Sophie Desmarets

  1. Simone Signoret, Macadam, France, 1946.   Pregnant. Realisateur Jacques Feyder chose what the New York Times called the “saucy and alluring” wife of director Yves Allegret.
  2. Anne Vernon, Edouard et Caroline, France, 1950.     Daniel Gelin was the penniless pianist and Sophie Jeanne Moreau, Micheline Presle and Ludmilla Tcherina were seen for his wealthier wife. However, auteurJacques Becker had not forgotten Edith Vignaud from his 1945 Falbalas.  She had since worked abroad. The UK’s Rank Organisation gave her a contract, four films, and a new name (“Edith is for old biddies and who can pronounce Vignaud?”).  Hollywood was not so smitten: one fllm and a shredded Universal deal.  And so it was Anne Vernon who sparkled as Caroline. She and Gelin were The Couple of the hour – and witty again in Becker’s Rue de l’Estrapade, 1952.
  3. Martine Carol, Les Carnets de Major Thompson (UK: The Diary of Major Thompson; US: The French, They Are A Funny Race), France, 1955.  The French-Canadian Desmarets and Marthe Mercadier were beaten by the top (but sliding) French favourite as the very French wife of Jack Buchanan’s’ very Briish major… in the, alas, final film of Preston Sturges. The US title perfectly sums up the satire!  Three years later, Desmarets  partnered Carol in Alberto Cavalcanti’s Italian La Prima Notte (Venetian Honeymoon), 1958.
  4. Juliette Mayniel, Le couple, France, 1959. Rebel realisateur Jean-Pierre Mocky boasted that his second film started the style of La Nouvelle Vague before the New Wave first splashed. Hardly true… Apart from Desmarets, other actresses he interviewed for Anne were Emmanuelle Riva from Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima Mon Amour and Mayniel from Claude Chabrol’s Les cousins.


 Birth year: 1922Death year: 2012Other name: Casting Calls:  4