex the way men treated women and sex  .So, obviously, it was both inspired by and created for BB.  She passed on Vahe Katcha’s novel and once the new blonde in town heard about it, she talked Georges Lautner into directing while they made Les Barbouzes, 1964.  “We didn’t have to fabricate anything, she was the role: free and non-conventional.”  They made 13 films together, more than doubling BB-Vadim’s output.
  36. Catherine Deneuve, Les demosielles de Rochefort (US: The Young Girls of Rochefort), France, 1966.  Brigitte also passed on French auteur Jacques Demy’s post-Parapluies  musical. Then againDeneuve had something  BB  did not have.  A sister.  Indeed, an actress-sister. Françoise Dorleac
  37. Catherine Spaak, Hotel, 1966.      And we hope you enjoy your stay at New Orleans’ St Gregory Hotel… Amid a cat burglar, a film-stealing countess, a battle to avoid foreclosure and a black couple denied a room. But no BB – nor her old copine, Ursula Andress – in the rubbish rôle of real estate magnate Kevin McCarthy’s squeeze with an eye for hotel manager Rod Taylor. And the worst dialogue: “Take off your jacket. You interest me.” When it all became a TV series, 1983-1988, the St Gregory had somehow moved to LA. 
  38. Susan Denberg, And Frankenstein Created Woman,1967.     Hammer Films icon Anthony Hinds, producer and re-writer (as John Elder) had finally caught up with a Roger Vadim film and had a bright idea… And, bien sur, he wanted BB as Christina -played by an ex-Playboy Playmate who soon disappeared in a flurry of headlines… such as mine in the French Cinémonde magazine: L’affaire Susan Denberg.
  39. Anna Karina, Lo straniero (US: The Stranger), Algeria-France-Italy, 1967.   “ For me, Camus, Visconti, the intellectual side frightens me a littleSo Brigitte left Marie Cardona and the soon-to-be ex-Mrs Jean-Luc Godard took on Albert Camus’ famous French novel, LÉttranger.
  40. Faye Dunaway, The Thomas Crown Affair, 1967.    “It was written for me,” said BB. BBut she was not keen on Hollywood.  Next up for the insurance agent investigating naughty Tommy Crown director Norman Jewison wanted was Eva Marie Saint.  Too old, screamed the suits. OK, and  director Norman Jewison drew up a dreamy wish list:  Anouk Aimé,  Brigitte Bardot, Candice Bergen, Leslie Caron, Julie Christie, Suzanne Pleshette, Vanessa Redgrave, Sharon Tate,  Raquel Welch… and his star, Steve McQueen, suggested testing Camilla Sparv.  “Yeah, well, I’ve just seen an early print of Bonnie and Clyde… and you’re gonna spend eight hours kissing her!”

  41. Jane Fonda, Barbarella, France-Italy, 1968.      Producer Dino De Laurentiis’ obvious choice. Next: Sophia Loren. Fonda said the film led her “down a new path – as a female impersonator.”  US critic Charles Champlin called it: 2002 A Space Idiocy.
  42. Anita Sanders, Nerosubianco (Attraction), Italy, 1968.  Even the Italians got dumped. Venice  rebel Tinto Brass flew to Paris to sweet-talk her into his movie later shot down by Village Voice as “vile, pretentious and boring.” TB and BB  had dinner. “She was bare-foot, I remember.”  And that’s all he had to tell me.…
  43. Catherine Deneuve, La Chamade, France, 1968.   Realisateur Henri-Georges Clouzot tried for La Vérité, 1960…  Vadim, also, for Le repos du Guerrier, 1962… yet no one could get Bardot and Jean-Paul Belmondo ensemble. Not even for a Françoise Sagan novel.
  44. Astrid Heeren, Castle Keep, 1968.  Like so many Hollywoodians, directr Sydney Pollack set his sights on BB and was disappointed. Therese was merely some relief from the macho forces of  Burt Lancaster, Patrick O’Neal, Bruce Dern, Peter Falk, Scott Wilson, etc in the Battle of the Bulge sideshow –  can GIs save a 10th Century castle from destruction. Brigitte was not impresszed and Pollack settled on the German fashion model from Vadim’s Le vice et la virtu,.  Her career closed in 1972 after just four films.
  45. Anna Karina, Laughter in the Dark, 1968.   Five years earlier, Roger Vadim aimed his adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov at  Burton and BB (or Natalie Wood).  Burton was fired and replaced by Nicole Williamson in this Tony Richardson version  “for being unpunctual and unprofessional.”
  46. Catherine Deneuve, La Sirene du Mississippi, France, 1969.      BB said the nouvelle vague icon François Truffaut put producers off her. “We never discussed her,” swore Truffaut. Rubbish! The Hakim brothers (two Paris producers who, Stanley Baker once told me, “couldn’t produce a fart from a tin of beans”) first contacted Truffaut, promising BB and Jean-Paul Belmondo! It was Truffaut, not the Hakims, insisting on Deneuve. (His lover, after all). Anyway, the Hakims never actually had the rights! BB tried to get them for herself – but Truffaut won them with a 400,000 Francs loan from Jeanne Moreau, Claudes Berri and Lelouch. Result: his most expensive flop and, straight after backing out of marriage with Claude Jade, starting a two-year affair between, as he called themselves: Frank Truff and Kath Neuve. (She was one of the only three lovers he actually lived with, after his (1957-1965) wife, Madeleine Morgenstern and before final mistress Fanny Ardant). 
  47. Shirley MacLaine, Two Mules for Sister Sara, 1969.   BB and Clint Eastwoopd – now  that would have been interesting.  But she had already signed up to be a nun (If that is what Sara was!) in Les novices, 1970.  Brigitte compared  one of her young lovers, Swiss ski instructor and barman Christian Kalt, to Eastwood. And indeed, herself – saying that she and her Western co-star Claudia Cardinale in Les Pétroleuses were like Clint and Robert Redford!
  48. Jane Fonda, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They, 1969.   Charlie Chaplin, Joseph Losey and François Truffaut had all tried to film Horace McCoy’s book during ts 35 year long journey to the screen. Early in the 60s, a second French auteur, Jean-Pierre Mocky, won BB’s d’accord for the film – opposite Montgomery Clift or Charles Aznavour. Years later, Mocky saw Sydney Pollack at Cannes:  “You stole  my  book, you bastard!”  As recompense, Pollack helped him get rights to Elliot Chaze’s sole pulp, My Angel With Black Wings  – made by Mocky as Il gele en enfer, 1990.  And Vadim’s BB Mk IV made Horses her own.
  49. Diana Rigg, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969.
  50. Dominique Sanda, Il Conformista (US: The Conformist), Italy-France-West Germany, 1969.     Finding the titular hero and his wife was easy, said director Bernardo Bertolucci – persuading Jean-Louis Trinignant, Stefania Sandrelli took all of  two minutes. Bisexual Anna Quadri was the quandry. “I even went to see Brigitte…In spite of all the admiration I had for her, she couldn’t possibly represent the trangressions of the character.” As the Italian BB wanted his Conformists to also star in his next film. Last Tango In Paris,.  BB had been thisclose to BButter.

  51. Goldie Hawn, There’s A Girl In My Soup,1970.      Before the Boulting brothers landed Peter Sellers and Goldie Hawn, there had been plans for a rather French  vets ion of the West End comedy hit with BB as the latest target of the roving eye (heated circular bed and, literal, shag carpet) of Yves Montand  as a TV cuisine expert.  (Sellers played Hoffman the same year – basically,  the same movie. Just not as good).
  52. Gillian Hills,   La Faute de L’abbé Mouret (UK: The Sjn of Father  Mouret ; US : The Demise of Father Mouret), France, 1970.    Réalisateur   Georges Franju had planned to film the  Zola tale, adapted by Jacques Prevert, with Pierre Brasseur. And BB as  the carefee Albine – played by Antonioni’s Blow Up find, Gillian Hills.   Francis Huster played Albine’s  over – a priest who has lost his memory. Three years later, BB selected him as her last screen lover in her farewell film  L’histoire très bonne et très joyeuse de Colinot Trousse-Chemise (UK/US The Edifying and Joyous Story of Colinot).
  53. Angie Dickinson, Pretty Maids All In A Row, 1970.      Non to Hollywood.  Even for a film by her old Russian. Vadim.
  54. Dahlia Lavi, Catlow, 1971.    Stephen Boyd and UK producer Euan Lloyd planned three Louis L’Amour Westerns together.  Allegedly, Boyd let this second one go (enter: Brynner as the Irish-born outlaw!) when his copine, BB, refused to join  the party. With reason. She’d been here before – in the first Lloyd-Boyd-L’Amour package, Shalako, 1968.  The Girl’s part that was no part at all –  in both!

  55. Romy Schneider, César et Rosalie, France, 1972.   
    Two guys in love with the same woman… Oskar Werner  was first to refuse. Well, he’d been here before and saw little reason to modernise Jules et Jim. BB-Ventura-Belmondo. Mais BB-Ventura had not got on during Boulevard de rhum, in 1970. Next?  BB-Gassman-Belmondo, then Deneuve-Montand-Belmondo, then Schneider-Montand-Depardieu, ultimately and beautifully Schneider-Montand-Sami Frey…. When Deneuve proved pregnant. Annie Giradot wanted it. Marlene Jobert pleaded for it,  But  Romy proved a glorious Rosalie in Claude Sautet’s greatest box-office triumph, his most autobiographical work –  the most cherished for the French public. 

  56. Raquel Welch, The Three Musketeers, 1974.     Keen on joining the rumoured Beatles project in1967. Not so after meeting John Lennon, back from the Maharishi in India.  In a blue funk about meeting his dream girl – alone! – he sat lotus-style in her Indian-styled suite, told her not to ask questions – “Feel the vibes” – and collapsed into a beer-assisted sleep. “Fuckin’ terrible,” he said. “Worse than meeting Elvis.”
  57. Florinda Bolkan, Royal Flash, 1974.      Director Richard Lester knew exactly who he wanted to portray Lola Montes. Just as BB knew exactly why she was disinterested.  Playing an old Martine Carol rôle? Get out!  Anyway she had quit the movies. “Don’t you read the papers?”
  58. Jane Birkin, La moutarde me monte au nez, France, 1974.      Fanciful farce of a movie queen and a twit of a maths teacher.  Birkin asked director Claude Zidi why he didn’t take areal star like BB.  “I wrote it  for her ten years ago.  Anyway, after this film, you’ll be a star.” She already was for the French – and BB had retired.
  59. Isabelle Adjani, Ondine, France, 1974.  Bardot was, perhaps, an inevitable thought for the ethereal “fairy of the living waters.” Audrey Hepburn had played her in the Broadway production of the Jeajn Giraudoux play.  But now, Brigitte had retired making room here for the French cinema’s latest Ms Ethereal. The tale’s poet was played by Francis Huster, BB’s  final screen lover  in her farewell movie the previous year: L’histoire très bonne et très joyeuse de Colinot Trousse-Chemise.
  60. Corinne Clery, Histoire d’O (UK./US: The Story of O), Canada-France-West Germany, 1975.   The pervy French claasic by “Pauline Reage” is an incessant O-dyssey into the sexual abuse of one emotionless young woman by several toffs (Anthony Steel included)  in, naturally,  a secluded chateaux.  M’sieur Emmanuelle, Just Jaeckin, directs. Bardot (who retired three years earlier), the English Anulka Dziubinska and French Brigitte Fossey refused to be O. Corinne Clery agreed but had  a much better experience with James  Bond in Moonraker, among her 72 screen roles.

  61. Catherine Deneuve, Le sauvage, France-Italy, 1975.  Impressed by  M*A*S*H and The Long Goodbye, writers Jean-Loup Dabadie and (director) Jean-Paul Rappeneau first wanted Elliott Gould as the titular, rugged American. Producer Raymond Danon said such an important French production must have French stars. So, Bardot or Deneuve and Canada’s Carole Laure…?  Montand fell for the title – but not playing second fiddle to Deneuve.  “Can she run more slowly?” he complained. ”Otherwise, I can’t catch her and we’ll have to change the ending.” He never did catch her. Deneuve being among the very few leading ladies he was never able to seduce.
  62. Isabelle Huppert, La Truite, France, 1982.     The 1962 casting of the exiled US director Joseph Losey was: BB (as a virgin?!) and Simone Signoret.  Then, he saw Huppert at the Bayreuth theatre festival.     “I don’t think I was a good actress,” Bardot said years later. “I did my best to express what people asked me to play. I wanted to be frank, honest, and straightforward. Not scandalous – I didn’t want to be that. I wanted to be myself. Only myself.”   
  63. Arielle Dombasle, Pauline à  la plage,(UK/US: Pauline at the Beach),  France, 1982.   No Bardot. No matter. Third of the elegant French auteur Eric Rohmer’s 1980s’ series of six Comedies et Proverbes, won him awards and glowing praise from Nw York Times critic Vincent Canby. “Mr  Rohmer’s works could not exist in any other form… They combine images, language, action and cinematic narrative fluidity to create a kind of cinema that no one else has ever done before.” Plus fan-boy worship from – and this is a suprise –  Quentin Tarantino.
  64. Ornella Muti, Un amour de Swann/Swann In Love, France, 1983.    
    Part of the Brechtian and Marxist director Joseph Losey’s shimmering 70s plans for Harold Pinter’s adaptation of Remembrance of Things Past and De cote de chez Swann – after Italian maestro Luchino Visconti suddenly, inexplicably cancelled his version. Between them, they had planned such stars as… Bardot,  Bogarde,  Boyer,  Brando, Delon,  Hoffman,  Mangano, Moreau, Rampling, Schneider,  Signoret…. And Garbo!   The mind boggles!!  Oh and Helmut Berger, who is said to have been jealous of Delon having the lead role and allegedly blackmailed Visconti into stopping his version to make Ludwig, 1972 ,instead… with Berger in the title role.  No wonder BB was saying about her career: “I was really sick of it. Good thing I stopped [after her 42nd film in 1973], because what happened to Marilyn Monroe and Romy Schneider would have happened to me.”   In 1989, Hollywood did offer her $1m to be the granny in 3 Men and A Little Lady.  Er. there was no granny in the film. Exactly – as BB might  have  declared on reading the script!



























 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  64