François Perier

  1. Paul Azaïs, Bifur 3, France 1944.  Réalisateur Maurice Cam started shooting in the ill-fated 1939. WWII began and filming (and France) collapsed. By the time, the Nazi occupation of France ended  in 1944 (many French insist WWII lasted during 1939-1944!!), his leading lady Vernay  had died  at 19, of typhus contracted  aboard  a boat going to America. Perier and André Luguet’s lead roles were taken to over by Azaïs René Dary – and, with a new blonde look and retroussé  nose, Martine Carol gook over Germaine.
  2. Fernandel, l’Amoir volante, (US: The Cupboard Was Bare), France, 1948. The journalist-novelist-scenarist-director Carlo Rim suggested his meek M’sier Pic, should be Périer, Pierre Fresnay or Michel Simon. “You mad?” said his producteur, “he’s perfect for Fernandel.” “You mad!” cried Rim. “We haven’t spoken to one another for five years.” Not any more. And the comic promised, for once, “to do the impossible and play the role exactly as written, M’sieur Rim.” Result: “Probably his best film,” said critic André Bazin.
  3. Jean Gabin, Touchez pas au grisbi, France, 1953. Gabin’s comeback. “Only if Périer agrees,” said Gabin when offered the gangster Max-le-Menteur. Périer had been Jacques Becker’s earlier choice. Thanks to a Périer date with the stage, the film saved Gabin from a career quagmire in a comeback in the Sinatra tradition. Gabin remained above the title until his death in 1976.
  4. Jean Gabin, L’Air de Paris, France-Italy, 1954. “Non, non! Gabin is finished!” “Périer will do it.” Producteur Robert Dorfmann’s reaction when realisateur Marcel Carné suggested a boxing film with two WWII pals from the French Marines, Gabin and ex-boxer Roland Lessafre. Carné got his way about who should be the champ’s coach but throwing the film more and more towards his young lover antagonised Gabin. He never spoke to Lessafre again.
  5. Gérard Depardieu, NathalieGranger, France, 1973. Depardieu’s ten-minutes as an ominous washing-machine salesman stemmed from Marguerite Duras seeing him on-stage in her version of David Storey’s Home. “You scared me,” she said. “You’ve got the part.” Périer joined Depardieu’s directing debut, La Tartuffe, 1984. 

 Birth year: 1919Death year: 2002Other name: Casting Calls:  5