Oscar Directors: Sautet, Claude, French Filmmaker and Oscar Nominee (Cesar and Rosalie, A Simple Story, both Starring Romy Schneider)

Claude Sautet (February 23, 1924–July 22, 2000) was an Oscar nominated French film director and screenwriter.

Born in Montrouge, Hauts-de-Seine, France, Sautet first studied painting and sculpture before attending film university in Paris where he began his career and later became a TV producer.

His first movie, Hello Smile! (Bonjour Sourire) was released in 1956.

He earned international attention with The Things of Life (Les choses de la vie, 1970), which he wrote and directed, like the rest of his later films. Featuring Michel Piccoli in the lead, it was shown in competition at the 1970 Cannes Fest. The film also revived the career of Romy Schneider. who would collaborate with Sautet in several later films.

In his next film, Max and the Junkmen (Max et les Ferrailleurs, 1971), Romy Schneider played a prostitute, while in César and Rosalie (César et Rosalie, 1972), she portrayed a married woman who copes with the reappearance of an old flame (Yves Montand).

Vincent, François, Paul and the Others (Vincent, Paul, François, et les Autres, 1974) is one of Sautet’s most acclaimed films. Four middle-class men meet in the country every weekend to discuss their lives. As well as Piccoli, it featured Yves Montand, Gérard Depardieu, and Stéphane Audran. It was the best of the five movies on which Piccoli and director collaborated.

Sautet achieved even further critical success with Mado (1976).

His film A Simple Story (Une histoire simple, 1978) was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

The film featured Schneider again, this time as a dissatisfied working woman in her 40s, winning the César Award for Best Actress.

In the 1980s, he made only two films Waiter! (Garçon!, 1983), a drama starring Yves Montand as a middle-aged waiter, and the comedy A Few Days with Me (Quelques Jours Avec Moi, 1988).

Claude Sautet won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Fest and the César Award for Best Director for A Heart in Winter (Un cœur en hiver, 1992).

He received the César Award once more for Nelly and Mr. Arnaud (Nelly et Monsieur Arnaud, 1995). Both films starred Emmanuelle Béart.

Apart from his own directing, he also wrote screenplays for other directors.

Claude Sautet died of liver cancer in Paris in 2000, at the age of 76.

Filmography (Director): 1955-1995

Output: 14 features

Bonjour sourire (1955)

Classe tous risques (1960)

L’arme à gauche (1965)

Les choses de la vie (1970)

Max et les ferrailleurs (1971)

César et Rosalie (1972)

Vincent, François, Paul et les autres (1974)

Mado (1976)

Une histoire simple (1978)

Un mauvais fils (1980)

Garçon! (1983)

Quelques jours avec moi (1988)

Un cœur en hiver (1992)

Nelly et Monsieur Arnaud (1995)

Filmography (Writer)

Les Yeux sans visage (1959), directed by Georges Franju (also first assistant director)

Symphonie pour un massacre  (1963), directed by Jacques Deray

Peau de banane (1963), directed by Marcel Ophüls

That Tender Age (1964), directed by Gilles Grangier

Échappement libre (1964), directed by Jean Becker

La Vie de château (1965), directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau

Mise à sac (1967), directed by Alain Cavalier

Borsalino (1970), directed by Jacques Deray

Les Mariés de l’an II (1971), directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau

Mon ami le traître (1988), directed by José Giovanni


Filmography (other)

Patrick Dewaere (1992), documentary of Marc Esposito