Daniel Gelin


  1. Albert Remy, Goupi Mains Rouges, France, 1942.     Nearly the start of a great team… Realisateur Jacques Becker was tipped off about young Gélin by an actor friend, but the role needed an older hands…Becker called him back for five films in a row: Rendez-Vous de juillet, 1949, Edouard et Caroline, 1950, Rue de L’estrapade, 1952.PlusCasque d’Or, 1951. when Gélin was too busyand Touchez pas au grisbi, 1953, when hewas still too young!
  2. Serge Reggiani, Casque d’Or, France, 1951.     First planned by realisateur Julien Duvivier before WWII, the project moved onto various directors (including, ironically, Yves Allegret, husband of the eventual titular Simone Signore). It reached Jacques Becker in 1946. He simply took his time and made one of his two masterpieces. Minus Gélin who was making three films at once: actor-directing Les Dents longues, and acting in La Minute de verité and Adorables créatures!
  3. Jean-Claude Pascal, Le Rideau cramoisi (US: The Crimson Curtain), France, 1952.     For his “first real film,” critic turned auteur Alexandre Astruc  invented the camera-stylo concept (using his camera like a pen) for a classic 44-minute short… and the 19 credits that followed (1948-1993). He searched his leading man through Gelin, Michel Auclair, Comédie-Française actor Jean-Pierre Jorris and Daniel Ivernal – when an odious guy entered his office. “He wished to be in film.  I didn’t want him, but there was no one else.” Astruc later discovered that Pascal had given up a big film to fight for the short.  He was rewarded when  the suits insisted  that he (and co-star Anouk Aimée) headline Astruc’s first feature, Les Mauvaises Rencontres, 1954. Gelin starred in the director’s  third feature, La proie pour l’ombre, 1960.  By which time Jean-Luc Godard was calling him “le tonton de la Nouvelle Vague”… the Uncle of the New Wave.
  4. Jean Gabin, Touchez pas au grisbi, France, 1953.    “I’m too young,” said Gelin, a mere 32, about the role of an old hood. “You need Pépé le Moko – a retired Pépé Le Moko!” .. aka Gabin, 49, looking 56. Director Jacques Becker snorted: “He’s finished!” Hah! This proved his post-war comeback and he then went on to star ina further 48 films over 23 years.One year earlier, Gélin fathered Maria Schneider, the future co-star- in Last Tango In Paris– of, ironically, Papa’s lover, Marlon Brando.
  5. Georges Marchal, Les trois mousquetaires, France-Italy, 1953.    When Gérard Philipe refusedD’Artagnan (well,he’d already been Fanfan la Tulipe), the other suspects included Gélin and Serge Reggiani. Despite writing 129 scripts until his 1985 death, including 14 for Jean-Paul Belmondo and a whopping 19 for Jean Gabin -the team he wanted for anotherThree Musketeers in the 70s – this remained Michel Audiard’s #1 film at the French box-office with an audience of 5.5m.
  6. Jean-Pierre Mocky, La tête contre les murs, France, 1958.    Mocky adapted Herve Bazin’s novel and intended to direct rather than act in it. But the pre-nouvelle vague mindset said he was too young at 29. Just perfect for the main role, said new helmer Georges Franju. Mocky did shoot some scenes when Franju fell victim to booze and medicine.
  7. Jean-Paul Belmondo, La française et l’amour, France-Italy, 1960.     For his sketch, l’Adultère, prodigious dialoguist-turned-auteur Michel Audiard (129 scripts in 36 years) wanted Gelin as the lover of Annie Girardot as Henri Vidal’s wife. Vidal’s untimely death (at 40) changed all of that. Belmondo took over with Dany Robin and Paul Meurisse. Girardot stayed aboard – in the next stage, Christian-Jacque’s Le Divorce.


 Birth year: 1921Death year: 2002Other name: Casting Calls:  7