Jean Yanne

  1. Mario David, Faut pas prendre les enfants du bon Dieu pour des canards sauvages, (Don’t Take God’s Children for Wild Geese), France, 1966.    After 66 (of his 128) scripts, Michel Audiard (father of Jacques) wanted to BE an auteur – in full charge of his scenario for once or twice. (Ten times in the end).  When his heroine Danièle Gaubert had to quit (”personal reasons”), he changed the cast to suit himself. Enter: David, a Chabrol regular, ins place of the caustic Yanne, As for the title, he cheerfully disrergarded all advice about “something, short, catchy” and insisted on one of the longest titles in French cinema history.  It became his trademark: Elle boit pas, elle fume pas, elle drague pas, mais… elle cause! in 1969, Le cri du cormoran, le soir au-dessus des jonques, 1970, Comment réussir… quand on est con et pleurnichard, 1974.
  2. André Pousse, Faut pas prendre les enfants du bon Dieu pour des canards sauvages, France, 1968. Prodigious dialoguist-turned-auteur Michel Audiard (129 scripts in 36 years) preferred filming with his pals. He’d never worked with Yanne, Jean-Pierre Darras, Philipe Noiret, so simply changed them for Pousse (they made 10 films together), Bernard Blier (18) and Paul Frankeur (nine). The March shooting was fun, but the release clashed with May ’68 when France blew up…
  3. Jean-Pierre Cassel, La Rupture (US: The Breakup), France-Italy-Belgium, 1970. The satirist-turned-movie-star rejected another call from respected nouvelle vague icon Claude Cahbrol because the odious Paul was very much a repeat of their succeessive 1969 outings: Que la bête meure and Le boucher. (Yanne made five Chabrol films). So, as he tried to do for La bête, Chabrol cast against type and unlike Philippe Noiret in ’69, Cassel eagerly agreed to such a switch.
  4. Jean-Pierre Marielle, Calmos, France, 1976. Acerbic realisateur Bertrand Blier was aiming for Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Yanne and finished up with… two major “Bebel” supporters in the “enormous flop.”
  5. Guy Marchard, La Tete dans le Sac, France, 1984. Gérard Lauzier’s plan to adapt his comic-book for Yanne fell apart once Jean started directing his own (mediocre, half-baked) comedies. Lauzier directed it, himself, starring his old Army pal from military service in Algeria as the great seducer.
  6. Jean-Louis Trintignant, Regarde les hommes tomber (US: See How They Fall), France, 1994. After a few days, ex-philosophy professor Jacques Audiard (directing his first film) suggested his script would work better if his two stars exchanged roles. He didn’t have to ask twice.
  7. Jean-Marc Thibaut, Feroce, France, 2002. Various French comedy veterans fought to play the right-wing Fascist leader. So it goes!
  8. Michel Duchaussoy, Le cadeau d’Elena, France, 2003. Yanne died before actor Frédéric Graziere started his directing debut.
  9. Jean-Pierre Marielle, The Return of James Battle (US: The Return of James Battle), France-Germany-UK, 2004. The caustic French director, writer, actor and comic died during the shooting. He and Marielle had started their careers together in cabaret. The film is dedicated to Yanne.


 Birth year: 1933Death year: 2003Other name: Casting Calls:  9