Jean Gabin - Rotten Tomatoes

Jean Gabin

Highest Rated:   100% French Cancan (1956)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Paris, France
The most popular French actor of the prewar era, Jean Gabin was the essence of world-weary stoicism; a classic antihero, his characters ran the gamut of society's victims and losers, outsiders damaged by life and with no hope of survival. Born Jean-Alexis Moncorgé on May 17, 1904, in Mériel, France, he was the son of professional cabaret performers, and raised by relatives in the country. After World War I, Gabin apprenticed at a Parisian construction company before deciding to follow in his parents' footsteps, struggling as a performer for several years before finally entering the military. Upon his discharge he appeared in a series of musical revues, followed in 1926 by a pair of operettas, La Dame en Decolette and Trois Jeunes Filles Nues. He also toured South America, and upon returning to France signed on with the Moulin Rouge. Gabin's career began picking up steam through his varied theatrical and music hall performances, and after rejecting a contract offer from a German film company he signed with Pathé-Natan, making his screen debut in 1930's Chacun sa Chance.Mephisto followed in 1931, and by Paris-Beguin later that same year, Gabin was already earning second billing. He worked with an impressive group of directors, including Jacques Tourneur (on Tout ca ne Vaut pas L'Amour) and Anatole Litvak (Coeur de Lilas), and quickly developed the image which became his trademark: his face a mask of boredom and cynicism, a cigarette dangling insolently from his lips. With Brigitte Helm, Gabin starred in both L'Etoile de Valencia and Adieu les Beaux Jours, and for director G.W. Pabst he appeared in De Haut en Bas. A co-starring role in the 1934 Josephine Baker vehicle Zou Zou led to Maria Chapdelaine, his first major hit. Directed by Julien Duvivier, it won the Grand Prix du Cinema, and also set a major precedent followed by virtually all of Gabin's prewar films: His character died, and Duvivier was so impressed by the actor's skillful performance of his death scene that similar projects were immediately discussed. In fact, it was rumored that before long, Gabin's contract stated that all of his characters were to be ill-fated.After the hit Varietes, Gabin starred as a French Foreign Legionnaire in Duvivier's 1936 war drama La Bandera, a role which launched him as a romantic hero. That same year he and Duvivier collaborated on La Belle Equipe; upon its completion, Gabin entered into another highly fortuitous partnership with filmmaker Jean Renoir, for whom he first made Les Bas-Fonds. Still, it was another Duvivier film, 1937's Pepe Le Moko, which shot Gabin to international stardom; its follow-up, Renoir's brilliant antiwar meditation La Grande Illusion, solidified his new fame. A certified classic of world cinema, the picture ran for an unprecedented six months in New York City, where the critics dubbed it the best foreign film of the year. In France, it was the box-office champ of 1937, and its success established Gabin as his homeland's biggest star. His fame was reinforced by a series of hits, including the 1938 Marcel Carné drama Le Quai des Brumes, Renoir's La Bete Humaine, and 1939's Le Recif de Corail.Gabin turned down any number of Hollywood offers to remain in France, where he was offered projects like Carné's grim, superb Le Jour Se Lève (aka Daybreak). He then began work on Jean Grémillon's Remorques, but wartime duty prevented the film from completion until 1941. In the meantime, Gabin finally signed a Hollywood contract with Fox; no appropriate projects were immediately forthcoming, however, and when Moontide finally appeared in 1942, few were pleased with the results. At Universal, he and Duvivier were reunited for 1944's The Impostor. At RKO, Gabin was next scheduled to film The Temptress, but at the 11th hour he demanded Marlene Dietrich be hired as his co-star. The incensed studio paid his salary, canceled the project, and issued the warning that he would never work in Hollywood again; G

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Monsieur
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Coeur de lilas (Lilac)
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Rue des Prairies (Rue de Paris)
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Tout ça ne vaut pas l'amour
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Coeurs Joyeux
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Chacun Sa Chance
  • Actor
2013
96% Port of Shadows (Le Quai des Brumes)
  • Jean
$0.1M 2012
No Score Yet Les gaîtés de l'escadron (Fun in Barracks)
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet La vierge du Rhin (Rhine Virgin)
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Les grandes familles (The Possessors)
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Le baron de l'écluse (The Baron of the Locks)
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Crime et châtiment (Crime and Punishment)
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Les Vieux De La Vieille
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Chiens perdus sans collier (The Little Rebels)
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Les Misérables
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet La vérité sur Bébé Donge (The Truth About Bebe Donge)
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Le tonnerre de Dieu (The Thunder of God)
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Gas-oil (Hi-Jack Highway)
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet La minute de vérité (The Moment of Truth)
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet Martin Roumagnac (The Room Upstairs)
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet Le rouge est mis (Speaking of Murder)
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet Le désordre et la nuit (The Night Affair)
  • Actor
2010
No Score Yet Le chat
  • Producer
  • Julien Bouin
2003
88% Le Plaisir (House of Pleasure)
  • Joseph Rivet [The House Of Madame Tellier]
1999
No Score Yet Zou Zou
  • Jean
1989
No Score Yet Holy Year
  • Max Lambert
1976
No Score Yet Alain Delon: Two Men in Town
  • Actor
1973
No Score Yet Deux Hommes dans la Ville (Two Against the Law) (Two Men in Town)
  • Germain Cazeneuve
1973
No Score Yet La Horse
  • Grandfather
1970
No Score Yet The Sicilian Clan
  • Vittorio Manalese
1969
No Score Yet Le Pacha
  • Comissaire Joss, le Pacha
1968
No Score Yet Action Man
  • Denis Farrand
1967
No Score Yet Du rififi à Paname (The Upper Hand)
  • Actor
1966
No Score Yet Any Number Can Win
  • Charles
1963
No Score Yet Maigret voit rouge
  • Actor
1963
No Score Yet Un singe en hiver (A Monkey in Winter) (It's Hot in Hell)
  • Albert Quentin
1962
No Score Yet The Gentleman from Epsom
  • Richard Briand-Charmery
1962
No Score Yet Counterfeiters of Paris
  • Ferdinand Maréchal
1961
No Score Yet Le President
  • Émile Beaufort
1961
No Score Yet Les vieux de la vieille
  • Jean-Marie
1960
No Score Yet En Cas De Malheur
  • Andre Gobillot
1959
No Score Yet Archimède, le clochard (The Magnificent Tramp)
  • Archimede
1959
No Score Yet House on the Waterfront (Le Port du désir)
  • Actor
1959
No Score Yet Maigret et l'affaire Saint-Fiacre (Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case)
  • Actor
1959
No Score Yet Inspector Maigret (Maigret tend un piège)
  • Actor
1958
No Score Yet Les Miserables
  • Jean Valjean
1958
No Score Yet Four Bags Full (La Traversée de Paris)
  • Actor
$0.1M 1957
No Score Yet Le cas du Dr Laurent (The Case of Dr. Laurent)
  • Actor
1957
100% French Cancan
  • Danglard
1956
No Score Yet Deadlier Than the Male (Voici le Temps des Assassins)
  • Chatelin
1956
No Score Yet Razzia sur la Chnouf
  • Actor
1955
No Score Yet Napoleon
  • Marshal Lannes
1955
No Score Yet People of No Importance (Des Gens Sans Importance)
  • Actor
1955
No Score Yet Air of Paris (L'Air de Paris)
  • Victor
1954
100% Touchez Pas au Grisbi (Hands Off the Loot)
  • Max
1954
No Score Yet The Moment of Truth
  • Pierre
1952
No Score Yet È più facile che un cammello... (His Last Twelve Hours)
  • Carlo Bacchi
1951
No Score Yet La nuit est mon royaume (The Night Is My Kingdom)
  • Actor
1951
No Score Yet La Marie Du Port
  • Chatelard
1950
No Score Yet Le Mura di Malapaga (The Walls of Malapaga) (Beyond the Gates)
  • Actor
1949
No Score Yet Moontide
  • Bobo
1942
No Score Yet Remorques (Stormy Waters)
  • Capt. Andre Laurent
1941
No Score Yet La Bandera
  • Pierre Cilieth
1939
91% Le Jour se lève (Daybreak)
  • Francois
1939
97% La Grande illusion (Grand Illusion)
  • Lieutenant Maréchal
$0.2M 1938
93% La Bête Humaine (Judas Was a Woman)(The Human Beast)
  • Jacques Lantier
1938
No Score Yet Gueule d'Amour
  • Lucien
1937
100% Pépé le Moko
  • Pepe le Moko
1937
No Score Yet Belle équipe, La (They Were Five)
  • Jeannot
1936
88% Les Bas-fonds (The Lower Depths) (Underground) (Underworld)
  • Wasska Pepel
1936
No Score Yet Variétés
  • Actor
1935
No Score Yet Golgotha
  • Pilate
1935
No Score Yet Maria Chapdelaine
  • Francois Paradis
1934

Quotes from Jean Gabin's Characters