Gérard Blain

  1. Jean-Paul Belmondo, A Double tour/Web of Passion, France, l959.     For his third film, New Wave réalisateur Claude Chabrol kept his usual young star, Jean-Claude Brialy – but he had a crisis. Of spots. Chabrol suggested another of his band, Blain. That’s when Godard told Belmondo to get to the producers’ office – fast. The producers OK’d Belmondo but thought him so ugly, they gave a five film contract to another of the cast: André Jocelyn. (Who?) But then as the late Stanley Baker told me about these producers: “The Hakim brothers couldn’t produce a fart out of a tin of beans.”  
  2. Jean-Paul Belmondo, A bout de souffle, (UK/US: Breathless), France, 1959.   Who wrote it? François Truffaut or the realisateur Jean-Luc Godard? The claims vary, the credits say Truffaut’s story, Godard’s scenario (and he was scribbling new pages every night). However, Truffaut made it clear he’d tried to sell it to Edouard Molinaro “but his producer didn’t want it.” So Truffaut planned it for Blain, star of his 1957 directinjg debut, Les Mistons.
  3. Jean-Paul Belmondo, Classe tous risques, France-Italy, 1960.    Lino Ventura initiated the José Giovanni script as Claude Sautet’s directing debut. But who should be the cohort..? Having also produced A Double tour, Robert Amon wanted nothing more to do with Belmondo and told Sautet to go for one of the the other hotties of the hour – Blain, Alain Delon or Laurent Terzieff. Or even the rotund, sweaty, cha-cha-mambo singer Dario Moreno. Sautet stuck by Jean-Paul. The film opened one week after A bout de souffle… and “Bebel” was born!
  4. Sami Frey, La vérité/The Truth, France, 1960.    For once, neither Belmondo nor Blain got the part – as Sami won Brigitte Bardot. On and off-screen.
  5. Charles Aznavour, Taxi pour Tobrouk, France, 1961.    Took up Howard Hawks’ offer to make Hatari! instead – only to find that his was not the main role. What – in a movie with John Wayne?

 Birth year: 1930Death year: 2001Other name: Casting Calls:  5